Pretrial Conference


  • Complete a criminal history check (out of state convictions, Department of Corrections history, determine dispositions for all arrests, determine which priors affect sentencing).
  • Provide the information to the defense (CrR 4.7(a)(1)(vi).
  • Determine plea offer and communicate to defense counsel before the proceeding so that defense counsel has time to discuss the offer with his/her client.
  • Check for subsequent police reports and further discoverable information and provide copies to defense (CrR 4.7).
If evidence was gathered based on a search warrant, obtain from police officer or initiate proceedings to obtain from the Clerk of the Superior Court the warrant and related affidavits that must be provided to defense pursuant to CrR 4.7, including obtaining a judge's release of records, if required.

Defense Counsel

Determine whether there is a conflict in representation based on information made available to defense counsel as of this point in time.
  • Communicate plea offer from prosecutor.
    • Determine acceptability of offer, or formulate counter-offer.
    • If defendant indicates she/he will plead, defense counsel will need to complete the Statement of Defendant on Plea of Guilty and schedule a plea date.
  • Meet with client to determine appropriateness of an application to Drug Court.
  • Discuss with the client and be able to inform the court the status of compliance with release conditions or programs to which the defendant has been referred.

What Staff & Other Agencies Should Do

Law enforcement agencies and LESA should prepare copies of supplemental police reports and deliver copies to the prosecutor.

What Should Happen at a Pre-Trial Conference


  1. If the case will not be resolved without a lab report, order lab report (this is not anticipated to be necessary in very many cases).
  2. Provide copies of supplemental or missing police reports to the defense.

Both Attorneys

  1. Discuss plea offer, if defendant will change plea to guilty, select plea date after consultation with court staff and completion of plea paperwork.
  2. Discuss referral to Drug Court, if appropriate.
  3. Review trial date selected at first appearance.
  4. Reset trial date, if necessary, based on type of case, amount of time needed to prepare for trial, likelihood of plea, and, by checking with a member of Criminal Administration (CA) for available trial dates understanding the court's need to balance the number of cases set for trial each day.
    1. Recognizing few cases proceed to trial, attorneys may typically double set trials.
    2. When selecting a trial date for cases more likely than not to go to trial, counsel should avoid double setting themselves with cases that are highly likely to proceed to trial. The new trial date must be approved by the Criminal Division Presiding Judge (CDPJ).
  5. Set a hearing for motions which must be heard prior to the day of trial by checking with CA for an available date. The attorneys should agree, based on the nature of the motion and evidence involved, what the appropriate scheduling of the motion should be in terms of how far in advance of the trial date it should be set, and the appropriate briefing schedule.
    1. If counsel cannot agree on a date or briefing schedule, this should be resolved by CDPJ.
  6. Complete scheduling order.