It is always best to meet pretrial deadlines and attend trial with an experienced family law attorney. If you are seeking counsel, please call our offices at 480-307-9306 for a referral. Unfortunately, some people cannot afford an attorney and face their pretrial deadlines and trial alone.
What are pretrial deadlines?
Any deadlines that must be met prior to trial. To determine the deadlines in your case, carefully read the Judge’s minute entry setting the trial as Judge’s pretrial deadlines may vary. Typically, there are disclosure and pretrial deadlines and a deadline to deliver your exhibits to the Judge’s office for marking.
This deadline is again, typically, 30 days prior to trial. Disclosure is when you provide the other party a list of your witnesses and what they are expected to testify about and a list of the exhibits with copies of the exhibits you plan to use at trial.
Pretrial Statement may be joint or separate depending on what is ordered in the Judge’s minute entry setting the trial and includes the following information:
a. The nature of the action;
b. The names and address of the parties, if not confidential;
c. Names and dates of birth of the parties’ minor children;
d. The length of the trial if shorter than that scheduled by the Court;
e. A list of the names, addresses and phone numbers of witnesses intended to be used by each party during the trial, indicating witnesses whose testimony will be received by deposition only. Each party shall list any objections to a witness and the basis for that objection.
f. A list of the exhibits that each party intends to use at trial, specifying exhibits that the parties agree are admissible at trial, or if not in agreement, a list of objections and the specific grounds for each objection that a party will make if the exhibit is offered at trial.
g. Stipulations or agreements of the parties;
h. A statement of uncontested facts;
i. Detailed and concise statements of contested issues of fact and law by each party;
j. A statement by each party that all pretrial discovery and disclosure has been completed by the trial date and that the parties have exchanged all exhibits and reports of expert witnesses who have been listed as witnesses;
k. A statement as to whether the parties have in good faith discussed settlement, and if not, the reasons for not discussing settlement;
l. A statement by each party on how a verbatim record of the trial will be made.
Pretrial Statements are required to be filed, delivered to the judge and mailed to any other parties involved with the case typically 1 week prior to trial. Again, carefully read the minute entry or court order setting your trial.
The minute entry or Court order setting the trial will set forth the deadline to deliver the exhibits to the Judge’s office and the format in which the Judge wants the exhibits. For example, inserting colored sheets between the exhibits. Often times, the deadline to deliver the exhibits is one week prior to trial. A set of exhibits must be provided to the other party’s counsel or other party, if not represented by counsel.
The Judge may have other pretrial requirements. To ensure full compliance, carefully read your minute entry or court order that sets the trial.