In employment litigation in federal court (let’s leave state court out of this discussion — it’s a whole different animal), filing a motion for summary judgment is seen by employers as their last, best chance to win a case before the matter is sent to a jury. After all, if the court grants the motion, a jury never sees the case and the case effectively ends (subject to an appeal).

Over the years, there have been various decisions that have suggested that summary judgments should be more of the exception rather than the rule.   Nevertheless, summary judgment still remains a tool that employers have in their toolbox  to defend against discrimination claims.

But besides the rules and the decisions that guide how courts should rule on such motions,  who judges the matter also plays a role in the ultimate outcome. As discussed below, this is important for employers and in-house counsel to understand when litigating discrimination claims.

Two recent decisions by two Connecticut federal judges illustrate that point.  In one case, Judge Vanessa Bryant granted an employer’s motion for summary judgment in a fairly short decision involving a Title VII claim . In another, Judge Christopher Droney denied an employer’s motion for summary judgment on the Title VII claims. Continue Reading A Tale of Two Summary Judgments: Looking at How Federal Judges May View Cases With a Different Lens

A few days ago, I noted that the new District Court of Connecticut website now posts the federal judge’s Chambers Practices online.  For employment law practitioners, two of the judge’s chambers practices refer to the judge’s views on discrimination cases and the use or overuse of dispositive motions on such claims.

Judge Alvin Thompson and Judge Christopher

Since many employment law cases are tried in federal courts, intimate knowledge of the way the Court works is one way for practitioners and clients to overcome potential hurdles. Looking at the District Court of Connecticut’s website did not provide many answers and thus, those who practiced in federal court frequently often had the upper hand on