It is often the goal of most attorneys and their clients to end a litigation matter as soon as possible. Many clients feel “just get the case in front of the judge and we’ll win.” In California that is easier said then done. Essentially there are two times when a lawsuit can be terminated early. The first involves motions based on pleadings, such as a demurrer or motion to strike. These motions can be successful, but often only delay matters, and thus raise the cost of litigation. Depending on the facts of the case, these types of motions based on pleadings, may not be very useful.
The second category of motions to terminate a case early involves the concept known as Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication. Summary Judgment is a motion in which the entire matter is placed before the Judge and the Judge has the option of terminating the case before it even goes to trial. However, a Summary Judgment motion is difficult because the moving party must show that all evidence is in favor of the moving party. Since, it is often difficult to show all evidence is in favor of the moving party, an alternative motion called Summary Adjudication is often used. Unlike Summary Judgment, where the moving party argues that all matters asserted are in their favor, Summary Adjudication just argues that one particular cause of action is in favor of the moving party. Again, the standard is that all evidence is in favor of the moving party, but only the evidence that concerns the specific matter asserted in the Summary Adjudication motion.
There are many reasons for and against attempting to file a motion for Summary Judgment or Summary Adjudication. Contact our office today to discuss your case with one of our civil litigation attorneys.