Essential Components

Case Preparation

Curriculum Guideline Two

Court leaders oversee programs that assist parties in preparing their case and in gathering information used in the judicial decision-making process.  The activities can involve pre-filing case preparation, pre-trial case preparation, gathering information relevant to the resolution of the dispute, and educating parties about the process.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Ability to identify programs and services supporting preparation of cases is needed in the community served by the court, the ability to find or develop such programs and services;

  • Knowledge of the role and objectives of programs that investigate or initiate cases such as children’s protection services, the grand jury, and pre-trial services and probation;

  • Knowledge of programs and services that provide information to the court on indigency issues, detention alternatives, and jail crowding;

  • Knowledge of types of treatment and referral recommendations, and information such as drug testing results provided to problem solving courts and how to organize and manage these services;

  • Knowledge about when the court must appoint counsel, supported by investigators and experts when necessary, in criminal and juvenile cases and how to coordinate programs providing adequate representation;

  • Ability to establish and manage self-help programs to assist self represented litigants, particularly for domestic violence, civil harassment orders, family law, and small claims cases, and to educate the public about the availability and use of these services;

  • Skill to coordinate services providing clinical, forensic, psychiatric, or psychological evaluations of a party’s mental state or treatment options in criminal, juvenile, child abuse and neglect, child custody, mental health, probate, and guardianship cases;

  • Ability to coordinate legal research provided to judges by research attorneys, whether in-house or contractual;

  • Knowledge of probation services that provide the court information about factors relevant to sentencing and sentencing alternatives;

  • Knowledge of child advocacy and public guardian programs and services and how to coordinate them with judicial processes;

  • Skill in collaborating with community resources and referral programs to help litigants with housing, education, and health needs , and in offering resources to support pre- or post-trial detention alternatives, diversion, mediation, or counseling services for litigants and victims.

View the Summary of Essential Components Curriculum Guidelines or click on each of the five Curriculum Guidelines to see the associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:

Essential Components MSWord version for printing. 

(A password window will appear. Click Cancel).

Essential Components Adobe Acrobat 5.0 version for printing.


 The above files are Adobe Acrobat pdf files, and require the free Adobe Acrobat Reader to download, view, and print. You can download the free reader here.