Not sure what to do after a summary judgement is granted? Trust the best summary judgment lawyers in the nation and consult with our team at the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer today.
Summary judgment is essentially a legal shortcut used to simplify or avoid unnecessary trials. Only the law and facts of the case will determine who prevails.
What Is a Summary Judgment?
In the United States federal courts, summary judgment is a common process used to resolve a lawsuit before going to trial. The court reaches a final decision based on statements, evidence, and other important facts in the case. Under Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the summary judgment standard is only granted if:
- The movant shows the court that there is no genuine dispute as to any facts of the case.
- The movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.
If you meet these summary judgment requirements and the motion is granted, the case is over. But if the court denies the movant’s motion, the case continues to trial. Regardless, the court must state on the record the grounds for granting or denying the motion.
If for any reason, you lose the summary judgment motion, you still have the right to appeal. So don’t delay—consult with a trusted summary judgment lawyer for immediate help.
What Is a Partial Summary Judgement?
In some cases, the court may grant a motion for partial summary judgment. The purpose of partial summary judgment is to simplify a trial by ruling on some claims, but not all. For example, the court might rule on some factual issues but leave others for trial.
So, what happens after a partial summary judgement is granted? Since the case is not yet complete, it will eventually proceed to trial.
Summary Judgment vs. Judgment as a Matter of Law
How do judgment as a matter of law (JMOL) and summary judgement in a civil case differ? For starters, they take place at different times during the case.
Summary judgment is a pre-trial motion and often takes place after discovery is complete. Meanwhile, JMOL is an in-trial or post-trial motion, and it must occur after both parties have had the chance to present their case. Both argue that the evidence and the law are so indisputable that the court should rule in the movant’s favor without the need for a trial.
A motion for JMOL is highly beneficial because if the judge denies the motion, the movant can move again after the trial if desired.
Summary Judgment Example
Let’s look at some examples of summary judgment motions to gain a better understanding.
Two parties were involved in a car crash. Sarah says that Matt ran a stop sign and caused the accident. Furthermore, Sarah has video footage showing Matt running the stop sign and crashing into her. Sarah’s lawyer files a motion for summary judgment claiming that:
- No facts of the case can be reasonably disputed. Matt cannot produce any evidence that suggests he did not run the stop sign and cause the accident.
- Due to the indisputable facts, Sarah is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. In other words, because Matt ran the stop sign and caused the crash, he is liable under the law of negligence.
In this example, a judge would grant Sarah’s motion for summary judgment.
Unfortunately, not every case is this simple. Are you struggling to win your summary judgment argument? The best attorneys will not only show you how to apply for summary judgement, but also how to win a motion for summary judgment.
What Happens After a Summary Judgment Is Granted?
Once the summary judgement is granted, the case ends there, and neither party will have to deal with the stresses of a full trial. At times, the winning party can ask for an award of costs or attorney fees from the other party unless those terms were already established in the summary judgment.
If you’re unsatisfied with the result, here’s what to do after a summary judgement is granted.
Despite the final ruling, the losing party can still ask the court to reconsider the ruling or grant a new trial. If desired, they can appeal the summary judgment to a higher court for review. However, keep in mind that strict time limits apply to these appeals procedures. Once the time window has passed, the court summary judgement is final, and you can no longer appeal. At this point, the winner can then take steps to enforce the judgment.
But don’t let your case end this way—appeal a grant of summary judgment! Whether you’re a plaintiff or defendant, you can give yourself the best chance by partnering with an experienced summary judgment law firm.
Navigate the Summary Judgment Process with an Experienced Federal Attorney
Are you looking to appeal a summary judgment? Or do you need help collecting on a judgment that you won? If so, you need a reputable attorney to help guide you through the summary judgement process. When you consult with the Law Offices of Seth Kretzer, our team will work with you to learn about your circumstances and thoroughly examine your case.
Call our law office at 713-775-3050 or contact us online to discuss your case today.