Wednesday, December 16, 2009


JUDGMENT WITHOUT TRIAL - There are multiple ways in which cases are adjudged without a trial. In fact a substantial majority of cases are decided prior to trial. An example of such a way is outlined below.

1. Summary Judgment

If one party can show that there is no genuine issue of material fact in a lawsuit, that party will be entitled to judgment as a matter of law, or summary judgment. The movant for summary judgment can show that no genuine issue of material fact exists by way of affidavits, or information learned through discovery (as examples).

The non-moving party will generally file a opposition in response to the movant’s request for summary judgment attempting to illustrate that a genuine issue does indeed exist, necessitating trial. However, the opposition cannot rest on its pleadings, it must show that there is a genuine issue for trial by way of evidence.

It is important to note that summary judgment motions are rarely granted because a genuine issue of material fact normally exists in every case. Moreover, the non-moving party receives the benefit of the doubt, or all matters in the summary judgment motion are construed in a light most favorable to the party opposing the motion. The fact that the movant is likely to win at trial is not enough, instead, it must be shown by the movant that there is no way it can lose at trial, given the facts presented and legal support.

Disclaimer: This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. If you have questions or need specific advice relating to the matters contained herein, please contact Lovaas & Lehtinen, P.C.

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