What to expect at a Judicial Pre-trial Meeting

What is a judicial pre-trial meeting?

A judicial pre-trial meeting is a meeting held between the lawyers of both parties prior to the trial of a case. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss potential issues, explain the facts and evidence of each side, clarify procedural matters, and work towards an agreement or settlement without having to go through a lengthy court process. The meeting is presided over by a judge who plays an advisory role in attempting to facilitate an agreement.


Why are judicial pre-trial meetings important?

Judicial pre-trial meetings are important because they can save time and money associated with a criminal trial. By allowing both parties to discuss the case matters and work towards an agreement, the process of a trial may be shortened or even avoided altogether. Furthermore, this also allows both sides to avoid costly court procedures, while also ensuring that everyone involved receives fair treatment. Additionally, judicial pre-trials provide an opportunity for both parties to reach a mutually acceptable resolution which could have a positive impact on all parties involved.


Who is involved in a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario?

In Ontario, a judicial pre-trial meeting is typically attended by the lawyers of both parties, the judge presiding over the case, and any other individuals or experts who have been identified as having relevant information to contribute. The Crown prosecutor may also be present to answer questions that arise during the proceedings. Additionally, it is possible for family members of all parties involved to attend if they choose to do so.


What happens during a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario?

During a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario, both parties will discuss the facts of their respective cases and potential resolutions that could be reached. The judge may make suggestions for reaching an agreement and both sides will provide relevant information regarding the evidence to be presented at trial. The primary goal of a judicial pre-trial meeting is to reach an agreement between both parties without having to go through the lengthy process of a trial. However, if an agreement cannot be reached, then the parties will proceed with their formal trial date.


What agreements are made at a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario?

Agreements made at a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario can encompass a variety of topics and outcomes. These agreements could cover matters including admissions of facts or responsibility, commitments to pay compensation or even the pleadings entered at trial. While not all pre-trials will result in an agreement being reached, the discussions that occur during a pre-trial help to narrow down the issues that are in dispute and often lead to decisions being made without having to go through a full trial.


Consequences of failing to attend a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario

Failing to attend a judicial pre-trial meeting in Ontario can have serious consequences. Depending on the type of case, penalties may include adjournment of the trial date or orders for costs or even default judgment being entered against the party that failed to appear. Additionally, many judges are reluctant to grant adjournments for parties who fail to attend pre-trials and as a result, parties without representation may find it difficult to obtain additional time to prepare their case before appearing at court.



In conclusion, judicial pre-trial meetings in Ontario can help parties to narrow down the issues in dispute and potentially reach an agreement without going through a full trial. However, failing to attend a pre-trial can have significant consequences such as default judgment being entered against the absent party or the refusal of the court to grant an adjournment. It is therefore important that any parties attending a judicial pre-trial in Ontario are aware of its significance and take steps to ensure their attendance at all times.

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