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Pretrial and What to Expect


Attorney in the court - Sims & Purzer

Going to trial can be a stressful and emotional process, but being prepared and knowing what to expect can help alleviate some of that stress. Below are valuable information about what to expect before trial in Texas.


Some things to keep in mind before trial:

  1. Discovery. Before trial, both parties will engage in a process called discovery, which allows each party to gather evidence and information from the other party. This may involve written questions, document requests, and depositions.

  2. Pretrial Hearings. The court may schedule pretrial hearings to address any issues that need to be resolved before trial. This could include matters related to evidence, witness testimony, or other procedural issues.

  3. Mediation. Many courts in Texas require parties to attend mediation before going to trial. Mediation is a process in which a neutral third party helps the parties reach a settlement agreement. If mediation is successful, the parties can avoid going to trial.

  4. Trial Preparation. It is essential to work closely with your attorney to prepare for trial. This may include preparing witness testimony, gathering evidence, and strategizing trial arguments.

  5. Courtroom Etiquette. When the day of trial arrives, it is important to dress professionally and behave respectfully in the courtroom. Be sure to arrive on time and be prepared to present your case effectively.


To understand the process further, here is a summary of some of the process in a pretrial conference:


Pretrial Conference

Understanding the trial process can be beneficial in assisting individuals to navigate through the legal system. One key element of a trial is the pre-trial conference where judges meet with lawyers for various purposes. In some jurisdictions, disputes such as disagreements over child custody must be referred to a third party to facilitate a settlement. If the court has court-annexed alternative dispute resolution programs, such as arbitration or mediation, the judge may refer the case to these programs during the pre-trial conference.


Status Conference

A popular type of pre-trial conference is the status conference, which occurs after all initial pleadings have been submitted and helps the judge effectively manage the case by setting timelines and tentative trial dates. In some jurisdictions, disputes such as child custody disagreements may be referred to court-annexed alternative dispute resolution programs such as arbitration or mediation.


Arbitration and Mediation

Arbitration involves submitting the dispute to a neutral third party to render a decision after hearing arguments and reviewing evidence, while mediation involves a mediator assisting parties in reaching a negotiated settlement.


Understanding the Legal Process

These processes are private and more cost-effective than a full trial. Pre-trial conferences can also be used to encourage settlements by clarifying issues in dispute and reviewing evidence.


If a settlement is not reached, an issue conference may be scheduled to determine undisputed facts or points of law to shorten trial time. If no settlement is reached, the judge sets a trial date. Overall, understanding the trial process and pre-trial conferences can help individuals navigate the process efficiently.


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We Can Guide You

At Sims and Purzer, PLLC, we are committed to helping our clients navigate the complex world of family law in Texas. We are here to guide you through the pretrial process and help you achieve a favorable outcome in your case.


If you have any questions about what to expect before trial, please don't hesitate to contact us. We are here to help.




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