What to say at a pretrial conference


During the pretrial conference, the judge will want to meet with both plaintiff’s and defense counsel prior to the start of the case to address issues such as the potential for settlement, exhibits to be offered, witness testimony, including expert witnesses, and whether there are any pretrial motions which need to be discussed and ruled on before the case is argued before a jury.


How to prepare for a pretrial conference?

Preparing for Your Pretrial Conference 1. Call Your Attorney. 2. Write a Journal of Key Events About Your Case. 3. Review the Police Report for Accuracy. 4. Research How a Criminal Conviction Will Impact You or Your Career. 5. Bring Your Calendar.

Can I represent myself at a pretrial hearing?

Although it is possible to represent yourself at a pretrial hearing, due to the amount of complex legal matters discussed and ruled upon at the pretrial hearing, it is important to have an attorney familiar with the pretrial proceeding. If you do not have an attorney present, you may worsen your position for the trial of your case.

Who are the parties involved in a pretrial hearing?

The parties involved may include the plaintiff and their attorney, the defendant and their attorney, and the judge or magistrate. At times, other parties may be included, as well. Pretrial hearings help to clear up any issues and administrative details that can be handled prior to trial,…


What is included in a criminal pre trial conference?

This will include the police report, a list of the defendant’s prior offenses, if any, and any other evidence the prosecution intends to introduce.

What to expect at a pre trial?

What to Expect at a Criminal Pre-Trial Conference. A pre-trial conference is a critical step in any criminal case. It comes after a criminal defendant has been arraigned, but before the case goes to trial. The goal of the pre-trial conference is to bring the prosecutor and the defense attorney together to explore possibilities …

How to evaluate the possibility of resolving a case without going to trial?

To realistically evaluate the possibilities of resolving the case without going to trial, both the prosecutor and the defense attorney need to have a good understanding of what the defendant is accused of and the evidence that the prosecutor will use to try to convict the defendant. To realistically evaluate the possibilities …

What is plea bargaining?

A plea bargain generally involves the defendant agreeing to plead guilty or no contest to an offense that is less severe than what they were charged with. Most people see plea bargaining as benefiting everyone involved: the prosecutor gets a conviction, albeit for a lesser charge, and the defendant receives a charge and sentence that is less severe than what they were originally facing and will have less of an impact on their life and their future.

Why is a plea of not guilty a lighter sentence?

A defendant who enters a plea of guilty or no contest this early in the proceedings will often receive a lighter sentence because the defendant will have made clear to the judge that they acknowledge their wrongdoing and do not wish to waste the court’s time. If the defendant enters a plea of not guilty, the case will be scheduled …

How do lawyers place a plea bargain on the record?

If there is a plea bargain, the lawyers will tell the court of the resolution and place the plea on the record by stating the terms of the resolution in open court. If a motion hearing is necessary, the lawyers will advise the court of the status of any pre-trial motions and request a date for a hearing on those and other issues.

What to do if you are charged with a crime in Michigan?

If you have been charged with a crime in Ann Arbor or anywhere in southern Michigan, you should contact an experienced criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. You need experienced legal representation at the pre-trial conference, and at all phases of the criminal process.

What documents should be brought to a pretrial conference?

Documents that should be brought to the pretrial conference include the original Summons and Complaint, the Answer, copies of any motions or other legal documents received from the court or from the opposition, and any other documents pertinent to the case. No witnesses or actual physical evidence should be brought to the conference.

Why is it important to have a game plan for a pretrial conference?

Because one of the purposes of the pretrial conference is to determine whether the matter can be settled without going to trial, it is important to have a game plan. How much it is likely to cost to continue to trial versus what it will cost to settle at the pretrial conference is a vital consideration for both parties.

Why do civil lawsuits balloon?

Civil lawsuits often balloon as the parties rush to file pleadings at the beginning of the suit. Pretrial conferences help the court: At the end of a pretrial conference, the judge issues an order reflecting the results of the conference, which controls the course of the case from that point forward.

What is a court conference?

Noun. An informal conference held at court during which the parties, their attorneys, and the judge spell out the issues of the case. Often the judge encourages the parties to work toward a settlement in a civil lawsuit.

What is a pretrial motion?

Pretrial motions – any motions to be determined prior to trial, such as barring certain witnesses, suppressing evidence, or a motion for summary judgment. Follow up on outstanding discovery – discovery requested by either party to which no response has been provided.

What are the legal issues?

Related Legal Terms and Issues 1 Frivolous – Something of little importance, or which has no sound basis in fact or law. 2 Summary Judgment – A final decision on the case, handed down by the judge on the basis of the statements and evidence presented, without a full trial. 3 Expert Witness – A witness possessing training, education, skill, or experience in a specific subject, that is beyond that of the average person, who is allowed to give an opinion at trial.

What are the issues brought up at a conference?

Issues brought up at the conference may include: Triable issues – any issues or facts that remain in dispute. Issues not in dispute – any issues or facts that have been agreed to by the parties. What witnesses will be presented – a list of all witnesses each party intends to have testify.

What is a pretrial conference?

In summary, a pretrial conference is simply a meeting with your attorney and the prosecutor. Ensuring you and your attorney communicate clearly and are on the same page will allow that meeting to go as smoothly as possible, improving the chances for a favorable outcome in your criminal case.

