In a case closely watched by the civil attorneys, the U.S. Supreme Court said Thursday that litigants challenging “purely legal” questions decided at summary judgment need not file a motion raising the issue after trial in order to obtain appellate review.

Writing for the unanimous court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett said the U.S. Court of Appeals for Fourth Circuit was on the wrong side of a circuit split when it said a Maryland corrections officer held liable for assaulting an inmate could not make a claim on appeal because he failed to raise his legal argument in a Rule 50 post-trial motion.