Case Management Conference In Florida

What is a Case Management Conference in Florida?

In most if not all civil cases in the state of Florida, a party will have to attend a case management conference. The trial judge has authority to arrange a case management conference in any civil case. A case management conference may be set on the motion of a party or by the court on its own motion. In either case, notice of the conference must be served within a reasonable time before the scheduled date of the conference. If a case management conference is set by order of the court, the order must identify any documents a party is to bring with them to the case management conference. This means that in some cases, the court will arrange a case management conference in any civil case. In some courts, the judge will schedule case management conferences automatically at a certain point in the progress of every case, while in others the practice is to schedule conferences in selected cases at the request of a party. The procedures for scheduling and conducting a case management conference are outlined in Rule 1.200(a) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

Notice of a Case Management Conference

As briefly mentioned above, for all case management conferences in Florida, each party must receive reasonable notice. This in contrast to the notice requirements for pretrial conferences (20 days). Any documents that the court requires for any conference shall be specified in the order. Orders setting pretrial conferences shall be uniform throughout the territorial jurisdiction  of the court. Remember, the trial judge handling the matter has authority to require the parties to attend the case management conference along with their lawyers. It is important to remember that a trial judge can impose sanctions on any party who fails to attend a case management conference. Otherwise, if a party fails to attend a case management conference, the court can dismiss the action, strike the pleadings, limit evidence or witnesses, or take any other appropriate action that the court deems necessary.

What Happens at a Case Management Conference in Florida?

At the time of the conference, the trial judge may be able to help the parties to develop an efficient method of resolving their differences. Among other things, the trial judge might explain the litigation process in terms of costs versus benefits and explore the possibility of an alternative method of resolving the case. But the overall purpose of a case management conference is to enable the court to control the orderly progress of the case. Here is a list of some of the specific matters that may be addressed at a case management conference:

• Scheduling and deadlines pertaining to hearings, motions, pleadings, etc.
• Set deadlines for discovery
• Address the possibility of voluntary exchange of documents or electronically stored information
• Ruminate the need for advance rulings on the admissibility of evidence and/or documents in the case
• Set or reset a trial date
• Schedule or reschedule service of pleadings and/or motions on parties
• Discuss preservation of evidence
• Inquire as to any stipulations that may be made so as to narrow the issues for trial
• schedule disclosure of expert witnesses and the discovery of facts known, and opinions held by such experts
• Inquire as to the possibility of settlement of the case before trial

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