A dispositive motion requests the trial court to dispose of one or more claim or defense in favor of the moving party without further proceedings. When properly made and presented, these motions play a very important role in civil cases because they can save clients, the court, and lawyers years of uncertainty, effort, and expense. Even though dispositive motions are essential ingredients in a winning litigation strategy, many lawyers are their own worst enemies when it comes to making or defending them. The goal of this course is (1) to acquaint the students with the purpose of the more frequently used dispositive motions, (2) to review the proper process for preparing and defending these motions and associated papers, (3) to discuss the standards trial courts use to decide these motions, and (4) to review the appealability of orders granting or denying these motions. The course will focus on motions for a judgment on the pleadings, motions to dismiss for failure to state a claim upon which relief can be granted, motions for involuntary dismissal, and motions for summary judgment. Other dispositive motions may be addressed as well.
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