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Law Girl
Law Girl, Family Law Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 4606
Experience:  I have a law practice that is largely dedicated to family law matters.
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Is there an advantage for the petitioner/respondent to ...

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Is there an advantage for the petitioner/respondent to attend the pre trial conference, or is this usually attended by just the attorneys? I have a pre trial conference coming up in a few weeks for a divorce, and this is very important to me to know. Can I insist on attending if my attorney says there is no need to?
Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Law Girl replied 9 years ago.


Thank you for your question.

Generally pretrial conferences are for attorneys to ensure everything is on track for a case to go to trial. I have attended pretrial conferences where counsel has been invited into judge's chamber. (There is no way for an attorney to know exactly how a judge will handle the pretrial conference.) If your attorney says there is no need to be there, there is a good chance that counsel will not be discussing anything substantive to the trial and the conversation will merely be procedural (i.e. how to label exhibits and how many witnesses will be called).

Conversely, if counsel are not called into chambers, conferences that are held in the purview of the courtroom are matters of public record. Anyone who is in the courtroom can watch what is happening. Thus, if you showed up and the pretrial conference was conducted in open court, then you would be able to witness what was happening. Either way, you can insist on attending, even if your attorney says not to. You can even, just show up. If the attorneys are not called into the chambers then you will be able to witness the conference.

Please let me know if you have any other questions, or require clarification of this matter. Otherwise please hit "ACCEPT", so I may receive credit for my response. Tips and feedback are also appreciated.

Good Luck!


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