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A pre-trial review is a brief court attendance to allow the court to determine if the case is ready to proceed to trial.

At the pre-trial review, the court will make several inquiries to ensure that both parties are ready to proceed to trial. These will include:

  • making sure that the court’s orders or decisions that were made previously have been complied with;
  • ensuring that the time provided for the trial reflects the time estimated by both parties; and
  • checking the availability of the witnesses and the requirement for them to attend court for cross-examination during the trial.

The court will then determine whether it is satisfied that the trial is ready to go ahead. The court may also seek to set limits on the time allocated at the trial for the: 

  • opening addresses; 
  • presentation of a party’s case; and
  • closing addresses. 

The pre-trial review will be listed approximately four weeks before a trial date.

What Happens if Previous Directions Have Not Been Complied With?

If either party has not complied with previous directions, the court can make orders including:

  • dismissing the main proceedings;
  • dismissing a cross claim;
  • striking out of a defence; or
  • making a costs order.

If evidence has not been served in accordance with the previous timetable, the court may allow further time for this to occur. 

What Will My LegalVision Team Be Doing?  

Your LegalVision team will be ensuring that all the court orders and decisions have been complied with prior to the pre-trial review. They will also be checking everything and ensuring that the case is ready to proceed to trial. 

Your LegalVision team will also be working to prepare a ‘civil listing advice’ which is a list of the names of each of the witnesses that will be giving evidence at the trial. We will also estimate the time it will take for them to go through questioning. 

We may also attend the pre-trial review or, alternatively, brief a barrister who would attend on our behalf. Following the pre-trial review, we will report back to you about the outcome and any orders or decisions made by the court.

What Do I Need To Do?

If you are at this stage of the proceedings, there are a few things that your LegalVision team may need you to do. This includes:

  1. providing your LegalVision team with instructions;
  2. considering a settlement offer to prevent going through an expensive trial process; and
  3. attending a pre-trial review if you wish.

This article is part of a larger publication on the NSW Local Court Process. To read about the next step in the NSW Local Court process, click here.


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