What is a 'Case Management Conference?'

Updated: May 31

Facing north outside Linn County Courthouse toward Vets Auditorium

A case management conference is what we used to call a “pretrial” conference. It’s usually the fourth court date after initial appearance, preliminary hearing, and arraignment. All court dates are important, but the case management conference, or, CMC, is really a fork in the road and a huddle among the lawyers and the judge about what will come next in the litigation: a trial or a plea agreement.

In the Linn County District Associate Court, which handles all Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, and Linn County misdemeanor criminal prosecutions other than simple misdemeanors, a CMC is typically set no more than 21 days after arraignment. Learn more about what an arraignment is here.

The CMCs used to be called pretrial conferences, or, merely “pretrials.” Because these pretrial conferences are set at the same time on Wednesdays at either 9 AM or 1:30 PM, you may still find lawyers who call them “bulk pretrial conferences.”

Clients can and do participate in these pretrial conferences because they are a “critical stage” of the prosecution. But in many cases, clients will authorize lawyers to speak to the judge and the prosecutor ahead of, or during, the CMC, to negotiate a settlement of the criminal charges without a jury or bench trial.

Because trials are now set at least a month from the date of the CMC, it is typically unnecessary to continue, or, delay a jury trial date even if additional discovery or pretrial matters do not result in a decision on a plea agreement at the time of the CMC.

If you or a loved one have been arrested for Operating While Intoxicated, Possession of Controlled Substance, Domestic Assault, Non-Domestic Assault, or other criminal offense in Cedar Rapids, Marion, Hiawatha, or other Linn County community, contact us for a free initial consultation.

Remember, however, that a blog is not legal advice and that sending unsolicited information to a lawyer over the Internet does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

© 2020 by David A. Cmelik Law PLC