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Old 07-08-2010, 09:16 AM
loserguy1960 loserguy1960 is offline
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Default Have to prepare COnference Brief - need guidance

Hi
i'm representing myself. I filed a motion in March to vary CS/SS due by my income being 40% of what it used to be, and the fact that my two teenage kids have moved in with me (ex won't even change CS despite kids not livoing with here, making me use the courts).

I had a "to be spoken to" hearing a few weeks ago and we have a case conf scheduled for late July. My conference brief is due next week. I have no idea what to put in it. I have already filed a multi page motion, all kinds of financial disclosure as ordered by the court, and a 20 page affidavit answering her points and making my case as strongly as i can.

I don't have any other points to make.

What is the purpose and suggested tone of the Conference Brief?

Thanks in advance!!!!!
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:33 AM
Mess Mess is offline
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In an ideal world, the judge would read, analyse and memorize your entire set of motion documents and the same with your ex and have a complete picture of your situation in their mind before the conference. OK, that situation will never happen.

In a lot of cases, the judge will only read the brief before the conference. Then if there are some points to ponder, they may refer to the other documents for clarification. But mostly the long story you wrote out for your motion or trial, whille it's necessary, it won't get used at your conference, and maybe not even in the courtroom. Why the hell is that? Your application/answer is a record of things that you are going to bring up at trial, its so your ex can prepare their arguments and evidence and so you can't just bring something up out of the blue. Your motion may or may not be decided based on your document submission, it may depend on verbal arguments, it may be both.

So now you want to know about your brief. This is in some ways more important because it will actually certainly be read and used. It must be brief, something the judge can read and digest in a few minutes. It will also form an agenda for the meeting. If you have never had any kind of meeting at work where there was a chair and an agenda, try to read up on this a bit. Google "how to write an agenda for the meeting".

The brief should follow all of those basic rules you hated when you were in English class in middle school learning to write a paragraph. It should have a lead in topic sentence that describes what you want the outcome to be. It should then have supporting sentences stating why. It should then have sub-support with factual backup of your supporting sentences.

(example: I seek custody of my children. I was primary caregiver of the children and my ex did little care during the relationship. Since separation the ex has not been involved with the children. The children are settled in and rely on me. The children have spent little time with the ex. The ex has not learned even basic housekeeping or childcare skills. The ex does not bathe them regularly, keep regular mealtimes.) You should see the idea here, it says what you want, why and some supporting facts, and it is BRIEF. Each supporting fact becomes a topic for discussion, so this acts as an agenda.

You should also go over your ex's documents and list points to address anything you disagree with or can prove wrong. Keep this brief and in point form as well. Again, these are talking points to bring up, it is not a ten page essay to make a complete argument.

Think of your brief as being like the blurb on the back of a paperback book, it is a sample of what's inside that is written to entice the reader to want to open the book and find out more. It is not the whole story, but it outlines what the story is. The difference is, unlike the blurb on the paperback, you are going to reveal the end of the story in your point forms as well.
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