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LawTalk, Attorney and Counselor at Law
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 37854
Experience:  30 years legal experience. I remain current in Family Law through regular continuing education.
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I have an upcoming Mandatory Settlement conference on 3/21/13

Customer Question

I have an upcoming Mandatory Settlement conference on 3/21/13 and a Trial/Long Cause Hearing on 3/28/13. My paperwork says I shall serve a "statement of Issues and Contentions" on all other parties at least 20 days prior to the settlement conference date.

I thought I had to file it today, but I was advised by a lawyer friend that a few days late was ok. My first question is when is it actually due there considering that 20 days means "Court days" and not calendar days. Please advise. Thank you.
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.

Good afternoon Melissa,

I'm Doug, and I'm sorry to hear of the confusion. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The 20 days referred to is 20 calendar days, not court days. However, as your MSA is set for the 21st of this month, the code requires that you serve your Statement of Issues and Contentions by today.

Having said that, I suspect that what was meant was that filing the statement of Issues and Contentions a few days late is generally not a big deal, despite the fact that the code requires otherwise. So long as the other side gets it in a reasonable time, and the court has it in their file before you appear for the MSA---there is usually not a problem.

However, I will tell you that as an attorney, I would never tolerate such laxness from one of my paralegals. Filing it timely is the right thing to do. In exceptional circumstances, most folks ignore the omission.

You might call opposing counsel and ask if they will object to your belated service of the Statement of Issues and Contentions, to at least clear up that they won't be posing an objection at the MSA. That would be professional of you to do anyway. It may be that they would like a couple of extra days as well. So make the call.

You may reply back to me using the Continue the Conversation or Reply to Expert link if you need any clarification of my answer.

Please remember to rate my service to you when our communication is completed, so that I will be compensated for my time in providing you with the information you requested. I will be happy to continue further, and to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I wish you the best in 2013,


Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Thank you, Doug I have more questions for you on this issue but I can't get back online until later. How long will you be available?

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Hi Melissa,

It is 7 PM here and I have been working about 11 hours, I am stopping here real soon, but if you ask the question and I see it tonight, I will answer it. Otherwise, you should have it by the time you awake tomorrow as I am 3 hour ahead of you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I appreciate your response regarding checking with opposing counsel, unfortunately they have already submitted theirs and my ex lives for any misery he can cause me so I won't be checking with them. My Statement will be filed on Monday. Only a one business day difference. If his counsel objects, I will take my changes with the sensibility of the judge.

1) Please explain to me what the settlement conference is exactly in relation to the Long trial? The Long Trial is the same as a hearing, right? Just for a longer time?


2) Is it acceptable to submit attachments to the Statement of I&C?


3) I had prepared a "Response to Petitioner's Motion" that I would also like to file for the judge's consideration. But I don't know if I still can, (is it appropriate?) or should this information be incorporated into my Statement of I&C?


4) Do you have any recommendations or tips for the content and styling of the I&E? Please advise.

Expert:  LawTalk replied 4 years ago.
Good evening Melissa,

As you may be aware, the Rules of JustAnswer specify that each customer ask one question in each question thread. For new questions, the customer is asked to open a new question thread. You may ask for me personally by referring to me by name (Doug) in your new question and I will be able to answer assist you.

Thank you for your understanding.