Keynote: Before and After the Summary Judgment Trilogy

17 Pages Posted: 15 Nov 2011 Last revised: 19 Jan 2013

See all articles by Suja A. Thomas

Suja A. Thomas

University of Illinois College of Law

Date Written: April 11, 2012


In this keynote speech for the Seattle University School of Law Colloquium on the 25th Anniversary of the Summary Judgment Trilogy: Reflections on Summary Judgment, Professor Suja Thomas discusses access to courts and juries before and after the summary judgment trilogy. Following up on debate in the academic literature on the effect of the trilogy on summary judgment, Professor Thomas explores influences on the trilogy and influences of the trilogy outside of summary judgment. She first describes Supreme Court decisions on judgment notwithstanding the verdict, remittitur, and the directed verdict, which helped set the stage for the trilogy. She then explores access after the trilogy. Professor Thomas describes how access to courts and juries continued to decline through the Supreme Court’s decisions on arbitration and the motion to dismiss. Professor Thomas gives all of these procedures some context by showing their effect on one class of factually intensive cases — employment discrimination cases. She concludes by introducing the concept of “the Other Branch” and states that access to courts and juries can possibly increase if the jury is viewed in this manner.

Keywords: trilogy, summary judgment, motion to dismiss, remittitur, arbitration, judgment as a matter of law, directed verdict, jury, trials

JEL Classification: Zoo

Suggested Citation

Thomas, Suja A., Keynote: Before and After the Summary Judgment Trilogy (April 11, 2012). Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, Vol. 43, 2012, Illinois Public Law Research Paper No. 11-08, Available at SSRN:

Suja A. Thomas (Contact Author)

University of Illinois College of Law ( email )

504 E. Pennsylvania Avenue
Champaign, IL 61820
United States

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