If you can avoid a trial, we highly recommend doing so. Many cases are terminated before trial for a variety of reasons:
- At any time before the case goes to trial, the parties can agree to a settlement, which ends the lawsuit.
- Many states require mediation before a suit goes to trial. If mediation is successful, no trial will be necessary.
- Anti-SLAPP legislation may provide a mechanism for terminating a frivolous lawsuit. See Recovering Your Costs
- A motion to dismiss is usually filed early in the process and asks the court to terminate the suit on technical grounds. Perhaps the statute of limitations has expired, or the complaint doesn’t assert any actionable claims. This is a fairly rare outcome.
- A motion for summary judgment is filed after discovery is complete. It argues that all relevant facts have been established and the outcome of the trial is not in doubt. If the motion succeeds, the judge can issue a judgment without a trial.