Lawsuits can have one claim or hundreds, there is no limit. 

But, a complex case can become a little bit clearer if the case reaches the summary judgment stage. 

Summary judgment challenges the claims in the lawsuit for legal sufficiency.  A party moving for summary judgment can ask for a court to dismiss every single claim or just one.  As you can imagine, a motion for summary judgment can end the entire case if a movant is successful.  The cost and time it takes to go to trial can be decreased or alleviated on a successful motion.  Even if there are surviving claims left in the lawsuit, the issues can be simplified; the case may move along faster; the length of trial can decrease; and settlement may even be facilitated.  Summary judgment also can show the other side’s trial strategy by pointing out key evidence and educate the judge on the case prior to trial.

Summary judgment motions, however, are expensive and time consuming.  And, as noted above, you may reveal your strategy for trial, which could be a disadvantage.  Even the education of the judge could turn against you instead of help you.

Despite the disadvantages, summary judgment, if used carefully, is a useful tool to help clear things up.  If you need help with a dispute or are thinking of filing a lawsuit, contact the trial attorneys at the Goosmann Law Firm, PLC, in our Omaha, Sioux City, or Sioux Falls offices.  We are here to help.


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