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  • Writer's picturePeter Lamont, Esq.

Opposing a Motion for Summary Judgment

Updated: May 1

Tips for Opposing a Motion for Summary Judgment

Opposing a Motion for Summary Judgement


So, you've found yourself on the receiving end of a summary judgment motion, and you're wondering how to keep your case alive. Don't throw in the towel just yet! With a little know-how and some strategic maneuvering, you can mount a strong opposition and convince the judge that your case deserves its day in court.

Understanding Summary Judgment

The first step in fighting back against summary judgment is to understand what you're up against. Essentially, the other side is arguing that there are no real disputes about the key facts of the case, and that they're entitled to win as a matter of law. Your job is to poke holes in that argument and show the judge that there are genuine issues that need to be resolved at trial.

Strategies for Opposing Summary Judgment

  1. Finding Disputed Facts: Scour the record for disputed facts. Your best friend in this situation is evidence that contradicts the other side's version of events. Look for documents, testimony, or other materials that create a genuine dispute about the facts that matter. The more you can show that the case isn't as clear-cut as your opponent suggests, the better your chances of surviving summary judgment.

  2. Challenging the Legal Basis: Attack the legal basis for the motion. Even if the facts are largely undisputed, you may be able to argue that the other side is wrong about the law. Look for cases or statutes that support your position, and explain why they should control the outcome here. If you can convince the judge that there are legal questions that need to be resolved, you may be able to keep your case alive.

  3. Emphasizing Credibility and Intent: Highlight issues of credibility or intent. In some cases, the key disputes may not be about what happened but about why it happened or what someone was thinking at the time. If there are questions of motive, intent, or credibility that need to be resolved, you can argue that those issues are best left to a jury to sort out.

  4. Leveraging the Standard of Review: Use the standard of review to your advantage. Remember, on a summary judgment motion, the judge is required to view the evidence in the light most favorable to the non-moving party (that's you!). Emphasize the facts and inferences that support your case, and argue that any doubts or close calls should be resolved in your favor.

  5. Crafting a Persuasive Narrative: Tell a compelling story. At the end of the day, your opposition is a piece of persuasive writing, and it needs to be engaging and convincing. Use storytelling techniques to make your case come alive, and focus on the human impact of the issues at stake. The more you can make the judge care about your side of the story, the better your chances of winning the day.


Opposing a summary judgment motion can feel like an uphill battle, but with the right strategies and a little bit of grit, you can give yourself a fighting chance. Remember, it's all about showing the judge that there are real disputes that need to be resolved, and that your case deserves its moment in the spotlight. So dig deep, get creative, and go out there and make the best case you can!



How do I find disputed facts to oppose a summary judgment motion?

A5: Thoroughly review all the evidence in the case, including documents, depositions, and affidavits. Look for evidence that contradicts the moving party's version of events or raises questions about the credibility of their witnesses.

Can I challenge the legal basis for a summary judgment motion?

Yes, even if the facts are undisputed, you can argue that the moving party is not entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Look for cases or statutes that support your position and explain why they should control the outcome of the motion.

How important is storytelling in opposing a summary judgment motion?

Storytelling is crucial in persuasive legal writing, including opposition to summary judgment motions. Use narrative techniques to make your case engaging and compelling, focusing on the human impact of the issues at stake.

What happens if the court grants a summary judgment motion?

If the court grants a summary judgment motion, the case or the specific issues raised in the motion will be decided in favor of the moving party without a full trial. This can result in the dismissal of the entire case or the narrowing of the issues to be decided at trial.

Can I appeal a summary judgment decision?

Sometimes, a summary judgment decision is appealable. If you believe the court erred in granting summary judgment, you can file an appeal to a higher court to review the decision.

Should I seek legal advice when facing a summary judgment motion?

Yes, it is highly recommended to consult with an experienced attorney when facing a summary judgment motion. An attorney can help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your case, develop effective strategies for opposing the motion, and present your arguments persuasively to the court.


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For detailed insights and legal assistance on topics discussed in this post, including litigation, contact the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont at our Bergen County Office. We're here to answer your questions and provide legal advice. Contact us at (201) 904-2211 or email us at

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About Peter J. Lamont, Esq.

Peter J. Lamont is a nationally recognized attorney with significant experience in business, contract, litigation, and real estate law. With over two decades of legal practice, he has represented a wide array of businesses, including large international corporations. Peter is known for his practical legal and business advice, prioritizing efficient and cost-effective solutions for his clients.

Peter has an Avvo 10.0 Rating and has been acknowledged as one of America's Most Honored Lawyers since 2011. 201 Magainze and Lawyers of Distinction have also recognized him for being one of the top business and litigation attorneys in New Jersey. His commitment to his clients and the legal community is further evidenced by his active role as a speaker, lecturer, and published author in various legal and business publications.

As the founder of the Law Offices of Peter J. Lamont, Peter brings his Wall Street experience and client-focused approach to New Jersey, offering personalized legal services that align with each client's unique needs and goals​.


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