4 Types of Conferences in a Civil Lawsuit


4 Types of Conferences in a Civil Lawsuit

4 Types of Conferences in a Civil Lawsuit

Many times when discussing a case with our clients we tell them about upcoming events such as various types of conferences, a status conference, a pretrial, and a docket call. 

These are not words that are normally used in everyday language, so I thought I would explain these terms to you and the difference between them. 

The order of these conferences will vary depending on different courts. 

Typically, you will have a scheduling conference first, then a status conference, then a pretrial conference, and then a docket call. 

In this article, we will go over what each of these terms means.

Scheduling Conference

A scheduling conference is exactly what it sounds like. 

This is a conference between the lawyers and the judge where a schedule is planned for the lawsuit. 

In this meeting, we decide how long depositions will be taken, deadlines to amend or alter pleadings, how long to gather expert disclosures, etc. 

Status Conference

At some point after the scheduling conference, the judge will have a status conference

Again, this is also exactly what it sounds like. 

The judge will ask the lawyers about the status of the case. 

Are there any problems? Are we on track with the scheduling order that was entered at the scheduling conference?

The judge will take this information into account and determine whether modifications need to be made. 

Pretrial Conference

Next, we typically have the pretrial conference once discovery has ended. 

During discovery, we exchange information, take depositions, and then normally a summary judgment is requested. 

This is where one or both sides try to get the judge to say that no trial is needed. 

After discovery is completed, we will have the pretrial. 

The pretrial is where we pick out the actual date of trial, potential jury charges, discuss the issues, and determine how long the case will take to try. 

Docket Call

Finally, we have the docket call. This conference is usually held on the Friday or Monday before the trial or even a week before your trial.

At this meeting, the judge checks to make sure everyone is ready for trial. 

Right now, in November of 2020, we are in the middle of the Covid-19 pandemic.  Everything is crazy. 

There are jury trials that are set and then at the final docket call, someone says their witness or their client has contracted Covid. 

If something has come up, decisions on how to proceed are made at the docket call. 

These are the 4 types of conferences you will typically have in a civil lawsuit — the scheduling conference, then the status conference, then the pretrial conference, and finally, the docket call. 

This is a general overview, but it will hopefully help you to understand what is happening in your own lawsuit.

If you live in Alabama and you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with us.

We would be glad to help you in any way we can.

You can reach us by phone at 1-205-879-2447, or you can fill out a contact form and we will get in touch with you quickly. 

Thanks for reading, and have a great day!

-John Watts


P.S. Looking for more information to help you prepare for your lawsuit? Check out our other posts on this below:



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