Early Use of Motion for Summary Judgment

JurisdictionMaryland

VI. EARLY USE OF MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

While it may not always be an "initial pleading," a motion for summary judgment pursuant to Md. Rule 2-501 may be filed at the inception of the action.93 It is useful to file a motion for summary judgment early in the case if the case is "cut and dried." For example, a collections claim, or a suit on a guarantee, or on an account stated may result in early summary judgment if there is no dispute as to any material facts. However, even in situations where there is arguably a "genuine" dispute over material facts, a practical purpose for filing such a motion is to educate the court. An early motion for summary judgment can play an important role in your overall case strategy. It requires an immediate response by the other side and may put "heat" on the opposition which may result in an early settlement. As previously discussed, counterclaims, cross-claims, and third-party claims also fall within the category of initial pleadìngs.94

A motion for summary judgment should be viewed as a "free shot" to win the case or win on certain issues. However, if there is concern about the effects of not obtaining summary judgment (loss of momentum, effect on settlement), then a motion for summary judgment may not be a good idea. It should be...

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