Posted May 14, 2017 by Mark Hauser
The most important thing that happens at your final pre-trial conference is that you are given your trial date if one was not chosen earlier. In Philadelphia, a judge or waive trial is usually only one or two months from that date, however, a jury trial can be three to twelve months away depending on the judge’s calendar. Why such a big time difference? Well, a jury trial generally takes at least three days while a waiver trial may take only a half of day. Hence, a waiver trial is much easier for a judge to fit into their calendar.
Also discussed is any final discovery issues to make sure that the discovery is complete or will be by the time of the trial. While discovery was provided earlier, sometimes there were additional discovery requests (like phone records) and sometimes the discovery takes a while (like ballistics reports). If there are any motions (e.g., Motion to Suppress evidence) that have been filed they are scheduled (although almost always they are done at the same day as the start of the trial in Philadelphia). If the motion is heard in a waiver trial, any relevant, non hearsay evidence is incorporated into the trial for the sake of convenience.