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Summary Judgment Motions in Employment Discrimination Cases: Procedural and Substantive Strategies

Pursuing or Defending Against Motions for Summary Judgment; Assessing Impact of Summary Judgment on Trial and Settlement Strategy

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Thursday, April 27, 2017

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will provide guidance to employment litigators for strategically pursuing or defending against summary judgment motions in employment discrimination cases. The panel will discuss considerations and best practices for drafting and arguing for or against summary judgment motions. The panel will also explain how summary judgment motions can impact trial strategy and settlement posture.


To help curtail costly discovery, substantial verdicts/judgments and exorbitant attorney’s fees, counsel representing employers in discrimination litigation often pursue summary judgment motions as a strategy to defeat claims early on. For plaintiffs’ counsel seeking damages on behalf of workers that suffered alleged discrimination, defeating a summary judgment motion is a critical juncture in employment discrimination cases.

Employment counsel must have an advanced understanding of summary judgment motions practice specific to employment discrimination cases. This includes being strategic about the timing of bringing a motion and the content of the motion. Counsel should weigh the risk of revealing important elements of a case that could impact trial and settlement outcomes in a summary judgment motion against the likelihood of success on the summary judgment motion.

Counsel should also take discovery and evidentiary issues into account when planning for summary judgment, including assessing the admissibility of evidence and determining whether to address such issues in the summary judgment motion.

Listen as our authoritative panel of employment litigators examines how to strategically raise or defeat summary judgment motions in employment discrimination cases. The panel will outline their perspectives and approaches to refine and improve summary judgment motion practice.



  1. Procedural framework for summary judgment motions
  2. Strategic considerations for employers’ counsel pursuing summary judgment in discrimination cases
    1. Summary judgment on liability only or damages only?
    2. Summary judgment on supplemental state claims?
    3. Timing of motion
    4. Content of motion
    5. Discovery and evidentiary considerations
  3. Strategic considerations for plaintiffs’ counsel defending against summary judgment in discrimination cases


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • What is the procedural framework for pursuing summary judgment motions?
  • What strategic considerations should employers’ counsel take into account when evaluating whether and when to file a summary judgment motion?
  • What are some best practices when drafting summary judgment motions in employment discrimination actions?
  • What strategies have been effective for plaintiffs' counsel to defeat motions for summary judgment in employment discrimination cases?


Shea, Robin
Robin E. Shea

Constangy Brooks Smith & Prophete

Ms. Shea has more than 20 years' experience in employment litigation, including Title VII and the Age...  |  Read More

A. Jonathan Trafimow
A. Jonathan Trafimow

Moritt Hock & Hamroff

Mr. Trafimow chairs the Firm's Employment Law Practice Group and co-chairs the Firm's Cybersecurity...  |  Read More

Jordan M. Kam
Jordan M. Kam

The Roth Law Firm

Mr. Kam focuses his practice in business, employment, and securities litigation. Through his diverse experience, he...  |  Read More

Lawrence M. Pearson
Lawrence M. Pearson


Mr. Pearson represents both individuals and corporate clients in legal matters involving discrimination, retaliation,...  |  Read More

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