A case management conference (CMC) is a meeting that can either be requested by the court or one of the involved parties at any time after responsive pleadings or motions are due. The CMC would normally include both parties involved in the case, the lawyers representing them, and the judge presiding over the case. In the state of Florida, the CMC is described in Rule 1.200(a) of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure and specifically referenced within the Florida Family Law Rules of Procedure. This is to say that CMCs are an important part of the litigation process within the Florida legal process.
Why is a Case Management Conference requested?
CMCs serve to reduce the time and financial expense both parties would endure at the hands of overdrawn and/or complex litigation. The main purpose of the CMC is to grant flexibility and agency to both the parties and the court in their efforts of bringing the case to a settlement or trial. By attending a CMC, both parties may have the opportunity to expedite the progress in their trial and avoid the consequences of prolonged litigation.
What can be accomplished in a Case Management Conference?
During a CMC in the state of Florida, Rule 1.200 outlines several actions a court could take, such actions include:
(1) schedule or reschedule the service of motions, pleadings, and other papers.
(2) set or reset the time of trials, subject to rule 1.440(c).
(3) coordinate the progress of the action if complex litigation factors contained in rule 1.201(a)(2)(A)-(a)(2)(H) are present
(4) limit, schedule, order or expedite discovery
(5) schedule disclosure of expert witnesses and the discovery of facts known and opinions held by such experts
(6) schedule or hear motions in limine (A motion in limine is a motion filed by a party asking the court for an order or ruling limiting or preventing certain evidence from being presented by the other side a the trial of the case)
(7) pursue the possibilities of settlement
(8) require filing of preliminary stipulations if issues can be narrowed
(9) consider referring issues to a magistrate for findings of fact
(10) schedule other conferences or determine other matters that may aid in the disposition of the action.
A CMC can be useful in preventing needless litigation costs or expediting the litigation process if one of the parties is inactive. Rule 1.200 describes that if a party fails to attend a conference, the court may: dismiss the action, strike the pleadings, limit proof of witnesses, or take any other appropriate action.
When preparing for a CMC, individuals would be wise to consult with an experienced attorney in order to get the best out of their meeting. With the advice and guidance of an attorney, individuals can find that CMCs could have the potential to dramatically reduce the amount of time and money they find devoting to future litigation for a certain case.
PereGonza The Attorneys can offer you guidance on what you could expect from a Case Management Conference. Whether it’s regarding a personal injury matter, insurance dispute, employment issue or discrimination at work, one of our experienced attorneys can offer you assistance. Fill out our personal intake form for more information.