A: Believe it or not, a judge handles more than one case at a time. In fact, they might be handling hundreds of cases at a time. If you are on trial, there will be one day or one morning where the judge will set aside in order to have conferences with attorneys on the other cases he is handling.
Judges require the attorneys come into court intermittently in order to update the court on the progress of the litigation. Have all documents been exchanged? Have all witnesses been questioned at a deposition? Is there any discovery items that have not been turned over? Has expert information been disclosed yet?
Those lawyers hanging out in the back of the courtroom are waiting to be called into the Judge’s chambers to have a conference about the progress of their case. There is no assigned time for each lawyer to appear. Instead, there is a call of the days’ cases, known as a calendar call. The lawyers must be present during the calendar call or risk their case being dismissed.