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What Is A Pretrial Conference?

by Altaf Shaikh
What Is A Pretrial Conference?

what is a pretrial conference? Is a very common question. Commonly we hear this as people saying they have a pre-trial conference in the coming week or so and they are worried about what will happen there. So exactly what is a pretrial conference in court? Let us find it out ahead.

What Is A Pretrial Conference?

A pretrial conference is a meeting between both parties before the trial. This conference is held in the presence of the trial judge or the magistrate. The pretrial conference can help in both civil as well as criminal cases. 

The pretrial can be requested by either party and also it can be ordered by the court. There can be several reasons behind a pretrial.

The pretrial is commonly scheduled at least 4 to 6 weeks after the initial appearance.

Reasons Behind A Pretrial Conference

There can be many reasons for a pretrial conference before the actual trial begins. Below are some of the reasons mentioned

  • The expedite and disposition of the case
  • So that the court gets help to establish control on the case
  • To avoid the wasteful pretrial activities
  • To improve the quality of the trail by preparation
  • To give a chance for settlement of the case

Who Attends A Pretrial Conference

Who can attend a pretrial is another common question. The Pretrial Conference is attended by the followings

  • The trial judge or magistrate
  • Both the parties
  • Prosecutor
  • Defense attorney

The public can attend a pretrial conference depends on the judge. If the pretrial conference helps in the courtroom than the public can attend it but if it is held in the chambers of counsels than it is not for the public

Pretrial Conference in Criminal Cases

The pretrials in criminal cases commonly help to decide matters that do not inquire about the defendant’s innocence or guilt. As per the 17.1 rule of Federal Rules of Criminal Procedure, the pretrials in criminal cases can be conducted to promote a fair trial. It is mostly conducted to decide matters like what evidence should be excluded from the main trail what will be allowed to testify to the witness.

Pretrial Conference in Civil Cases

The pretrial in civil cases the judge may do the following with the help of attorneys.

  • They may simplify the issues in the cases
  • They may eliminate the frivolous claims
  • They can obtain facts and documents to avoid the unwanted proofs
  • To identify witness and documents
  • To schedule the submission id briefs
  • To make rulings on motions submitted
  • To set dates
  • To discuss the possibility of settlement
  • To discuss the management of large and complex cases

FAQ

What can I expect at a pretrial conference?

In the pretrial conference, the judge and the lawyers review the evidence and simplify the issue of dispute. In cases where everything is not settled the court main set a time for an issue conference. 

Can charges be dropped at the pretrial conference?

In a pretrial hearing, judges can rule motions and matters that are brought up during a pretrial conference.

What is a pre-trial conference and what is its purpose?

A pre trial Conference or a PTC is to provide an informal setting for the patties and the judge. It is to identify facts that are agreed upon and also to have a look at the disputes. The issues are clarified in front of the judge by both the parties. And there is an attempt to resolve the issue by voluntary agreement

Can the public attend a pretrial conference?

The public can attend a pretrial conference depends on the judge. If the pretrial conference helps in the courtroom than the public can attend it but if it is held in the chambers of counsels than it is not for the public

Conclusion

In the above article, we have explained to you about the pretrial conference. As mentioned the judges may use pretrial conferences for many different purposes. It is commonly held after the initial pleadings that have been filed. We hope we have cleared all your queries regarding what is a pretrial conference in this article

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