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Pre-Trial Motion Related Questions

Do you want to know what a pre-trial motion is? Or, if one needs the consent of the listed witnesses in the pre-trial motion? Pre-trial motion is essentially the last of the steps a prosecutor takes prior to the proceeding to trial. It is essentially to respond to or file for motions. One is bound to have questions and doubt regarding pre-trial motions and this can be addressed by verified legal Experts online.

Read below where Experts have answered a few questions about pre-trial motions.

What is a pre-trial motion?

A motion is essentially a request to the court made by the prosecutor or defense attorney to provide rulings or decisions on certain issues prior to the beginning of the trial. Only judges are responsible for the outcome of these motions. The motion affects the trial, courtroom, defendants, evidence or testimony. The common pre-trial motions include; Motion To Dismiss, Motion To Suppress, Motion To Change Venue.

What is the format of a pre-trial motion and can other motions be included along with it?

The format of the pre-trial motion consists of the following; introduction, statement of facts, law, legal arguments and conclusion. Usually, the matter should be brief given the nature of the pre-trial motion. Other motions such as ‘Motion In Limine’ can be included. Both legal and evidentiary issues can be argued in the same manner and time line as stated in the court order, if the court does not make a distinction between these types of pre-trial motions. Here, any type of facts for which evidentiary support is available, can be cited as well as objection to facts which do not have admissible evidentiary support. Each motion requires the facts and the supporting law to be stated separately.

After a pre-trial motion is filed should the individual be summoned for cross examination?

There is no hard and fast rule on this, as it is dependent on all the factors of the case. Some judges are more inclined to handle this where they are not interacting with the person face-to-face and can provide a ruling based on hard, cold facts. Other judges may want to see a person to know that someone is concerned. The problem with being present for cross examination is that it can be as detrimental as it is beneficial.

How do pre-trial statements work when there is a plaintiff, multiple defendants and counterclaim?

One copy of the pre-trial statement needs to be logged with the court and not filed. The plaintiff’s statement is not available to the defendant and vice versa. Local rules are applicable here and some courts require the statement to be served to the other side while some allow a copy to be logged without the other party being served. The manner in which the brief should be drafted is up to the individual but ideally it should be simple, persuasive/compelling while being objective. Generally, one section is for ‘statement of facts’ while there is a separate section for each cause of action. This is the case unless there is a specific local rule to draft the document in a specific way.

Do the listed witnesses on a pre-trial statement need to be contacted to obtain their consent?

All witnesses one intends to bring forward to support the claims or defenses need to be listed in the statement of the pre-trial motion. While it is useful to obtain their consent, it is a better legal practice to subpoena the witnesses, compelling them to appear at trial. This should be followed even for consenting witnesses as it helps protect their rights at trial. The witnesses that need not be disclosed are those one intends to call to impeach the opposing side witnesses once they are disclosed. If the witnesses testifying in support of the claims are not disclosed, the right to call them at trial is lost.

What is a pre-trial conference?

A pre-trial conference is basically one where the judge hears all the pre-trial motions at one time and this can include, motion to dismiss, motion to compel, and so on. Moreover, all motions are considered pre-trial motions unless they are made during the trial. At this time, one may want to request that the Motion to Dismiss, not be heard until there is time for discovery.

Should a scheduling order be filed to file an amended claim and the motion for liability summary judgment?

The lawyer is required to file a scheduling order but this does not imply that one cannot file a summary judgment. It can be heard as part of the pre-trial motion, prior to trial, under the scheduling order. Therefore, filing the scheduling order is fine as long as the summary judgment and amended claim is also filed as per the request of the client. All this forms a part of the pre-trial process and it is possible that the summary judgment is granted prior to trial under the scheduling order.

Whether it is a minor or major case, pre-trial motions covers the minute details which helps the chances or outcome of the trial to be more fruitful for either party. Applying, filing, rules to be followed while doing so and getting these motions approved is not an easy task as it involves legal knowledge and relevance. To ask particular pre-trial motion related questions you may be facing, contact legal Experts online. Verified Experts can throw light on what your options are in a quick and economical manner, from the comfort of your home.

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