A summary judgment is a judgment entered by a court in favor of one party and against another. It is entered 'summarily' meaning without a trial. It can address the entire case or it can address one or more particular issues in the case. Summary judgment is warranted where there are no material issues of 'triable' fact, e.g., there is no factual dispute for consideration by the trier of fact (e.g., the judge or jury.) Stated otherwise, when the issues in a case can be adjudicated as a matter of law and not on any factual issue, summary judgment is appropriate. As a matter of policy, courts tend to favor trial on the merits, and view summary judgment as a drastic remedy. Consistent with that policy, it takes only one disputed issue of material fact to defeat a summary judgment motion.
It is a motion seeking a final judgment based on the papers and without the need for a trial.
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A party can seek summary judgment whereby the court will resolve any issue in the case, or even the entire case, "as a matter of law", because there is no dispute as to "genuine issues of fact". Genuine issues of fact generally can, and should, be resolved by the "trier of fact" - a jury. If summary judgment was granted to your adversary 5 years ago, you may have a problem being able to continue the pursuit of your claim. Your new attorney can discuss this in detail with you.