understanding pre-trial conference and how to prepare for them.
Pre - Trial Conference provides another opportunity for all the parties to negotiate and amicably settle their case. Just like the case assessment and conciliation conference, all the parties may set their demands and ventilate their concerns before the Registrar who is the authority that will mediate between the parties in a pre-trial conference.
In case both parties failed to settle and the registrar was convinced that the case is ready for Trial Proper, the latter will make a list and schedule the hearing of your case before the Magistrate.
The Judicial officer usually provides the information to all parties on what they need to comply with prior to the Pre-Trial Conference. He will make the procedural order which will provide that both parties should have filed and served their respective trial affidavits to the other party at least 21 days prior to the Pre-Trial Date.
If there are witnesses that need to be presented, a copy of their affidavits should also be filed and served to the other party. In case a witness fails to provide an affidavit, the party who will present him must file a written notice stating the name of his witness.
Unless the court otherwise orders, each party is required to file and serve, at least 14 days before the pre-trial conference, a chronological list of the significant event that is important to the case. This may include the date of births of both spouses and their child/ren, the date of when they started living together or marriage as well as the date of their separation.
It should also include the significant financial periods during the course of their cohabitation which can either be a purchase of a property, raise in salary, a big break in business and any other event that has a huge impact to the finances of the parties. In case there are differences in the submitted list of chronological events, a separate date will be scheduled to allow the parties to identify and settle the difference. If there is no dispute over the chronology, the parties may file a joint chronology list.
Each party must also file and serve an updated conciliation conference documents as well as a written notice attesting that they have complied with the disclosure duty at least seven days before the pre-trial conference. Additional information for these can be obtained from the Court and both parties must comply with it.
If both the parties failed to file the necessary documents before the pre-trial conference, the Registrar will direct the case to the duty Judge for further orders. In case one party fails to comply with this requirement, the same case is referred to the duty Judge. He may order the hearing of the case ex-parte to the exclusion of the evidence and documents that may be presented by the party who did not file the documents on time.
Disclaimer : This article provides basic information only and is not a substitute for a professional or legal advice. It is prudent to obtain legal advice from a family lawyer.