In the legal field, a case conference refers to the meeting of the prosecution and defence to determine whether a criminal case can be resolved or not. The prosecution has the initial responsibility of pointing out the facts that they say will support what criminal charges are to be filed. These points are put in a document and a copy is sent to the defence before the court holds a case conference. The defence then responds by also submitting an outline of the defence case (responding to the points laid out by the prosecution).
If during a case conference the defence finds it in the client’s best interest to enter a guilty plea, and the client is agreeable, then a date for the official plea will be scheduled. The Court always allow enough time for relevant documents to be prepared first such as medical or psychological reports. Trials and directions hearings are also scheduled during case conferences.
Case conferences in the County Court typically last for no more than an hour and are usually listed at 9AM or 9:30AM. They are often conducted outside normal sitting times to keep them as short as possible.