Federal Pretrial Conferences
Federal Pretrial Conferences are held before the assigned District Court Judge. The judge will often visit with the lawyers. The defendant is required to be present but usually does not have to do anything. Defendants do not usually have to say anything at the Pretrial Conference.
At the Pretrial Conference the judge will ask the prosecutor to summarize the charges against the defendant. If there are multiple defendants the judge will ask for an overview as to each defendant’s role in the alleged offense.
At the Pretrial Conference the judge will confer with defense counsel about any issues that may be of concern to the Defense. It is not unusual at the Pretrial Conference for the Defense to bring up issues about discovery, possible motions to suppress illegally obtained evidence and scheduling issues.
In many cases, the court will hold several Pretrial Conferences before the case gets to trial.