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"WHAT EXACTLY IS A NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE?"

Brockton, MA |

I received a "NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE" date within the next 3 months to go to court concerning a credit card debt. I received the summons from a third party debt collector, sent my answer back to the plaintiff and the court and followed the procedure.
What happens at this conference?
Do I need to bring anything with me?
Also, what is supposed to happen in the interim, if anything?
Do I have any responsibility beforehand other than showing up at the conference?
I will represent myself, I don't have money for an attorney. Your attention to this matter is sincerely appreciated.

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Hi,

    The most important thing to do is to show up at the case management conference. When you arrive, sit in the court room until the clerk calls your name. You will probably then be sent out in the hallway to speak to the attorney representing the credit card company. You should bring any documentation with you, and there are several online sites that can help you figure out what sort of discovery you should request from the credit card company's attorney. You should look up the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and the District Court Rules of Procedure (state and not federal).

    You can file discovery requests to make sure that the credit card company can prove that you owe them money. You can also determine if you can file a motion to dismiss because the statute of limitations has expired.

    If you do not want to fight anymore, and want to make a payment arrangement, you can often do this at the case management conference.

    If you want to continue to contest the debt and fight the credit card company, the clerk will assign dates for discovery compliance, and discovery due dates, and a date for a pre-trial conference.

    Good luck!


  2. Hi,

    The most important thing to do is to show up at the case management conference. When you arrive, sit in the court room until the clerk calls your name. You will probably then be sent out in the hallway to speak to the attorney representing the credit card company. You should bring any documentation with you, and there are several online sites that can help you figure out what sort of discovery you should request from the credit card company's attorney. You should look up the Massachusetts Rules of Civil Procedure and the District Court Rules of Procedure (state and not federal).

    You can file discovery requests to make sure that the credit card company can prove that you owe them money. You can also determine if you can file a motion to dismiss because the statute of limitations has expired.

    If you do not want to fight anymore, and want to make a payment arrangement, you can often do this at the case management conference.

    If you want to continue to contest the debt and fight the credit card company, the clerk will assign dates for discovery compliance, and discovery due dates, and a date for a pre-trial conference.

    Good luck!


  3. Attorney Foley is absolutely correct in her analysis.

    However, I would advise that you NOT attempt to handle this law suit on your own. It would be my suggestion that you retain an attorney to help you with this. Depending on the size of the debt, it could save you thousands of dollars.

    In order that you do not lose your case by default, you will have to properly answer the complaint and respond to discovery. You should also send out your own discovery to put the Plaintiff in the hot seat. Do not sign anything handed to you by the plaintiff's attorney. For a relatively low flat fee, I help my clients either dismiss the case against them or settle the case for dramatically less than the full amount owed.

    The alternative is to allow the Plaintiff to win, and obtain a full judgment plus interest against you. The judgment will be good for 20 years, and allow them to garnish wages and seize property. Please feel free to contact my office if you are prepared to get rid of this debt once and for all.


  4. A case management conference is usually the first opportunity for both sides of a lawsuit to see each other and determine the strength of their cases. It's also an opportunity for the court to set a schedule of events which will take place in the course of the lawsuit.

    All lawsuits involve a series of events which ultimately lead to the trial. Before the trial, both parties may collect information (called "discovery") which can be used at the trial. At the case management conference, you can determine a schedule for both parties to produce documents, answer interrogatories (questions about facts), and set up depositions.

    While you can use the case management conference to discuss the case with the other side and discuss potential settlement, you do not have to do so. The only thing you really need to do - as already noted - is to show up!