What Is a Summary Judgment?

Lawyer explaining what is a summary judgment

What is a Summary Judgment?

This post brought to you by Canan Law, the most respected team of attorneys in St. Augustine.

Many civil cases result in a summary judgment.

A summary judgment is a court order ruling that a trial is not necessary because no factual issues remain to be tried. Either party, plaintiff or defendant, may motion for summary judgment. The motioning party declares that all factual issues are either settled or so one-sided that they need not be tried.

The opposing party must then argue that triable issues of facts remain to be settled in order to take the case to trial.

Summary judgment will only be granted to causes of action for which the court finds to unquestionably lack any triable issue of fact. Issues for which there is any doubt will go to trial.

Is a Summary Judgment A Good Thing?

Either a defendant or a plaintiff can request a summary judgment. Although a summary judgment is a favorable result for the motioning party, it can be detrimental for the opponent. For example, if the other party that you are suing files for a summary judgment, this may prevent you from having your story heard in court. Luckily, a summary judgment can be appealed by the opponent in situations like this.

What Happens If a Summary Judgment is Denied?

Pursuing a summary judgment is not risk-free. If a summary judgment is denied, the non-motioning party may be able to increase the settlement amount that they are asking for. This helps prevent either party from wasting the court's time be requesting a summary judgment when the evidence does not support this type of ruling.

An experienced Canan Law attorney will work with you to determine if a motion for summary judgment is appropriate in your civil suit.

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