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Pretrial Conference

A pretrial conference sets the ground rules for trial. 

If your divorce case is contested and you were not able to settle your case through negations or at mediation, your case will likely go to trial to have the judge resolve the issues that the parties cannot agree on. Nevertheless, before trial takes place, there will typically be a pretrial conference. The court may order a pretrial conference itself or may grant the motion of either party requesting a pretrial conference.

What does a Pretrial Conference Determine?

A pretrial conference sets the ground rules for trial. At a pretrial conference the following shall be considered and/or determined:

  1. proposed stipulations (agreements or acknowledgments by both parties) and the simplification of the issues;
  2. the necessity or desirability of amendments to the complaint, answer and other pleadings;
  3. the possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and of documents that will avoid unnecessary proof;
  4. the limitation of the number of expert witnesses; and
  5. any other matters that may be discussed at case management conferences including but not limited to:
    • Schedule or reschedule of motions, pleadings and other documents
    • Set or reset the time of trials
    • Limit schedule or expedite discovery
    • Schedule to hear motions related to admission or exclusion of evidence
    • Pursue any possibilities of settlement

Notice

20 days' notice shall be given for a pretrial conference. On failure of a party to attend a conference, the court may dismiss the action, strike the pleadings, limit proof or witnesses, or take any other appropriate action. Any documents that the court requires for any conference shall be specified in the order.

 Practice Pointer - Attend your Pretrial Conference!

Please note that if you fail to attend your pretrial conference, the court may dismiss the action, strike the pleadings, limit proof or witnesses, or take any other appropriate action. Accordingly, failing to attend a pretrial conference can severely hinder your chances at trial.

Pretrial Order

After the pretrial conference, the court must make a pretrial order reciting the action taken at a conference and any stipulations made. The order shall control the subsequent course of the action through trial unless modified to prevent injustice.

Locations

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