Pre-Trial Conference

Pre-Trial Conference

Though sometimes called different things, normally the second court appearance in a criminal case (the one following the Arraignment) provides an opportunity for the defense attorney to meet with the prosecutor personally to discuss desired outcomes, and explore settlement possibilities.  The two may also discuss discovery, evidence and other issues, as well as any defense pretrial motions and contested pretrial hearings relating to probable cause to go to trial, suppression of evidence, and other pretrial and trial issues.  The defense and prosecution lawyers may discuss these issues with the judge as well.

Sometimes this type of court appearance is called an “Uncontested Omnibus Hearing” (as opposed to the “Contested Omnibus Hearing” that may follow on a later date).  Some courts will schedule a “Pretrial Conference” a week or so before the jury trial date.