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What Is a Case Management Conference? Definition, Uses and Importance.

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A case management conference is a first hearing where the lawyers, judge, and all parties involved come together to discuss a case. The main purpose of a case management conference is to discuss and find out how to move a case forward. 

During the hearing, the judge is mostly concerned about knowing a few facts. Also, the parties are not required to speak or testify about anything at this time. The person who does all the taking is the attorney or judge in charge of the case; he or she will provide all the status, facts, and details concerning the case and make suggestions on how to successfully conclude the case.

The decision of the court on whether or not to schedule another case management conference depends on what has been scheduled by the attorney in charge of the case.

Why is Case Management Conference important?

CMC is important because it helps parties who may want to settle a case to get a fair hearing in court. In some cases where the judge resorts to conducting a court trial for both parties, CMC makes the process a lot shorter and simpler. 

Issues that can not be resolved through a case management conference are kept aside. The case management conference will be used to prepare facts and arguments for their trial.

See also: Important things to know about estate executors

How is a Case Management Conference Structured? 

During the case management conference, the judge will check to see that all parties involved have filed their papers appropriately. He will also try to find out if they have at some point tried to settle the case at hand. 

After checking, the judge will most likely ask that the parties and their lawyers be in court during the hearing. Once you get an invite by the judge to appear in court, then it means that you should go. But in a case where the court accepts the CMC statement and does not ask for a court appearance, you can call the court to find out if your case was rightly scheduled or not. 

If there was a scheduled hearing and your parties honored it, the court can go ahead to make rulings that may not be favorable for you at the end of the day. You can be asked to pay sanctions or the court can outrightly dismiss the case after a series of failed appearances. 

A case management conference is a type of pretrial conference. That’s because, in a pretrial conference, the ultimate goal of the judge is to invite the defense and prosecutor’s attorney to the court. This is done so they can explore the chances of solving the case without actually appearing in court for a trial.

During a pretrial conference, the judges involved can rule on any of the arguments or motions that either of the parties brings up during the hearing.

Lifespan Of Case Management Conference 

In California, the court rules state that before all parties can come for the first case management conference, they will need to file a case management statement within 15 days before the proposed date.

All parties can decide to jointly file and sign the statement or simply sign the statements individually.

How is Case Management Conference Used?

Case management is used by a plaintiff after the initiation of a lawsuit. It happens before the trial will take place in court. Since the case management conference isn’t a trial, no witnesses are required to defend any of the parties in court.

As stated earlier, the whole purpose of a case management system is to see how the case can be moved forward. Note that the schedules of a CMC are essential to the procedures of a probate court hearing.

How to Prepare for a Case Management Conference

While preparing for the case management hearing, ensure to show up with your calendar and all facts and arguments that will make the work easier for the judge. Remember, all the documents that will help ease your hearing should be filed within 15 days with the court. Then, go on to serve them to the other party and get ready to be called for the case management conference.

These documents should be served well of time as that can help you to combat delays as the case starts going on. Even if you have served other parties your documents, it’s important that you organize them and present them when the CMC starts. 

Lastly, review the case you have and that of the other party. That way, you can attempt questions you feel may come up during the proceedings.

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