Pre-Trial as a Procedural Device; Purpose; Nature

Pre-trial is a procedural device by which the Court is called upon after the filing of the last pleading to compel the parties and their lawyers to  appear before it, and negotiate an amicable settlement or otherwise make a formal statement and embody in a single document the issues of fact and law involved in the action, and such other matters as may aid in the prompt disposition of the action, such as the number of witnesses the parties intend to present, the tenor or character of their testimonies, their documentary evidence, the nature and purpose of each of them and the number of trial dates that each will need to put on his case. One of the objectives of pre-trial procedure is to take the trial of cases out of the realm of surprise and maneuvering. (G.R. No. 29776)
Pre-trial also lays down the foundation and structural framework of another concept, that is, the continuous trial system. (Circular No. 1-89, Administrative Circular No. 4, September 4, 1988) Pre-trial is mandatory but not jurisdictional. (G.R. No. 82309)

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