preverdict judgment of the court in response to a
motion by plaintiff or defendant, rendered when the court perceives that only
questions of law are in dispute, or that the court's decision must be the same regardlesss of which party's
version of the facts is accepted. It is a device designed to effect a prompt disposition of controversies on their merits without resort
to a lengthy trial.
EXAMPLE: Dale erects a structure on his property that almost completely blocks the sun from the pool area that his neighbor just built, and the neighbor sues Dale to remove the structure. Dale and the neighbor agree on that set of facts. The only question is whether Dale may do as he wants, which in his instance is a question of law. Both parties, therefore, seek a summary judgment supporting their respective positions.
see directed verdict
Source: Barron's Dictionary of Legal Terms, Steven H. Gifis, 5th Edition; © 2016