What is an initial pretrial conference? why so many cases

What are these things? And why would the court calendars include up to sixteen hours of hearings for ONE day? We have checked out dates and see no way that any one judge can hear this many cases in one day. What happens with this? Since I am pro se I have no idea what this means.

Thank you.

Initial pretrial conferences are meetings between the parties, their lawyers, and judges that are used to create a case plan which moves things forward. Time lines for discovery, mediation, and trial dates will be set.
The court calendar is often overloaded to account for the substantial number of cases that settle before the care is called.

Sixteen hours of cases is scheduled the day we have our hearing. Ours is only a hour hearing. What are the chances that mine is going to be heard. How do you find out ahead of time?

Thank you.

I cannot say what the chances are that you will be heard. You may attempt to contact the other parties ahead of you on the calendar to see if their case has settled or if they plan to move forward.