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Not too late to conciliate: Understanding case management discussions

Following the receipt of an employment tribunal claim, a tribunal judge decides whether a case management discussion (CMD) is needed. CMDs are usually only conducted in more complex cases, such as those with multiple claims or about discrimination issues. They are used to sort out matters of procedure or case management early, so that the hearing itself runs as smoothly and efficiently as possible.

At the CMD, the parties come together before the judge to outline and clarify the legal claims and salient issues of the case and establish the remedy being sought by the claimant. The judge may use the discussion as an opportunity to give directions for any further preparation towards the full hearing, estimate its length and to agree the number of witnesses required.

Many cases that have a CMD can go on to have relatively lengthy full tribunal hearings. As such, they can be emotionally stressful and financially costly to both parties, and it's often in everybody's best interests to find a resolution before going to tribunal.

Acas' free Acas Dispute Resolution service is available even after a CMD and continues to be available until all matters of liability and remedy have been determined by the tribunal. It won't interfere with the tribunal process and nothing discussed can be used as evidence in the tribunal hearings, nor later on in court actions.

Acas also provides practical training to help your organisation stay on the right side of employment legislation, including Discrimination. Visit the Acas Training and Business Solutions area for more information.

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