If you have gotten a court date for a civil case by the labor tribunal (violation of contract clause), is it normal to have some interview session asking for necessary documents before the court date?
Question 1: What if by unexpected circumstances you will not be able to attend the interview session assigned before court date? Will this be disadvantageous for both the plaintiff or the defendant (whoever did not attend the interview session)?
Question 2: If you happened to miss the interview session, could you still have the opportunity to hire a lawyer and properly defend yourself in court?
Because from what I see the interview session seems like nothing more than an evidence gathering session to defend or raise a charge against the opposing party. But if you are absent for that session, in court the judge might not be aware of your defense or charge, hence do you get an opportunity to defend yourself on the court date itself?
EDIT: in particular the country I am referring to is Hong Kong