What is Summary Judgment?

Summary judgment is a legal term that can be a game-changer in civil cases. This process allows the court to make a decision without having to go through a full-blown trial.

Instead, the judge will make a decision based on the evidence provided in legal documents such as pleadings, affidavits, and discovery materials. This judgment is granted when there is no genuine issue of material fact, and the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

To obtain a summary judgment, the moving party (usually the plaintiff) must persuade the court that there are no issues of fact in dispute and that they are entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

This can be a challenging task since the opposing party (usually the defendant) will try to show that there are genuine issues of material fact that require a trial.

Summary judgment can be used in various civil cases, such as breach of contract, personal injury, and employment discrimination. It is especially useful when the facts of the case are clear, and there is no need for a fact-finding process.

Additionally, it can be used to dispose of cases that are weak, frivolous, or lack merit.

In criminal cases, a similar process called a directed verdict is used. This allows the judge to decide the case without the need for a jury if the prosecution's evidence is insufficient to support a conviction.

However, this process is not used as frequently as summary judgment in civil cases.