Case management conference
The case management conference is a hearing which is taking place for the purposes of deciding to take further steps in the case. Case management conference is usually taking place when the case is more complex and involves a lot of issues to consider and decide. The timetable for certain steps which need to be taken has to be fixed in order to deal with the case expeditiously. As in accordance with the Civil Procedure rules, the representatives who attend the case management conference must familiarise themselves with the case and all issues it involves in order to understand the case. If the representative does not attend the case management conference, and as a result the conference is postponed, wasted costs order may follow. Therefore it is important to attend the conference. Case management conference can occur at different stages of the proceedings. These being the stage when the directions are set, that is in order to decide on further steps to be taken in the proceedings or also later in the proceedings when it is necessary to assess what the progress of the case is and maybe to set further directions with regards to the further steps which has to be taken. The court should give the parties at least three days notice of the case management conference. As in accordance with the Practice Direction 29 to Civil Procedure Rules, the court may consider several issues at this conference these are for instance; whether the claimant made the claim clear to the court citing appropriate amount he is claiming for, whether any amendments are required to be made to the claim, what disclosure of documents is necessary if any at all, what expert evidence is required, what factual evidence should be disclosed, whether there are any arrangements necessary for a further clarification of the issues arising, whether it will be just and will save costs if a spit trial was ordered or the trial of preliminary issues.
The parties are also required to consider whether the case summary will be required for the case management conference. The case summary is a document consisting of less than 500 words which is prepared by the Claimant and will actually assist the court to better understand the issues in the case and to make it easier for the court to deal with those issues raised. The case summary should contain for instance a chronology of the claim, issues which are disputed and those which are agreed and the evidence which is needed in order to decide them. If the parties are able to agree on the directions, and the court approves the directions, then there is no need for a case management conference to take place. Such a solution will support early settlement which is in accordance with the overriding objective and Civil Procedure Rules.
For more information on:
- Variation of directions
- Attending the case management conference