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I have a mandatory settle conference next Friday regarding…

I have a mandatory...

I have a mandatory settle conference next Friday regarding my divorce case. DoI need to fill any legal forms out prior to the conference?

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

California

Lawyer's Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?

What do you mean?

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No. This case is heading to trial on April 23rd.

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Answered in 3 minutes by:
3/10/2018
socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,769
Experience: Retired
Verified

Hello,

Requirements vary by county. In which county is your case being heard?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I live in Los Angeles.
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Are you still there?

Okay, thanks. Please hang on while I do some research.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
do you work in family law in California?

Yep. Please hang on. The rules are pretty lengthy.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
ok

Okay, here is the LASC local rule:

  • 5.14 TRIAL READINESS, SETTLEMENT CONFERENCES AND PRE-TRIAL ORDERS
  • At a Trial Readiness Conference (“TRC”) or other trial setting proceeding the court may make orders deemed necessary for the case to be considered ready for trial and may set the case for a Settlement Conference (“SC”), Mandatory Settlement Conference (“MSC”), Family Centered Case Resolution (“FCCR”), Arbitration, or other Alternate Dispute Resolution proceedings.
  • All parties and trial counsel must appear personally at the Trial Setting Conference, FCCR, TRC, SC, MSC, Arbitration, or other Alternate Dispute Resolution proceeding unless otherwise ordered, and comply with Local Rule 5.9.
  • The court’s role at the TRC, SC, or MSC is to assist the parties in settlement negotiations. Prior to a TRC, SC, or MSC, counsel must hold at least one face-to-face or telephonic settlement discussion, and make a full exchange of all pertinent information. The parties must be prepared to discuss the issues in the case, preparedness for trial, efforts at settlement, and trial time estimates.
  • In the Central District any motion for continuance must be filled directly in Department 2, unless otherwise ordered.
  • (a) Pre-Trial Orders. Unless otherwise ordered, not less than seven calendar days before a SC, MSC, Arbitration, or other Alternate Dispute Resolution proceeding, each party must serve on the other and lodge with the court (Department 2 in the Central District) the following:
  • (1) A conformed copy of the Declaration Regarding Service of Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (form FL-141);
  • (2) A current Income and Expense Declaration (form FL-150) as required by Family Code Section 3665 and California Rules of Court, Rule 5.260, and Local Rule 5.9. The parties must attach pay stubs for the last two months. If self-employed, the parties must also attach a Profit and Loss Statement for the past two years or a Schedule C from their last tax return. The parties must completely fill in all blanks on financial declarations. "Unknown”, “minimal” and “TBD" are not acceptable answers. The parties must bring to court copies of last year's State and Federal Income Tax Returns, including all supporting schedules;
  • (3) A Schedule of Assets and Debts (form FL-142), Property Declaration (form FL-160), Propertizer, or equivalent balance sheet. The parties must list community property and separate property assets and debts with a proposed division, as well as accurate fair market values and loan balances as of the current date and at the date of separation, if applicable. "Unknown”, “minimal” and “TBD" are not acceptable answers;
  • (4) An exhibit list. The parties shall exchange all non-impeachment exhibits to be offered at trial. The exhibits shall be consecutively numbered as directed by the court. Exhibits must be pre-marked. Exhibits of more than one page must be given page numbers. Exhibits must be properly bound in a three-ring binder and collated into a booklet form with an index. Bring the exhibits to the SC, MSC, Arbitration, or other Alternate Dispute Resolution proceeding;
  • (5) A list of all non-party, non-impeachment witnesses, their address and current phone numbers. The list must briefly describe each witness' testimony with specificity and provide an estimate as to the time needed for direct and cross examination. Witness List (form FL-321) may be used for this purpose; and
  • (6) Appraisals or other forensic reports intended to be used at trial.
  • (b) Contents of the SC or MSC Brief. An SC or MSC Brief, if ordered by the court, must contain the following:
  • (1) The times and dates of the MSC and the trial, set forth in the caption;
  • (2) All relevant statistical facts, including the date of marriage, date of separation, length of marriage (in years and months); and the number and ages of minor children;
  • (3) A recitation of the facts of the case and its procedural history, identifying all previous orders bearing on any matter in dispute;
  • (4) Each party’s specific proposals regarding child custody and child and/or spousal support, together with computer support printouts if applicable;
  • (5) The proposed division of community assets and community debts;
  • (6) The amount of any attorneys’ fees, experts’ fees, or costs being requested.
  • (c) Sanctions for Failure to Comply with Trial Readiness Requirements Ordered by the Court. The failure, without good cause, to follow these orders may result in sanctions including monetary sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure section 177.5, California Rules of Court, rule 5.14, attorney's fees under Family Code section 271, evidentiary sanctions including exclusion of non-impeachment documents and witnesses not timely disclosed, and may result in vacating existing trial dates.

The LASC rules are considerably more complicated than just about any other county. From the rule, you're already late, because the required documents must be filed at least seven days before the MSC. But, the court won't likely sanction you for being late, because if it did, it would be sanctioning practically every self-represented party -- and that would be hundreds of people each month -- which would cause a public uproar and a media storm.

Note: If you are offered a phone consult, please know that it is an automated offer, and that I do not participate in the program.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I have done all of those already.
However I am not aware if I had to do a SC brief. I don't recall anyone telling me that.

Call the judge's clerk (the clerk in the courtroom) and ask if there is a standing order.

However, it's near certain that you must provide an MSC brief. I've never been to an MSC where parties were not required to do so.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

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Any other questions?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No thank you so much
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
actually yes

?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
A brief - does it have to be brought to the settle conference or does it have to be filed beforehand with the court
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Meanning, when is the brief due? On Friday when I get to the MSC or before?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
how many copies do I need? Three?
Customer reply replied 1 month ago
is the brief supposed to be written on a certain FL form? Pleading paper? Of can it just be written in word doc?

You asked:

A brief - does it have to be brought to the settle conference or does it have to be filed beforehand with the court?

Meanning, when is the brief due? On Friday when I get to the MSC or before?

A: Since the brief is not part of the local rules, the default under the California Rules of Court is five days (submitted to the court). Cal. Rules 3.1380(c)(4). So, yes, you need to lodge the brief with the court 5 days before the hearing.

And how many copies do I need? Three?

A: One for opposing party/counsel (served); one for yourself; one for the court attorney who may supervise the MSC (lodged with the court clerk).

And is the brief supposed to be written on a certain FL form? Pleading paper? Of can it just be written in word doc?

Can be a word doc; pleading paper is preferable; there may be a local form that can be used in place of pleading paper. I find no local form.

I hope I've answered your question. Please let me know if you require further clarification. And, please provide a positive feedback rating for my answer (click 3, 4 or 5 stars) -- otherwise, Justanswer retains your entire payment, and I receive nothing for my efforts in your behalf. Note: If you cannot find the rating button on your webpage, please just type in your rating in a response to this note, and customer service will apply the rating for you.

Thanks again for using Justanswer!

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socrateaser
socrateaser, Lawyer
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 39,769
Experience: Retired
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