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Old 12-01-2009, 12:09 PM
NoahsDaddy NoahsDaddy is offline
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Originally Posted by Free-spirit View Post
Case conference is Dec 7, I am self-representing (seeking ss and equalization) and nervous as hell. I am confident in my pleadings to the court but am wondering about case law. At what point is case law brought into light, at case conference? Do I come up with particulars or wait to see what my ex's lawyer brings to the table for discussion first (including any case law examples)? Also, how important is case law? I have studied extensively just in case and will be prepared if need be, but will it be at this first meeting or later meetings?
I had an impromptu meeting with his lawyer and she was trying to sway me into accepting a meeting with my ex, herself and myself prior to case conference to see if we could come to a settlement. Ordinarily I would agree to this, however, from their past history of delays and ridiculous without prejudice statements I strongly feel that it would be in my best interest to discuss matters with a mediator. I have contacted them by letter stating I would be open to offers but discussions are best suited with a mediator in the room. Will the court look at this unfavourably (as though I was being 'difficult')?fficeffice" />>>
Based on my experience, you will actually see little accomplished at the Case Conference. The case conference is, essentially, just there to make everything has been filed with the court. My case conference was 10 minutes at best. Have they filed any motions that they want ruled on at the Case Conference? In fact, it would have been over in two minutes were it not for the fact that my ex would not agree to any set times that I could see my son...my lawyer pushed the issue and got the judge to make a temporary order on that.

Unless you settle ahead of time, after the case conference, the court will likely put your issue over to a settlement conference...which is almost the same as mediation, but, with a judge present. The judge sits on the floor at the same level as the parties and will make suggestions (forcefully if they feel a certain way) to you both. The judge can make orders at the settlement conference. They will do this first in an attempt to avoid sending your matter to a potentially lengthy/expensive trial. I also found that the judge who resided over the case conference had little to no patience in comparison to the settlement conference one; just something to keep in mind as you're representing yourself.

You could propose a meeting with a mediator; I don't see them looking unfavourably on that. In doing so, at least you're attempting to discuss the issues outside of court. Also, I don't see anything wrong with a meeting between your ex and his lawyer...just don't allow yourself to be pushed into anything that you don't feel comfortable with. When I went through the courts, both my lawyer and my ex' lawyer met several times to discuss settlements...sometimes with us present and sometimes not. I think your ex' lawyer is trying to treat this the same way that she would if you had representation. Either way, your ex' lawyer should submit a formal offer to settle with their case conference brief...why don't you ask for it and then look it over? If you're willing to spend the money on a mediator (which can get expensive) it might be worth spending a few hundred dollars to have a lawyer look at the offer and advise you.

In terms of case law, you're not going to need to quote case law unless your issue ends up in a trial. Hopefully, you can come to a resolution before getting to that point.