Prepare for your case management conference

When your court schedules a case management conference of CMC, you're required to meet with the other side and prepare, serve, and file a Case Management Statement. For a defendant, the case management conference does not take the place of filing an answer or other response.

Before you start


You have 2 activities to complete for your case management conference or CMC. 

  • At least 30 days before the conference, you must meet (by phone or in person) with the other side (if they have a lawyer, then with the lawyer) to discuss different parts of your case. This is called meet and confer.
  • At least 15 days before the conference, you must file and serve a Case Management Statement.

Once you know the date of your conference, give yourself enough time to finish these by the deadlines. Keep preparing your case while preparing for the conference.

How to prepare for a case management conference

  • Meet and confer

    Both sides must talk in person or by phone at least 30 days before each case management conference. They must meet and confer.

    Typically, you'll do this by phone. On the call, you should try to see if you can solve any issues or even if resolving the case is possible. 

    You can find the list of topics and issues to discuss in California Rule of Court 3.724 and 3.727

    A few examples of the topics: 

    • What is the schedule?

      For example, when do you think you'll be ready for trial, what dates you and the other side, as well as any witnesses, are available for trial (if the court has not already set a date). You can also talk about how long you think the trial will last. The length of the trial usually depends on how many witnesses you each have.

    • Is a settlement possible?

      If you and the other side are not too far apart, you may be able to settle the case amongst each other (or with a lawyer if either side has one) or in a settlement conference with a judge rather than go to trial. Most courts schedule a settlement conference before the trial. If you and the other side think you can reach an agreement in a more informal setting with the help of a judge, you can ask to schedule the settlement conference earlier. 

    • Are there issues regarding discovery?

      You may be able to use this meeting to ask for more time on discovery, address any objections that have come up during requests for discovery, discuss any issues you anticipate will come up during discovery.

    • Can you narrow the scope of the trial?

      If you and the other side can agree that certain issues are not in question, you will not need to prove these at trial and you can focus your evidence on things that you don't agree on. You may also be able to agree to eliminate some of the causes of action in the Complaint or defenses in the Answer.

    • Jury or court trial?

      Does either side want a jury trial?

  • Fill out a Case Management Statement

    illustration of a paper form with signature

    Fill out Case Management Statement (form CM-110).  


    This form has you fill out information about the preparation of your case, to inform the court what the case is about, how long the trial will take, what types of alternatives to trial you are willing to participate in, and how close to ready your case is to trial. 

    After you’ve filled out the forms and signed the Case Management Statement, make 3 copies of the form.

  • Serve the Case Management Statement

    illustration representing a mailbox

    Ask another adult – a server – to mail the Case Management Statement and a completed and dated, but unsigned, copy of the Proof of Service (form POS-030). It helps if you fill in the top part of the form with the case and court information.    

    Your server must be: 

    • 18 or over, and 

    • Not part of your case 

    Have your server mail the papers to the other side or their attorney if they have one. After mailing the papers, the server signs the Proof of Service (form POS-030). 

    Make a copy of your Proof of Service form.  

  • File the Case Management Statement with the court

    icon representing a court clerks window

    File the Case Management Statement and the Proof of Service form at least 15 days before your conference is scheduled.

Civil lawsuits

What's next?

Once you and the other side are ready to go the trial, the court will set a date or you and the other side will agree to a trial date.

If the judge thinks it's necessary, you may need to attend another Case Management Conference.

success alert banner:

Have a question about Civil lawsuits?

Look for a "Chat Now" button in the right bottom corner of your screen. If you don’t see it, disable any pop-up/ad blockers on your browser.