The court hearing your case might require you to try some kind of alternative dispute resolution (ADR). This is a way to work out your disagreement without going to trial. A settlement conference is one type of ADR.
A volunteer judge not assigned for your trial or a volunteer lawyer is in charge of your settlement conference.
They will try to help you:
- talk about issues
- solve differences
- reach agreement without a trial
The judge or lawyer running the settlement conference will not make a decision for you. If you still disagree at the end of the settlement conference, you must go to trial.
Some counties only provide settlement conferences for low and moderate-income parties. Generally, it is a volunteer program. Some counties may charge a fee.
If the county where your case is filed doesn't require settlement conferences, but you still want to try to resolve the case without going to trial, you can try using a mediation service. To find one, visit the Court's website and search for dispute resolution.