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What is a Case Management Conference?

A Case Management Conference (CMC), sometimes referred to as a Status Hearing, is a hearing where the judge, the attorneys, and the parties meet to discuss the pending issues in the case. CMCs can also be used as a tool to help move your case along. Check out our latest blog post for more information!

A Case Management Conference (CMC), sometimes referred to as a Status Hearing, is a hearing where the judge, the attorneys, and the parties meet to discuss the pending issues in the case. CMCs are designed to keep the parties on track, and move the case forward towards its completion.

A CMC may be set on the motion by a party or by the Court on its own motion. The matter to be considered shall be specified in the order or notice setting the CMC.

What to expect at a CMC

Civil Cases:

All Courts have their own procedure for CMCs. In Florida, the procedures for scheduling and conducting a case management conference are outlined in Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.200(a) for civil cases. Pursuant to the Rule, here are some of the things that can be decided during a CMC:

  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 there are certain complex litigation factors are present;
  4. limit, schedule, order, or expedite discovery;
  5. consider the possibility of obtaining admissions of fact and voluntary exchange of documents and electronically stored information, and stipulations regarding authenticity of documents and electronically stored information;
  6. consider the need for advance rulings from the court on the admissibility of documents and electronically stored information; 
  7. discuss as to electronically stored information, the possibility of agreements from the parties regarding the extent to which such evidence should be preserved, the form in which such evidence should be produced, and whether discovery of such information should be conducted in phases or limited to particular individuals, time periods, or sources;
  8. schedule disclosure of expert witnesses and the discovery of facts known and opinions held by such experts;
  9. schedule or hear motions in limine;
  10. pursue the possibilities of settlement;
  11. require filing of preliminary stipulations if issues can be narrowed;
  12. consider referring issues to a magistrate for findings of fact; and
  13. schedule other conferences or determine other matters that may aid in the disposition of the action.

Family Cases:

Florida Family Law Rule of Procedure 12.200 governs CMCs in family law cases. Pursuant to the Rule, here are some of the things that can be decided during a CMC for a family case:

  1. schedule or reschedule the service of motions, pleadings, and other documents;
  2. set or reset the time of trials, subject to rule 12.440;
  3. coordinate the progress of the action if complex litigation factors 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 related to admission or exclusion of evidence;
  7. pursue the possibilities of settlement;
  8. require filing of preliminary stipulations if issues can be narrowed;
  9. refer issues to a magistrate for findings of fact, if consent is obtained as provided in rules 12.490 and 12.492 and if no significant history of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence, or stalking that would compromise the process is involved in the case;
  10. refer the parties to mediation if no significant history of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence, or stalking that would compromise the mediation process is involved in the case and consider allocation of expenses related to the referral; or refer the parties to counseling if no significant history of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence or stalking that would compromise the process is involved in the case and consider allocation of expenses related to the referral;
  11. coordinate voluntary binding arbitration consistent with Florida law if no significant history of domestic, repeat, dating, or sexual violence or stalking that would compromise the process is involved in the case;
  12. appoint court experts and allocate the expenses for the appointments;
  13. refer the cause for a parenting plan recommendation, social investigation and study, home study, or psychological evaluation and allocate the initial expense for that study;
  14. appoint an attorney or guardian ad litem for a minor child or children if required and allocate the expense of the appointment;
  15. schedule other conferences or determine other matters that may aid in the disposition of the action; and
  16. consider any agreements, objections, or form of production of electronically stored information.

Common Practice

It’s common practice to set a CMC to schedule a hearing. Setting a CMC is my go-to for when the parties cannot agree to set a hearing and/or trial. I’ve also learned through my years of practice that Judges in family cases are given a lot of discretion for what they can do in CMCs. It’s all about efficiency and the best interests of the kids.

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The legal process can get difficult, which is why we always recommend that you seek assistance of counsel; or at least have a consultation. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today to review the issues of your case, the legal options you may have, and certain rights that pertain to your unique situation.

Have more questions? Let us know by sending an email to: questions@legallotus.com and we will do our best to develop content to provide you with direction and insight!

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