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Divorce & Family Law This forum is for discussing any of the legal issues involved in your divorce.

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  #1  
Old 04-12-2021, 10:31 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Default Trial Scheduling Conference

Hi all,

I have a Trial Scheduling conference coming up.

My ex has made several criminal allegations against me which may soon come to an end due to a mistrial.

What can I expect in Trial conference? She's asking for sole custody with once a week visitation for me and I'm asking for 50/50.

Should I have a lawyer there present? I have a family lawyer but I'm running out of funds. I also do not trust him too much as he willingly agreed to give my entire medical records to my ex on consent. I wasn't paying attention and I agreed.

I want to go with a different lawyer but am worried about duplicating costs as they have to review everything in past 2 years.

Is it that bad if I attend my self? I mean it's just a conference, no orders can be made without consent, right?

What can I expect?

Thanks
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  #2  
Old 04-13-2021, 10:39 AM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenj View Post
My ex has made several criminal allegations against me which may soon come to an end due to a mistrial.
False allegations or not, I wouldnt get too comfortable about this. You are getting off on a technicality. She can still use this in family court and the parameters around it are much different than criminal court. Tread lightly with the mistrial.

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What can I expect in Trial conference? She's asking for sole custody with once a week visitation for me and I'm asking for 50/50.
TMC is used to make sure you are ready for trial. Judge checks with both sides on what they are asking for, what witnesses and evidence they will call and how the sides plan to lay out their case. The judge will again attempt to reach settlement and advise you both on what may happen.

Quote:
Should I have a lawyer there present? I have a family lawyer but I'm running out of funds.
Your lawyer may not want to represent you at trial if you go to this alone. They need to know what the judge is saying and also present their process. Your lawyer could say forget it, I wasnt at the management conference so you do this yourself.

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I also do not trust him too much as he willingly agreed to give my entire medical records to my ex on consent. I wasn't paying attention and I agreed.
Well this isnt your lawyers fault. You should have been paying attention. Blaming them for your stupidity isnt fair.

You have a complicated case with allegations of abuse. You need a lawyer for it.


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  #3  
Old 04-13-2021, 10:47 AM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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Why not ask for an adjournment for the trial, in order to resolve the outstanding criminal charge? I would think the family court would find that reasonable? But I'm not a family lawyer. Maybe I'm missing something.
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Old 04-13-2021, 01:10 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Originally Posted by iona6656 View Post
Why not ask for an adjournment for the trial, in order to resolve the outstanding criminal charge? I would think the family court would find that reasonable? But I'm not a family lawyer. Maybe I'm missing something.

His criminal matter is going to be declared a mistrial.


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  #5  
Old 04-13-2021, 02:18 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Originally Posted by rockscan View Post
Your lawyer may not want to represent you at trial if you go to this alone. They need to know what the judge is saying and also present their process. Your lawyer could say �forget it, I wasn�t at the management conference so you do this yourself�.
Thank you for your response.

What if I'm planning on changing my lawyer?

He's represented me for a year now, but mostly at conferences. He said he has trial experience but doesn't have experience cross-examining abuse allegations specifically.
He also was encouraging me to try my best to settle and get me to accept less than 50/50 time share.

I'm concerned because he is so eager to settle, I may be giving up too much just to avoid going to trial.

I also don't understand why I should get anything less than 50/50 because I was closely involved with the children from day 1.
My access is very limited now (once a week, supervised for 6 hours) due to her allegations.

Thanks again for your input.
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  #6  
Old 04-13-2021, 04:09 PM
iona6656 iona6656 is offline
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do you have the OCL involved in your file?
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  #7  
Old 04-13-2021, 07:01 PM
rockscan rockscan is offline
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Originally Posted by helenj View Post
What if I'm planning on changing my lawyer?
Then you should adjourn the TMC and get a new lawyer. Attending the TMC and then having someone come on board is a waste of time as a) the TMC sets the date for trial and b) your lawyer will want to do some lawyering on who should and should not be called as witnesses.

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He's represented me for a year now, but mostly at conferences. He said he has trial experience but doesn't have experience cross-examining abuse allegations specifically.
I wouldnt base their ability on whether or not they have trial experience. Some lawyers that have lots of experience are shitty and some with limited experience are good. The real question is the merit of your case. You have abuse allegations against you which makes your case complicated. You need a lawyer who can manage a lot of bullshit.

