I have a personal injury trial is three weeks. My lawyer says she has to go to a "pretrial conference" next week. What is that? Do I need to be there?
Generally, conferences are held prior to a trial so that the Judge and lawyers can resolve disputes about the admissibility of evidence, the timing of witness testimony, and other logistical matters. Pre-trial conferences can greatly streamline the progression of a trial thereby minimizing the financial cost on the parties, witnesses, jurors and the Court.
You need to ask your lawyer whether you should attend. It is rare that clients attend a pretrial conference, but that is question that you need to address with your lawyer.