5 Things Every Adjuster Should Know About Summary Judgments in Texas

  1. Trial judges in Texas do not like to grant motions for summary judgment because they don’t want to take away the plaintiff’s day in court. And judges cannot be reversed on appeal for denying a motion for summary judgment, only for granting one.
  2. Plaintiffs can defeat motions for summary judgment by convincing the trial judge that a question of fact exists for the jury to decide, and it never takes much to convince the judge.
  3. A denial of a summary judgment is generally not appealable in Texas, but the granting of a summary judgment is appealable. (In other words, the trial judge can only be reversed by granting the summary judgment.)
  4. Plaintiffs can easily defeat motions for summary judgment just by amending their pleadings.
  5. Despite the difficulty of obtaining summary judgment in Texas, they are still worthwhile. Sometimes a defendant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on an issue that can never be decided by the jury. Sometimes the plaintiff has absolutely no evidence to give to the jury to prove his or her case. Sometimes they can give a defendant an advantage in settlement negotiations. And sometimes they even get granted.
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