What happens at a status conference in a civil rights. What if you don't have an attorney?

Asked over 4 years ago - Detroit, MI

In a civil rights case, what is the purpose of a status conference?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Alan G. Blatnikoff

    Contributor Level 7

    Answered . A status conference is where the Court will set forth a scheduling order for the parties to follow throughout the litigation process. There will be certain deadlines for filing witness lists, conducting discovery, submitting the case to mediation and/or facilitaiton, and trial. I always recommend that a party be represented by an attorney if they are involved in litigation.

  2. Donald C. Wheaton Jr.

    Contributor Level 11

    Answered . A status conference is a Judge's opportunity to speak briefly with the parties to find out the claims in the case, and to issue a Scheduling Order that will govern the conduct of the rest of the case up to and including trial. If you're in Wayne County Circuit Court, many Judges don't even have the parties or their attorneys appear; they simply issue the Order that tells you how long you have to conduct discovery, when Witness Lists are due, and in what month you can expect to go to case evaluation, and they choose either a Track 1 (shortest), Track 2 (average), or Track 3 (longest) series of dates for the case, based on what the parties say or what the Judge sees in reviewing a file. If you're in Federal Court, you have to be ready to show how you have complied with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure governing discovery, and be prepared to explain to the Judge what your case is about. It's best to be represented by a lawyer in these matters because whatever set of rules your case will be proceeding under, they are best navigated by attorneys. Good luck.

  3. Susan Pernick

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . The purpose of a status conference in every case - civil rights or otherwise - is to see if the case can settle. If it can't be, usually the judge or magistrate tries to determine what the issues are, if any can be eliminated, learns what discovery is anticipated, and may set a discovery and briefing schedule if any motions are expected at this early stage of the litigation.

    Please note that this is how it's done in NY and the federal courts here; I don't know how it's done in Michigan. You can ask the clerk of the court your case is in, but you're best off if you consult with a KMichigan litigation attorney.

    DISCLAIMER - THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. THIS IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE IN ANSWER TO ANY SPECIFIC QUESTION OR QUESTIONER. THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

  4. Susan Pernick

    Contributor Level 15

    Answered . A status conference is pretty much the same in every civil (as opposed to criminal) case, whether the subject is civil rights or contract or negligence. The judge or magistrate, depending on the court, meets with the attorneys for the parties, or any pro se parties to get a rough idea of the facts. S/he gets a feel for whether and what discovery will be needed,and sets a schedule or a cut-off date for it,

    If it sounds like there will be motions, the judge may set a briefing schedule, and if it is his/her practice, set a date for oral argument.

    Some judges use the opportunity to see if there's any possibility of settlement.

    If you're pro se, consult a lawyer to see what to expect, what s/he knows about the particular judge assigned to your case, strategy, and most important, whether you can handle it by yourself.

    This is how it works in NY and the federal courts. I don't know the law in Michigan.

    If you're pro se, consult a lawyer to see what to expect, what s/he knows about the particular judge assigned to your case, strategy, and most important, whether you can handle it by yourself. Most people are best off represented by counsel.

    DISCLAIMER - THIS IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE, AND IS NOT INTENDED TO ANSWER A PARTICULAR QUESTION. THE WRITER IS ADMITTED TO PRACTICE ONLY IN THE STATE OF NEW YORK, AND ANY INFORMATION PROVIDED DOES NOT APPLY TO THE STATE OF THE QUESTIONER. THIS IS FOR GENERAL INFORMATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, AND DOES NOT CREATE AN ATTORNEY-CLIENT RELATIONSHIP.

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