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No-Evidence Summary Judgments in Texas

Litigation-imagesSounds pretty cool, right? No evidence and Summary Judgment together is a pretty awesome phrase. Say that at dinner parties and ears will perk. But make sure you know what it means before you start throwing that phrase out there. If you want to know what it means or how to get one, you’re in luck. I have the information you seek.

The standard for a no-evidence summary judgment in Texas is found under Rule 166(a)(i) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure and states as follows:

(i) No-Evidence Motion. After adequate time for discovery, a party without presenting summary judgment evidence may move for summary judgment on the ground that there is no evidence of one or more essential elements of a claim or defense on which an adverse party would have the burden of proof at trial. The motion must state the elements as to which there is no evidence. The court must grant the motion unless the respondent produces summary judgment evidence raising a genuine issue of material fact.

The key phrase is found at the end: genuine issue of material fact. If you file a no-evidence motion for summary judgment, there must be no genuine issue of material fact as well as no evidence to support the opposing parties claims. Why? Because if the opposing party has failed to present any evidence of their claims then there can be no evidence to support their claims. If they respond to the motion and present evidence of a genuine issue of material fact, then they have also presented evidence. Thereby causing the no-evidence motion to fail because there is evidence. Simple.

Attorneys and clients alike should be wary of actually using the no-evidence motion for summary judgment simply because Courts in Texas are not inclined to deny a person their day in court, i.e. grant a motion for no-evidence summary judgment. Instead, you may just decide to set the case for trial and hope your determination that there is no evidence is correct.

Now, I know that the legal standard does not allow a judge to make a decision based solely in the interests of justice, however a Court can find a genuine issue of material fact where they are more inclined to find one. So, if you decide to utilize this procedural tool, make sure your case and your motion are air-tight, the opposing party has already found ways to upset the court, or you are simply using it as a means to control the flow and outcome of the case and limiting the issues presented at trial.

There are valid reasons for using no-evidence motions that are not simply to create more litigation, but know that no-evidence summary judgment motions should be utilized only when the facts of the case call for it. If you are involved in a lawsuit in the Kaufman, Rockwall, and Dallas areas and need competent legal representation to present or defend your case, you need to speak with the experienced legal team of Guest and Gray, P.C.

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If you have involved in a legal dispute in Dallas, Rockwall, or Kaufman, you need to competent legal representation. Guest and Gray, P.C. has the experience and knowledge to guide you through this difficult time and help you obtain the best possible outcome in your case.

Don’t call just any law firm to guide you through the courts. When you hire an attorney from Guest and Gray, P.C., you not only get an attorney assigned to your case, but you get a knowledgeable and caring support staff. Dealing with injuries or the loss of a loved one is stressful enough. Don’t waste your time having to hassle with your legal team. Call the law firm that cares. Call Guest and Gray, P.C. at 972-564-4644