In modern civil litigation, disputes rarely proceed to trial. Summary judgment has evolved in state and federal courts across the country as a common mechanism for dispute resolution without trial. Alaska courts have largely refused to follow this trend. Instead, obtaining summary judgment in Alaska represents a nearly impossible challenge. Alaska’s heightened summary judgment standard reflects a past era—one in which advocacy occurred in a courtroom before a jury and not in chambers on paper. This Note analyzes the evolution of summary judgment in federal courts and in Alaska and discusses three procedural mechanisms affecting summary judgment in Alaska. After assessing arguments for and against modernizing Alaska’s summary judgment standard, this Note concludes with a recommendation: Alaska should adopt the reasonable jury summary judgment standard.

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