Mandatory Settlement Conference Law and Legal Definition

A mandatory settlement conference is a meeting between all parties involved in a case for the purpose of exploring possibilites for settlement. The presence of various parties at the mandatory settlement conference is mandatory and not discretionary. The court may order the person who fails to appear to pay the opposing party's reasonable expenses and counsel fees for such failure to appear.

When the trial date is fixed, a date for a Mandatory Settlement Conference is also fixed. Short trials under a half day do not have Mandatory Settlement Conferences. Mandatory Settlement Conference will usually be held in the court building. A temporary judge will preside. Temporary judges (called "Pro Tems", short for pro tempore) are lawyers with a lot of experience. They volunteer to be the judges for your Settlement Conference. Everyone in the case has to file a written statement and describing how settlement negotiations are going.