Civil Litigation Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters

The Pros and Cons of Moving for Summary Judgment

procon_153899206Given that California courts’ no longer consider summary judgment to be a “disfavored” procedure, you should always think about moving for summary judgment. But make sure to weigh the pros and cons before making your move.

Before you can evaluate whether or not to move for summary judgment or summary adjudication in a particular case, you need to have an understanding of the advantages and disadvantages of making such a motion generally.

The advantages include

  • saving the expense of a trial,
  • aiding in early case resolution,
  • providing an additional opportunity to prevail,
  • narrowing the issues for trial,
  • compelling disclosure of the opponent’s evidence,
  • facilitating trial preparation, and
  • increasing the chances of settlement or voluntary dismissal of the case.

The disadvantages include

  • adding significant expense to the litigation,
  • facing a high risk of defeat,
  • weakening settlement position after a loss on the motion,
  • educating the opposition about your evidence and strategy,
  • generating evidence the opposition may use for cross-examination at trial,
  • facing de novo review on appeal, which may be more favorable to the opposition than the standard of review following trial, and
  • subjecting decision to reconsideration by the court on its own motion.

Now it’s time to apply this general knowledge to your case. In our next blog post we’ll give you 8 specific questions to ask yourself about your own case to determine whether moving summary judgment is the right move to make.

For a complete overview of all the considerations involved in moving for summary judgment or summary adjudication, you need CEB’s California Summary Judgment at your side.

Related CEB blog posts:

© The Regents of the University of California, 2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited.

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