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Allen, Flatt, Ballidis & Leslie, Inc.

I Have Been Scheduled for a Status Conference in My Accident Case What Does That Mean?

A status conference is a conference between the attorney, or if you are not represented by an attorney, you and the court.  At the status conference, the court will ask what type of case has been filed, what the progress is in conducting discovery on the case, and when the parties would be ready for trial if the matter cannot be settled.  The court will also schedule a mandatory settlement conference or order the case to arbitration if the rules allow for such an order.  
In Orange County auto accident cases, arbitration can be ordered on any case that is of a value less than $50,000.  Arbitration has to be conducted in good faith and within the time frame allotted by the court.  
If the parties agree to arbitration, the arbitration could be conducted at any time, and a report of the results of the arbitration can then be submitted to the court.  
At the status conference, the party should be prepared to file the documents necessary to inform the Court of the status of the case.  Each court house has its own forms that must be filed out in order to properly advise the court of the status.  The forms usually have to be submitted jointly, that is both parties have to have seen the forms, before they are submitted to the Court and they generally have to be filed within five days of the date of the hearing.  
At the hearing the court will decide based upon the conversation it has with the representatives when the trial date should be set and in conjunction with what other discovery and other information needs to be acquired before the case will be ready for trial.  
Just because a case goes to a status conference does not mean that it will go to trial.  Setting of a trial date is usually at least 120 to 150 days out, and is designed to move the parties towards settlement of the case.  If they cannot settle it, then the Court has given them a timely trial date. 
If you need an Orange County or Los Angeles County auto accident attorney to help you with your case, feel free to call us at 866-981-5596.

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