Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Summary Judgments - What Are They?

In law, a summary judgment is a judgment entered by a court for one party and against another party without a full trial. Either party can request the court (e.g. the Board of Contract Appeals) for a summary judgment and often times, both parties will make cross-motions for a summary judgment.

In the context of ASBCA (Armed Services Board of Contract Appeals) and civilian agencies Boards of Contract Appeals, motions for summary judgement are evaluated under well-settled standards.

First, summary judgments are properly granted only where there is no genuine issue of material fact and the party that requests the summary judgment is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.

Second, the moving party bears the burden of establishing the absence of any genuine issue of material fact and all significant doubt over factual issues must be resolved in favor of the party opposing summary judgement.

Third, in the course of the Board's evaluation of a motion for summary judgment, its role is not to weigh the evidence and determine the truth of the matter, but rather to ascertain whether material facts are disputed and whether there exists any genuine issue for trial. A material fact is defined as one which may make a difference in the outcome of the case.

Fourth, the opposing party must assert facts sufficient to show a dispute of material fact. To ward off summary judgment, the non-moving party must do more than make mere allegations, it must assert facts sufficient to show a dispute of material fact.

Once these four standards are met, the Board can and does render summary judgments.

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