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Definition of Motion

Motions are verbal or written requests made before, during or after a trial to the court so the court can issue an order. The two most common pre-trial motions are the Motions to Dismiss and Motions for Summary Judgment. The motion to dismiss asks the court to dismiss the case against the defendant because the plaintiff has not provided enough evidence that they are entitled to legal relief from the defendant. The Motion for Summary Judgment can be requested by either party when the facts of the case are not disputed and the parties want the case decided prior to trial on the merits of the case. If, however, there are facts which can be disputed then the judge will deny the motion and the case can be brought to court and heard by a jury or judge.

After the trial several motions can also be filed. For instance, the losing party can file a motion for a new trial if they believe there were legal errors. This motion can be denied or granted by the presiding judge. A Motion for Judgment Notwithstanding the Verdict can also be filed by either party after the jury's verdict. The judge can accept or reject this motion. The judge will accept this motion, which allows them to rule in favor of the losing party, if they believe the evidence does not support the jury's decision.

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