Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
A court order ruling that certain factual issues are already determined prior to trial, based on a motion by one of the parties, supported by evidence, contending that these issues are settled and need not be tried. For example, in a car accident case there might be overwhelming and uncontradicted evidence of the defendant's carelessness, but conflicting evidence as to the extent of the plaintiff's injuries. The plaintiff might ask for summary adjudication on the issue of carelessness, but go to trial on the question of injuries. If there is any question as to whether there is conflict on the facts on an issue, the summary adjudication must be denied regarding that matter.