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Messages - Beatnik

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I know this would make more sense in the current students side of the board, but since all the smart people seem to have stayed on this side, I'm throwing it here.

So let's have 'em... stuff that's been bothering you in class, but your prof is unable/unwilling to explain it properly....  here's mine: what's the difference between a motion for summary judgment (R. 56) and a motion for judgment as a matter of law (R. 50a)?  Is the only difference the stage in the trial when you can file them?

PS--also, which 1L cases would make the best Halloween costume?  We're having a dress-up party next week  ;)

In answer to your query: basically, yes.  A motion for summary judgment under rule 56 is brought before the trial begins, usually after discovery, but sometimes after the pleadings have been filed, depending on the circumstances (i.e., if the defendant seeks to bring any other facts not included in the complaint to the attention of the court which entitle him to judgment as a matter of law; if there are no disputed issues of fact and the issue is a purely legal one, etc.).  A motion for judgment as a matter of law, however, is brought after the trial has begun (there used to be 2 separate names governing situations where the motion was brought before or after the jury had rendered a verdict - directed verdict vs. j.n.o.v. - but the Federal Rules consolidate both scenarios under the heading "judgment as a matter of law").

Other than this, the only other difference between the two is the basis for the judge's decision.  Though the standard is essentially the same (whether the evidence viewed in the light most favorable to the non-moving party shows the non-existence of any genuine issue of material fact, such that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law), the judge considering a motion for summary judgment is supposed to look at the pleadings, the admissible evidence unearthed during discovery, together with any affidavits, if any, to see whether a reasonable jury could decide the case only one way.  By contrast, a judge considering a motion for judgment as a matter of law is supposed to consider the evidence presented to the jury thus far AT TRIAL in making his decision, whether a reasonable jury could decide the case in only one way or not.

If any of this is mistaken, or if I've left something really important out, I have no doubt that other current law students will jump in to correct me.  But I think this is right (from what I recall of Civil Procedure) and hope it answers the question.  Next!

Thanks JD

As I understand it, one practical consideration re. the before/after jury verdict distinction on jml is: If you move for a jml before the case goes to the jury, the judge likely will not grant it -- b/c the jury's verdict may make the need for it obsolete.  BUT, in order to get a jml/jnov after the jury verdict you must have first moved for it before the case went to the jury.

Incoming 1Ls / Re: Pre-nups, yay or nay?
« on: April 20, 2006, 07:18:51 AM »
It was more of a general conversation which ended with, "I think  you're going to run into some problems with that idea."

All of the girls I were with last night said they would never sign them and that to do so is pessimistic and sets a negative tone for a marriage.

I don't think the difference of opinion can be generalized to gender.  My guess is it has to do with their net worth relative to who they envision themselves marrying.  If they were likely to marry men compared to whom they have significantly more assets they'd probably see more value in a prenup.

Is this supposed to be hard?    :)

Incoming 1Ls / .
« on: April 04, 2006, 12:23:00 PM »

Choosing the Right Law School / withdrew from Fordham
« on: April 03, 2006, 09:26:20 AM »
Good luck to everyone who is still awaiting a decision from them.

General Off-Topic Board / Re: Calling all NYers (and soon to be NYers)
« on: March 24, 2006, 04:42:05 PM »
Darn those blackouts.

It's the best little burger shack in Manhattan - in Madison Square park at 23rd & Madison.  See you in line.  ;D

General Off-Topic Board / Calling all NYers (and soon to be NYers)
« on: March 24, 2006, 04:23:41 PM »
If, like me, you were bemoaning winter not only for its dark and frigid days but also for the temporary loss of the best hamburgers on the island... dispel your sadness; the Shake Shack is open again!!!
 ;D ;D ;D

This concludes my public service announcement.

Murphy's Law School

I saw this article and thought other people debating NYU vs. Columbia would be interested...

Law School Admissions / Re: Root-Tilden-Kern
« on: March 13, 2006, 03:10:38 PM »
Congrats to all you guys on getting an interview, and good luck!!   :)

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