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RULE §67.74Telephonic Proceedings

(a) Upon timely motion containing the pertinent telephone number(s), a Party may request to appear before the Examiner by telephone or videoconferencing or to present the testimony of a witness by such methods. The Party requesting to appear or present testimony by telephone or videoconferencing has the burden to show that good cause exists for the granting of the request. Unless all Parties agree to the request, the requesting Party must demonstrate:

  (1) how witnesses will be separated;

  (2) that coaching of witnesses shall not occur and how coaching of witnesses will be prevented;

  (3) why observing a witness' demeanor is not essential to the case; and

  (4) how the witness' identity will be verified at the time of hearing.

(b) If the request is granted, a Party may appear or a witness may testify by telephone or videoconferencing before the Examiner if each participant in the hearing has an opportunity to participate in and hear the Proceeding.

(c) The Examiner may conduct a prehearing conference by telephone or videoconferencing upon reasonable and adequate notice to the Parties, even in the absence of a Party's motion.

(d) All substantive and procedural rights apply to telephone and videoconferencing prehearings and hearings, subject only to the limitations of the physical arrangement.

(e) Documentary evidence to be offered at a telephone or videoconferencing prehearing conference or hearing shall be served on all Parties and filed at least fourteen (14) days before the prehearing conference or hearing unless the Examiner, by written Order, amends the filing deadline.

(f) For a telephone or videoconferencing hearing or prehearing conference, the following may be considered a failure to appear and grounds for dismissal if the conditions exist for more than 15 minutes after the scheduled time for hearing or prehearing conference:

  (1) failure to answer the telephone or videoconference line;

  (2) failure to free the line for the Proceeding; or

  (3) failure to be ready to proceed with the hearing or prehearing conference as scheduled.

Source Note: The provisions of this §67.74 adopted to be effective September 14, 2006, 31 TexReg 7359; amended to be effective December 24, 2015, 40 TexReg 9302

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