Saturday, April 11, 2009

Back To Blogging; Summary Judgment and Stuff

I've been preoccupied these past several days helping my attorneys on my own case. Both sides have moved for summary judgment regarding the lawsuit that resulted in my "resignation" as manager of the Title Insurance Division.

I've never understand the emphasis on summary judgment in federal court. The idea of summary judgment is to resolve legal issues where the facts are undisputed. Summary judgment is supposed to save time, to short circuit a lengthy, costly trial. But for those of use who practice in federal court, responding or moving for summary judgment seems almost as time consuming as just simply taking the case to a jury. Summary judgment in federal court has almost become a mini-trial where both parties lay their evidence on the table and the judge decides.

Most of my experience has been in Indiana courts, including a 3 1/2 year stint clerking for a judge on the Indiana Court of Appeals. Unlike in federal court, in state courts you rarely see cases decided on summary judgment. When state courts do dispose of cases on summary judgment, they are often, if not usually, reversed on appeal. When I was at the Court of Appeals, I bet we reversed more than half of the cases where judges granted summary judgment. You certainly don't see that reversal rate from the 7th Circuit.

Hopefully I can get caught up on politics this weekend. I hear the Mayor is coming out with a CIB bailout plan. Can't wait to hear it.

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