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What is a dispositional conference?

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Quick Answer

A "dispositional conference" is a non-testimonial court appearance requiring only the appearance of the defendant, prosecutor and defense attorney, according to the website for the County of Cumberland, Maine. Parties discuss with a judge the evidential merit as well as any pre-trial motions and the defense.

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Cumberland County notes that, at the end of a dispositional conference, a plea negotiation may be reached to resolve a case. Otherwise, the case proceeds to a motion hearing docket, jury trial docket or miscellaneous docket. In many jurisdictions, the dispositional conference is the first of the court dates given to a defendant at arraignment. In regards to misdemeanors, a case that is not able to be resolved by a plea is typically scheduled for either a preliminary hearing or a dispositional conference, as is the case in Minnehana County, South Dakota.

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