Trial Counsel for Law Firms

Trial Scheduling Court

What are the purposes of trial scheduling Court and what does counsel need to do to prepare for trial scheduling Court?

Purpose of Trial Scheduling Court

The main purposes of trial scheduling Court are twofold.  First, there is a gatekeeping function by the Courts to ensure only those cases that are truly ready for trial should be given trial dates.

Second, there is an administrative efficiency for the Courts to get all parties together with Judge and Trial Coordinator in the same Courtroom for the gatekeeping and scheduling functions.

Preparation for Trial Scheduling Court

The bottom line is to know your case.  In particular, counsel should be comfortable addressing at least 4 out of 6 of Mick’s Trial Fundamentals, identified in bold below:

  1. Story – You need to identify the type of case to the Judge: area of law, Jury or non-Jury, claims and counterclaims, companion actions.
  2. People – How many witnesses?  Of the witnesses, how many are experts?  Are the witnesses available on the proposed trial dates?
  3. Documents and things – How many documents?  Any physical exhibits?  How about Courtroom technology?
  4. Law of Evidence – Not particularly relevant, unless anticipated evidentiary issues may prolong trial.
  5. Procedure – What is the status of the case?  Are discoveries and undertakings complete?  Have expert reports been exchanged?  Has the case been pre-tried?
  6. Substantive Law – Not particularly relevant.

 

Mick Hassell, Trial Counsel for Law Firms

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