Quote:
He also was encouraging me to try my best to settle and get me to accept less than 50/50 time share.
More than likely it was because you have abuse allegations against you and your case is not strong enough. Depending on what evidence your ex has and what her witnesses are, that could have been the best advice you could get. Remember that if you lose you could be on the hook for her costs. Your lawyer may be giving you excellent advice but you want to ignore it. Remember that lawyers have experience with lots of cases whereas you only have experience with yours.

Quote:
I'm concerned because he is so eager to settle, I may be giving up too much just to avoid going to trial.
Again, this may be excellent advice and a new lawyer may tell you the same thing. In fact a pile of lawyers may tell you to settle. That doesnt make them bad lawyers.

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I also don't understand why I should get anything less than 50/50 because I was closely involved with the children from day 1. My access is very limited now (once a week, supervised for 6 hours) due to her allegations.
Well you have assault CHARGES against you. In family law it is pretty common for those charged with abuse to have supervised access. Just because you see them as allegations, the court sees it as charges by the police. Have you thought about pushing for trial on the charges for an acquittal?
Sure you dont want to go through it but mistrial still has the air of guilty which leaves a stink. Family Court doesnt automatically say not guilty because it was thrown out.

Have the judges at your conferences given indications on how this will go and/or suggested you settle? Have you considered settling for a gradual increase to 50/50 with attendance at counseling or other treatment?

Trial is not guarantee and it all depends on how strong your exs case is and what witnesses/evidence she has. A judge doesnt know you, they dont know anything about you other than what is presented. They work in the benefit of the children and if they believe you have any chance of harming the children, they could side with your ex.


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  #8  
Old 04-13-2021, 08:15 PM
StillPaying StillPaying is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by helenj View Post
I have a Trial Scheduling conference coming up.
Although sometimes it's combined, as you know the TSC is different from a TMC.

Quote:
What can I expect in Trial conference?
It'll be a simple process to complete your TSEF and get the judge to approve your trial. This should be much quicker than the other conferences.

Quote:
Should I have a lawyer there present?
Yes. There's a chance you can settle and/or learn something for trial. Don't quit on the process now that you're near the end.

Quote:
I want to go with a different lawyer but am worried about duplicating costs as they have to review everything in past 2 years.
Nothing you've mentioned shows your lawyer in a bad light. If money is an issue, hiring a new lawyer right before trial would be counter productive.

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Is it that bad if I attend my self? I mean it's just a conference, no orders can be made without consent, right?
Many orders are made at conferences with and without consent. Trust your lawyer and the process.
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  #9  
Old 04-14-2021, 05:46 PM
helenj helenj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StillPaying View Post


Nothing you've mentioned shows your lawyer in a bad light. If money is an issue, hiring a new lawyer right before trial would be counter productive.
.

1. On a conference, he agreed to hand over my entire medical file to my ex. I was exhausted so I signed.

2. Right before my criminal trial he brought a 50/50 motion which got dismissed because the judge said it's too close to the criminal trial.

3. He said he's done trials but hasn't dealt with cross-examining abuse allegations.

Yes - you're right I am worried about changing lawyers due to costs. But I'm worried about his judgement. I'm also worried he may want to settle just because he's not comfortable with trials of my nature.

Thoughts?
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  #10  
Old 04-14-2021, 06:26 PM
StillPaying StillPaying is offline
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1. Ex would have most likely received it by motion anyways, so don't feel bad. Let them pay for a copy to find out it's irrelevant. If there were any concerns, your dr would have already reported you so this can only benefit you by showing no issues with nothing to hide.

2. If there was any chance criminal trial could go wrong for you, this was your best move. Honestly, I don't see the issue here. You can bring another motion or wait til trial.

3. If he has cross-examination experience then it's all the same to me. Whether ex is claiming abuse or lying about everything else, it's the same job. Present your evidence, ask the questions and get to the facts. Lies or claims without evidence will go to character, but it'll always come down to the facts and relevance.

The criminal case worked out for you, barely, so trust the family court process as well. You settle with what you're ok with or you take it to trial. You're in control, but let your lawyer do their thing. Again, his judgement seems fine to me.
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