Pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.107, a hearing, administrative conference, or settlement conference may be conducted using video conferencing equipment. OAH is electing to conduct some proceedings by video conferencing in order to provide a timely, fair, and cost-efficient proceeding. In such cases:
Notice of the conference or hearing will be provided in the usual manner pursuant to Minn. Stat. § 176.341, subd. 3, 176.106, subd. 3, and Minn. Rules, part 1415.3700, subp. 2. The notice will indicate that the proceeding will be conducted by video conference.
The notice of the proceeding will indicate the video sites selected. The parties, attorneys, and witnesses have the option of participating from either location selected; however, if a participant plans to appear at a site other than the site closest to the participant’s mailing address, the participant or attorney shall notify OAH of the site selected.
Exhibits for hearings must be received by OAH (at the location of the judge) and the other parties no later than three business days before the hearing unless other arrangements are approved by the judge. The parties shall submit joint exhibits to the extent possible to avoid duplication of exhibits, particularly when submitting lengthy medical records. The exhibits shall be submitted directly to the OAH office that scheduled the matter and NOT to the Department of Labor and Industry. Exhibits shall be placed in a manila envelope, sealed, and marked as "Exhibit of ________(Employee, Insurer, Special Compensation Fund, Intervenor)" along with the employee’s WID number and name, and the date of the proceeding. The sealed exhibit envelope must be submitted with a cover letter including instructions that the exhibits be delivered to the judge unopened.
Administrative conference exhibits must be received by OAH (at the location of the judge) and the parties at least one full business day before the conference time unless other arrangements are approved by the judge. Conference exhibits delivered by mail or by personal delivery shall be packaged as provided in number 3 above. Faxed exhibits must be clearly marked on the cover sheet as "Exhibits for conference on _____(date) for hand delivery to the judge" and must include the name and WID number of the employee. Faxed exhibits may not exceed 15 pages.
Special care should be taken to anticipate all necessary exhibits and to serve and file the exhibits prior to the conference or hearing as provided in numbers 3 and 4. OAH cannot guarantee access to a fax machine during the hearing or conference for the review or submission of exhibits not pre-filed. If additional rebuttal exhibits are needed in the course of a video hearing or conference, the party may wish to make arrangements for additional documents to be faxed, delivered, or electronically transmitted to the parties and the judge.
The official recording of a video hearing is the digital recording taken by the judge or court reporter if present.
Participation in a video conference or hearing is not ex parte communication simply because participants are not all physically present in the same location with the judge. The hearing will be conducted in a manner that does not permit an advantage to any party. Discussions concerning the merits of the case will not be held with one party except in the event of a default proceeding or as appropriate in settlement discussions.