What is Summary Judgment and is it Useful?

Scales and Gavel

During the litigation process one or both of the parties involved can utilize a procedural device known as the Motion for Summary Judgment. This motion is used to promptly and expeditiously dispose of a case (or certain issues) without the need of a full trial. Summary judgment can be awarded if the undisputed facts and the law make it clear that it would be impossible for the opposing party to prevail if the matter were to proceed to trial. This can dispose of the whole case or dispose of certain issues within the case.

The litigation process can be lengthy, difficult and expensive. Utilizing Summary Judgment can keep litigation costs down by shortening a trial or completely eliminating the need for a trial. The possible granting of a defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment often discourages plaintiffs from filing weak or frivolous cases, which can save time and money by not having to fully litigate a frivolous case to trial. Alternatively, it can help plaintiffs who have a strong case, because when a defendant’s Motion for Summary Judgment is denied, the settlement value of the case increases due to the clarification provided regarding the facts and legal issues presented. Without summary judgment a case could appear to be less certain, making settlement less likely.

As you can see, Summary Judgment can be a very useful tool for both plaintiffs and defendants by shortening the litigation process and saving time and money when appropriate.

Steve Kuzmich is a Board Certified – Personal Injury Trial Lawyer by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. The Kuzmich Law Firms’ focus practice areas are auto and trucking accidents, wrongful death and other serious injuries, injuries caused by drunk drivers, injuries to children and the elderly, (slip and fall accidents) premises liability, and dog bite cases. For further information about personal injury litigation, contact us today at 972.434.1555.