Regarding: Explanation of Pretrial Conferences
You have a pretrial conference scheduled for XX.XX.XXXX. This is a letter explaining pretrial conferences. This letter is a general explanation of the process and not necessarily specific to your case. If you would like greater explanation regarding pretrial conferences in your case, please, feel free to call us and ask any questions you may have. We will be happy to speak with you.
Pretrial conferences are hearings in which we identify the issues that will be discussed at trial. These issues have already been identified in the documents initially filed in your case, e.g.: Complaint for Divorce, Petition to Modify, or Paternity Petition. However, since it has been quite a while since those documents were filed, things may have changed. For example, we may have a partial agreement on some of the issues initially identified. Because of this, the Court asks for a pretrial to get a status update on the case and to lock down the issues remaining for trial.
In family law cases, there are usually two pretrial hearings, one in front of the commissioner and one in front of the judge. One reason for this two-step process is so the commissioner narrows down the issues so the judge knows what the issues are before he ever meets with us. Additionally, the first pretrial with the commissioner allows the commissioner to ensure we have attended mediation and filed all the necessary pleadings so we will be ready to speak with the judge.
Before the pretrial with the judge, we are often asked to prepare a settlement offer and send it to the other party. We may also be asked to provide an updated Financial Declaration if there are outstanding financial issues.
At the pretrial with the judge, we will schedule trial. Usually, trials will be scheduled about three months after the date of the pretrial, although it may take longer depending on the judge’s schedule. It is at this point that final trial preparations begin.
Hopefully, this letter has helped explain the trial process. You will receive another letter after trial that explains what options are available to you if you believe the judge got it wrong in your case. If you have any questions regarding trial, please call 801-685-9999.
/s/ Marco Brown
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