The Litigation Process: Making a Motion for Summary Judgment

Serving clients throughout New Jersey

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As the South Jersey Dog Bite Lawyer, attorney David J. Cowhey knows that, more often than not, dog bite cases are won outside the courtroom.  This is why in many of the dog attack claims that he handles, he makes filing a Motion for Summary Judgment a top priority.  Simply put, a Motion for Summary Judgment in a dog bite case is a request made by a plaintiff's attorney for the presiding trial judge that has been assigned to the case to settle the issues of liability (the extent to which the dog's owner was negligent in failing to properly confine or restrain their dog prior to the attack) and/or "proximate causation" (the extent to which the dog owner's negligence helped cause the attack) even before the case goes to trial.  Mr. Cowhey, when he makes such a Motion, is asking the trial judge to decide, as a matter of law, on the issues of liability and/or causation in favor of you, the plaintiff/dog bite victim.  In preparing the Motion, Mr. Cowhey may utilize (in addition to the relevant pleadings, answers to interrogatories, and expert reports) defendant's answers to Requests for Admissions, i.e. responses in the affirmative as to whether or not a) the defendant owned the dog at the time of the attack; b) the plaintiff was bitten by the dog owned by the defendant; c) as a result of the attack, the plaintiff sustained an injury, and d) the plaintiff was legally on the premises where they were bitten and did nothing to provoke the dog in any way prior to being bitten.  This helps the judge to make a decision on the issues of liability and proximate causation.  Any case in which the defense is willing to stipulate that the plaintiff's claim satisfies the requirements of the New Jersey Dog Bite Statute should warrant a favorable ruling on a Motion for Summary Judgment.  If a favorable ruling on the Motion is obtained, the only issue that will go before a jury at the trial of your dog bite case will be the "quantum of damages," or monetary amount, to be awarded to you, the dog bite victim, for your injuries.  In choosing an attorney to represent you for your dog bite injuries, make sure that you select one that gives you the best chance of receiving a favorable outcome by putting the issues of liability and proximate causation to rest before your case is even tried.  Call the South Jersey Dog BIte Lawyer, David J. Cowhey, today at (609) 653-9200 or on our 24/7 Attorney Hotline at (609) 513-0627 for a free consultation.