Set the Matter Down for Trial and Pre-Trial Conference

Once examinations for discovery are completed and undertakings have been fulfilled, the matter will be placed on the trial list by a party who feels that they are ready to proceed to trial. This involves preparing a "trial record" that includes copies of all the pleadings and any relevant pre-trial orders, serving it on all other parties, and filing it with the court. The case is placed at the bottom of the trial list, and gradually works its way to the head of the list as the cases ahead of it are disposed. The list might be anywhere from 6 to 18 months long, depending on the case backlog in the county where the action was commenced.

Under the Simplified Rules (for cases involving less than $100,000), within 180 days after the action is set down for trial, the court will give the parties notice that they must attend at a pre-trial conference. A pre-trial conference is an opportunity for the parties to meet before a judicial officer before trial to obtain his or her views on the various aspects of the case. The judge conducting the pre-trial conference is not permitted to be the same judge who will hear the trial. Each judge has his or her personal style for conducting such meetings. The judge can establish a timetable and fix a date for trial, and, if the date is set, will complete a pre-trial conference report.

At least five days before the pre-trial conference, each party must file a brief setting out the nature of the proceeding, the issues raised and the parties' position on the issues, the names of the witnesses to be called, and the steps that need to be completed before trial.