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What happens at a court conference or a status appearance?

Depending on the type of court case you are involved in, the judge might schedule a court conference or a status appearance after the first (initial) court appearance. The status appearances that occur between an initial appearance and a hearing or trial are a chance for the parties and the judge to:

  • check the status of the case;
  • deal with any scheduling issues;
  • determine whether a settlement is possible; and
  • deal with ongoing issues that might require temporary orders or modifications of temporary orders.

A court conference is a conversation where the parties or their attorneys have a chance to discuss the case and specifically address the prospects of settlement with the judge, the judge’s law clerk, or the court attorney. In some states this conversation is off-the-record.