How to prepare for a pretrial conference in Mohave County?

The following are some steps you can take to prepare for a pretrial conference scheduled in a Mohave County municipal or justice court. 1. Call Your Attorney. You don’t have to wait until the day of the pretrial conference to begin discussing your case with your attorney.

What to do after being arrested?

It is a good idea to jot down what happened after you are arrested or accused of committing a crime. Where the incident occurred, which witnesses were present, statements you made, statements that were made by the officer, and a timeline of events are all details that are important to assess your case. You need to be able to recall these key facts and provide them to your attorney. Do not rely solely on the version of events given by the police. The ability to recall little details when discussing your case with your attorney can sometimes be the difference between a favorable or unfavorable outcome.

Can you get a copy of the police report before a pretrial?

If you are able to get in touch with your attorney before the pretrial conference (some attorneys and public defenders are harder to get a hold of than others), they may be able to provide a copy of the police reports generated for your case ahead of time .

Who is included in a pretrial hearing?

The defendant and their attorney; and. The judge or the magistrate presiding over the case. Other parties may be included in pretrial hearings, due to the fact that these meetings are intended to help clear up any issues and administrative details that can be handled prior to the actual trial.

Why is it important to be present at a pretrial hearing?

As a defendant it is important to be present at the pretrial hearing in order to cross examine the prosecution’s witnesses and help develop defenses and put yourself in a better position for plea negotiations.

What is a pretrial motion?

Additionally, all pretrial motions will be heard by the Court, which typically includes motions to exclude or admit to evidence. Further, the defense may also file a pretrial motion to dismiss the entirety of the prosecution’s case against the defendant. Defendants will need to be present.

What rules do judges set for a trial?

First, the judge may establish some basic rules regarding how the case is to proceed, as well as set a schedule for the trial and any other pretrial matters. Second, the parties may argue over what evidence should or should not be included at trial, as well as whether specific witnesses should be used at the trial.

What is a pre trial hearing?

The term “pretrial hearing” refers to a meeting between the parties involved in a legal dispute. This meeting occurs prior to the beginning of the trial, after being served with a lawsuit. The parties involved in the meeting may include: The judge or the magistrate presiding over the case.

Can a defense stop a trial?

Although most pretrial motions deal with the defense seeking that certain evidence be excluded or admitted for trial, sometimes the defense may successfully stop the prosecution’s case altogether with a successful pretrial motion to dismiss.

Can a civil case settle a criminal case?

Specific issues may vary somewhat, and is dependent upon whether the case is criminal or civil. The parties may attempt to settle the matter in a civil case, or work out a plea bargain in a criminal case. However, during a criminal matter, the issues decided upon do not resolve the defendant’s guilt or innocence.

Why do we need a pretrial hearing?

During a criminal trial, a pretrial hearing helps to resolve a number of obstacles including administrative issues. While often required by a court of law, it is often also possible for the defendant to request a pretrial hearing. The following will review some of the helpful steps that should be followed in the preparation of a pretrial hearing.

Why are pretrial cases heard?

Some of the reasons why pretrial cases are heard are to allow parties to exchange details about their case in preparation of trial as well as to help judges gain a better understanding of the parties and issues involved in the case. A few of the issues that arise during a pretrial hearing include: Establishing basic rules for future court …

What is the pretrial process?

The pretrial process is just one of many aspects of the pretrial process. If you have questions or concerns about how to navigate the system after being charged with a criminal offense, you should not hesitate to speak with an experienced criminal defense attorney.

What to write down for a trial?

To prepare yourself for what will be discussed during your trial, it is important to write down what occurred following your arrest or charge. Some of the details that it can be helpful to record include where witnesses were located at the scene, what statements were made, what law enforcement said, and a timeline of the events that occurred in your case.

What is the job of a judge in a trial?

Presenting arguments about what evidence and witnesses can be used in the trial. Scheduling a trial date as well as other pending proceedings. Judges will often issue immediate rulings on any issues that are raised during the pretrial conference.

Why is it important to write down the date for court?

Failure to appear before the court can result in very serious consequences, which is why it is important to write down the date for later court sessions and make sure that you appear on time. By being responsible and proactive about scheduling a date, you also convey to the judge that you are taking matters seriously.

Can you discuss your case with your lawyer in advance?

By discussing matters with your lawyer a sufficient amount of time in advance, you can make sure that you are as prepared for the pretrial hearing as possible.


Definition of Pretrial Conference

  • The exact reason pretrial conferences happen is that judges can hear issues about witnesses and legal issues. The judge can rule on those or give guidance before trial. If you have a dispute during a pretrial conference that can’t be resolved, there’s a good chance your case will proceed to trial. If preliminary issues arise after the pretri…

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Purpose of Pretrial Conferences

Preparing For A Pretrial Conference Without An Attorney

Issues to Be Resolved in A Pretrial Conference

Related Legal Terms and Issues

  • Pretrial conferences serve a variety of purposes, most of which further the goal of efficiently managing the case at hand. Such purposes include: 1. Expediting case disposition 2. Establishing effective case management 3. Facilitating settlement of the case without the need for a trial 4. Improving trial quality and efficiency through preparation 5…

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