Image of Can a court grant summary judgment in a discrimination case prior to discovery?

Can a court grant summary judgment in a discrimination case prior to discovery?

 

As a general rule, summary judgment is appropriate only “after adequate time for discovery.” Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986). “[S]ummary judgment [must] be refused where the nonmoving party has not had the opportunity to discover information that is essential to [her] opposition.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 250 n.5 (1986).

A party opposing summary judgment at an early stage of a case should show in a Rule 56(d) affidavit specific reasons why it cannot present facts essential to justify its position without discovery.  Relief under Rule 56(d) is “broadly favored and should be liberally granted in order to protect non-moving parties from premature summary judgment motions.” McCray v. Md. Dep’t of Transp., 741 F.3d 480, 484 (4th Cir. 2014) (internal quotation marks omitted).

Maryland Washington DC Virginia Employment Lawyers

best sexual harassment attorneys Washington DC Maryland VirginiaHiring a proven and effective advocate is critical to obtaining the maximum recovery in a discrimination case.  Eric Bachman, Chair of the Firm’s Discrimination Practice, has substantial experience litigating precedent-setting individual and class action discrimination cases.  His wins include a $100 million settlement in a disparate impact Title VII class action and a $16 million class action settlement against a major grocery chain.  And his experience as a public defender enables him to feel at home in any courtroom and communicate effectively with the jury.

Having served as Special Litigation Counsel in the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice and as lead or co-counsel in numerous jury trials, Bachman is trial-tested and ready to fight for you to obtain the relief that you deserve.  As editor of the Glass Ceiling Discrimination blog, Bachman writes frequently on topics related to promotion discrimination, harassment, and other employment discrimination issues.

U.S. News and Best Lawyers® have named Zuckerman Law a Tier 1 firm in Litigation – Labor and Employment in the Washington DC metropolitan area.  Contact us today to find out how we can help you.  To schedule a preliminary consultation, click here or call us at (202) 769-1681.

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Jason Zuckerman, Principal of Zuckerman Law, litigates whistleblower retaliation, qui tam, wrongful discharge, and other employment-related claims. He is rated 10 out of 10 by Avvo, was recognized by Washingtonian magazine as a “Top Whistleblower Lawyer” in 2015 and selected by his peers to be included in The Best Lawyers in America® and in SuperLawyers.