Making Appearances in State Courts For Routine and Contested Hearings

Appearance attorneys are the ones who can help you in routine and contested hearings. This assistance is invaluable at the times of emergencies or when your workload is too heavy. What can a court appearance attorney do for you?



Attorneys of record may face the need for appearing in a court just for the postponement of a hearing, trial or other scheduled court proceeding at the request of either or both parties in the dispute. Court appearance attorneys can handle this process called continuance. They can file a motion for continuance which may be granted when necessitated by unforeseeable events especially when the court believes it is in the “interest of justice.”


Court Management Conference (CMC)

CMC is not a trial. It is an attempt to settle some or all the issues in dispute before going to trial. The appearance attorney may submit documents or present your position. The judge conducting the CMC is not the judge that will preside over the trial so parties can speak freely. The settlement discussions are not recorded. This means that the discussions cannot be used by either party during the trial. If parties come to an agreement on any issues, these points will be communicated to the trial judge.


Ex Parte Hearing

Since ex parte decision is one decided by a judge without requiring all of the parties to the controversy to be present, there is no requirement for an attorney of record to be present. A court appearance professional can handle the hearing without complications.


MSJ Hearing

Court appearance attorneys can successfully handle a motion for summary judgment (sometimes called an “MSJ”). MSJ is a request for the court to rule that there are no facts at issues and therefore the other party has no case. The court appearance attorney can make a motion claiming that the case should not go before a jury or that the jury should rule in favor of the moving party.


Pretrial Hearing

Like with CMC, there is no need for an attorney of record to be present during a pretrial meeting. These meetings intend to solve some of the legal issues before the trial begins. When less important legal matters are handled during the pretrial hearing, the court can focus on more pressing legal issues during the actual trial.


Status Conference

Again, this is a pending meeting to discuss whether and how the case is progressing. The appearance attorney can present the case and discuss other pretrial matters as instructed by the attorney of record. The attorney of record will not come up with any arguments but will describe the state of matters as instructed by the attorney of record in writing or orally.


Trial Setting Conference (TSC)

The purpose of TSC is to determine whether the case is ready for trial. The judge also makes sure that all of the disclosure documents have been exchanged. The court appearance professional can handle TSC and submit all the missing documents.



The judge has to read the criminal charging document, and the accused is expected to enter a plea. Normally this hearing itself is short. It usually takes less than five minutes. A lot more time is spent to wait for your name to be called. Usually, a lot of people are scheduled for an arraignment calendar, and you should wait for your turn.


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