More brutal than the motion to dismiss, the motion for summary judgment can be the Grim Reaper for a case. While an order on the motion to dismiss might give a plaintiff a chance to “fix” problems, summary judgment does not provide a “do-over”. When it’s done, it’s done. You slay. They die. So, if you feel you have the grounds for summary judgment, go for it. And if you need help representing yourself in civil court, it’s time to join Courtroom5.
Far too often pro se litigants lose cases where they should win–all because of problems writing a motion. This should never happen, but it does. These tips will give you a better likelihood of succeeding, especially in cases where you have the law, the facts, or both on your side.
The Motion to Dismiss and the Motion for Summary Judgment both present a chance to end your case, but similarities between the two are few. Arguing one when you should be arguing the other could hand you a loss in court. So know your motion and understand the differences between it and a similar motion.
It’s easy to defeat yourself with self-sabotage or incompetence. But can you draw a roadmap to help your opponent defeat you? And why on earth would you want to do that? The answer is simple: It’s good defense. If you can block all paths to your defeat before your opponent finds them, you’ll be much more difficult to beat.
Summary judgment is to litigation what the slam dunk is to basketball. When all sides agree on the relevant facts and those facts prove or disprove the case, there’s no need for a trial to weigh the evidence. No need to prepare exhibits, subpoena witnesses, practice direct and cross examinations and so forth, because all […]