A pre-trial conference is a meeting between the judge and the respective
attorneys. The judge will assess the issues of fact or law involved and determine
what discovery has been completed, if any, in order to better plan his docket.
Trial dates may be discussed. Quite often, pre-trial conferences are held
a few times while the suit is slowly making its way through the court system.
In reality, conferences are scheduled by the court in order to hammer out
a settlement agreement, thus avoiding trial.