The Effects of COVID-19 on Appealing a Summary Judgment Ruling

Zausmer Shareholder Cameron Getto recently co-authored an article with Daniel Pollack for Law Practice Today, discussing the emerging effects of COVID-19 on summary judgments.

Summary judgment allows parties involved in a lawsuit to obtain certain court rulings before trial regarding particular elements of that case. A key outcome of a summary judgment ruling is the avoidance of time and expense.

As stated in their article:

“Against the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic…the legal landscape for litigators has temporarily changed. For instance, the Judicial Conference, the administrative policy-making body for the federal courts, found on March 29, pursuant to the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), that ‘emergency conditions due to the national emergency declared by the President with respect to COVID-19 will materially affect the functioning of the federal courts generally …’ Under the CARES Act, this finding allows chief district judges, under certain circumstances and with the consent of the defendant, to temporarily authorize the use of video or telephone conferencing for certain criminal proceedings during the COVID-19 national emergency.

Many courts have closed, or are operating remotely and at a slower pace. Jury trials, motion hearings, and other proceedings have been adjourned. Courts are much more likely to issue summary judgment rulings without oral argument…With most attorneys working from home with more time than they ordinarily have, many are seeking creative ways to use this time to the advantage of their clients.”

Read the full article here:


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