A summary judgment procedure is a pretrial motion to the court to obtain a ruling on a disputed issue to avoid a trial. The court must find that there are no genuine issues of material facts and that as a matter of law the outcome of the dispute will have only one outcome.
A “material fact” is one upon which the outcome of the case depends. All cases have immaterial facts and there does not have be agreement on those facts.
“A matter of law” means the legal issue has been decided in other cases and is well settled. Few cases are resolved in this manner because there are usually genuine disputes about material facts in the case.
Kristal M. Cowger, Attorney at Law
Blado Kiger Bolan, Tacoma, Wash.