Dispositive Motions

What are Dispositive Motions?

A dispositive motion is a written legal document that asks the court to dispose of all or some of the claims in favor of the moving party so that there will no need for further court proceedings considering all or part those claims.

What are the Types of Dispositive Motions, and Why Are They Important?

There are two main types of dispositive motions. The first major type of dispositive motion is a motion to dismiss. Such motions are typically filed at the initial stages of the court proceedings. The purpose of a motion to dismiss is to examine the allegations of the complaint and whether those allegations state a plausible claims for relief. A common way of understanding the motion to dismiss is to ask the judge if the other party has enough factual content to support their allegation to state a claim under the law, and whether there is a recognizable remedy under the law. If the answer to this question is yes, then the case will proceed, and the motion will be denied. Motions to dismiss may also challenge the court’s jurisdiction over the case, whether the venue is proper, or if the proper local or federal rules of procedure were followed in filing the complaint. If the Complaint is deficient in any of these ways, the Motion to Dismiss may be granted.

The second type of dispositive motion is called a summary judgment motion. It is different from a motion to dismiss because a summary judgment motion takes into account evidence and facts gathered throughout the discovery phase, and determines whether there is any genuine issue of material fact that needs to be resolved at trial, or whether the case can be decided based on the material facts and information developed during the discovery process. A persuasive summary judgment motion can convince the judge that there is no evidence to support the movant’s case and can cut short any chance at trial the opposing party may have.

What is the Role of Legal Consulting in Filing Dispositive Motions?

Dispositive motions can make or break a case, and ultimately decide whether the claims brought forth by a party will continue to be heard by the Court. Dispositive motions, or responses to dispositive motions, can only be successful when supported with evidence, facts, and persuasive and easily digestible arguments, prepared with the adjudicator or decision maker in mind. Every legal case is unique, and it is better when it is handled by an attorney who understands the factual background of the case, and legal burdens of proof that must be properly pled to persuade the court to rule in favor a party’s dispositive motion.