|As The Institute's core programmatic initiative, the National Litigation Strategy Project (NLSP) aims to reform summary judgment practice in employment litigation so that individuals whose workplace rights are violated have their day in court and are able to exercise their right to a jury trial. Employment cases are disproportionately susceptible to being thrown out of court before trial due to the misuse or abuse of summary judgment.|
Through the NLSP, The Institute develops approaches for preventing summary judgment abuse in employment cases. Current activities include:
- Participating as amicus curiae (friend-of-the-court) in significant cases questioning unfair and/or unequal employment practices and laws.
- Producing model litigation resources for important issues affecting the ability of employees to vindicate their workplace rights.
- Publishing the "Summary Judgment Toolkit," a series of articles on legal strategies addressing obstacles that thwart individuals in enforcing their workplace rights in court.
- Providing technical assistance and support to employee rights advocates.
The Institute's work in this arena is guided by the NLSP Task Force, which includes members of the academic community, leaders of the plaintiffs' employment bar, and The Institute's staff.
Summary Judgment Reform: Increasing Awareness
The Institute's Summary Judgment Toolkit
Launched in 2010, The Institute's Summary Judgment Toolkit educates the judiciary and broader legal community about the need for summary judgment reform and supports employee rights advocates in defeating motions for summary judgment. By taking aim at the "problem doctrines"-common judicially imposed obstacles to workers enforcing their rights to a jury trial and a fair and just workplace-The Toolkit provides employee rights advocates with resources to help them to overcome the summary judgment hurdle and keep their clients' cases in court.
Top 10 Tips To Make Your Case "Summary Judgment Proof"
The Institute's Top 10 Tips To Make Your Case “Summary Judgment Proof” was compiled from presentations at the National Employment Lawyers Association's (NELA's) seminar, Surviving Summary Judgment In Employment Cases (October 2009); a plenary session at the 2010 NELA Annual Convention titled "The Institute's National Litigation Strategy Project: Reforming Summary Judgment Abuse" (June 2010); two panels at the 2011 NELA Annual Convention, "Lessons From The Professors: Defeating Summary Judgment & Enforcing The Right To Trial By Jury" and "Using Techniques From Other Areas Of The Law To ‘Prosecute' Employment Cases" (June 2011); and The Institute's Symposium, Trial By Jury Or Trial By Motion?: Summary Judgment, Iqbal, And Employment Discrimination (April 2012).
Trial By Jury Or Trial By Motion?: Summary Judgment, Iqbal, And Employment Discrimination
In April 2012, The Institute embraced its identity as the preeminent employee rights advocacy think tank when more than 150 employee rights practitioners, judges, and scholars joined The Institute at New York Law School for our first academic symposium,Trial By Jury Or Trial By Motion? Summary Judgment, Iqbal, And Employment Discrimination.
We dedicated the Symposium in memory of Professor Robert Belton, who passed away in February 2012. A founding member of the NLSP, Professor Belton was the inspiration for The Institute's Symposium and worked with us to make it a reality.