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Understanding Summary Judgment Motions

Posted by attorney Peter Lamont

If you have ever been involved in a lawsuit or followed a lawsuit, chances are you've heard the term summary judgment. What is summary judgment? Summary judgment or a summary judgment motion is a procedural device whereby the movant asks the court to decide the case or an issue in the case in summary fashion. or without a jury.

It is essentially a trial on paper. However, not all issues can be decided on summary judgment. Only questions of law can be decided on a summary judgment motion. Questions of fact must be submitted to a jury.

If summary judgment is granted, a final ruling (barring an appeal, if permitted) is made and the case of a particular issue is resolved.

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