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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

Different Types Of Case Management Conferences

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.

List Of Case Management Conferences

  1. initial case management conference: This is the first conference held in a case, and is usually held shortly after the case is filed. Its purpose is to schedule further proceedings and discuss any preliminary matters that need to be addressed.
  2. Pre-trial conference: This conference is held before the trial begins and is used to discuss the trial schedule, exchange evidence, and resolve any pretrial issues.
  3. Status conference: This conference is held at various points during the case to discuss the progress of the case and any issues that have arisen.
  4. Settlement conference: This conference is held to try to resolve the case through negotiation and settlement, rather than going to trial.
  5. Mediation conference: This conference is held to try to resolve the case through mediation, which is a form of alternative dispute resolution in which a neutral third party helps the parties reach a settlement.
  6. Case review conference: This conference is held near the end of the case to review the progress of the case and determine if any further action is needed.
  7. Case management order (CMO) conference: This conference is held to review a case management order, which is a document issued by the court that sets out the deadlines and procedures for a case.
  8. Case planning conference: This conference is held to plan the management of the case, including setting deadlines, identifying any issues that need to be addressed, and determining the resources needed to resolve the case.
  9. Case management hearing: This hearing is held to consider any issues or disputes that have arisen in the case and to make decisions about how to proceed.
  10. Disposition conference: This conference is held near the end of the case to discuss the final disposition of the case and any remaining issues that need to be resolved.
  11. It’s important to note that the specific types of case management conferences that are held in a case will depend on the jurisdiction and the specific circumstances of the case.

When Do Case Management Conferences Occur In Probate?

Conference TypeDescriptionUse in Probate
Initial case management conferenceThe first conference held in a case, used to schedule further proceedings and discuss preliminary mattersMay be held after a petition for probate has been filed
Pre-trial conferenceHeld before the trial begins, used to discuss the trial schedule, exchange evidence, and resolve pretrial issuesMay be held if there are disputes over the validity of the will or the appointment of the executor
Status conferenceHeld at various points during the case, used to discuss the progress of the case and any issues that have arisenMay be held periodically during the probate process to check on the progress of the case and address any issues that have arisen
Settlement conferenceHeld to try to resolve the case through negotiation and settlementMay be held in probate cases to try to resolve disputes between beneficiaries or to reach a settlement on the distribution of the decedent’s assets
Mediation conferenceHeld to try to resolve the case through mediation, a form of alternative dispute resolutionMay be held in probate cases to try to resolve disputes between beneficiaries or to reach a settlement on the distribution of the decedent’s assets
Case review conferenceHeld near the end of the case to review progress and determine if further action is neededMay be held near the end of the probate process to review the progress of the case and ensure that all assets have been properly distributed and all debts and taxes have been paid
Case management order (CMO) conferenceHeld to review a case management order, a document setting out deadlines and procedures for the caseMay be held in probate cases to review the case management order and ensure that all deadlines and procedures are being followed
Case planning conferenceHeld to plan the management of the case, including setting deadlines and identifying issues and resources neededMay be held in probate cases to plan the management of the case and ensure that all assets are properly identified and valued, debts and taxes are paid, and assets are distributed to the beneficiaries
Case management hearingHeld to consider issues or disputes that have arisen in the case and make decisions about how to proceedMay be held in probate cases to consider any disputes that have arisen and make decisions about how to proceed
Disposition conferenceHeld near the end of the case to discuss the final disposition of the case and any remaining issuesMay be held near the end of the probate process to discuss the final disposition of the case and ensure that all assets have been properly distributed and all debts and taxes have been paid

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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