§ 69.403. Prefiling discovery guidelines.
(a) The customary parties are encouraged to staff a rate filing with sufficient attorneys and technicians to quickly and effectively engage in thorough discovery within the first 60 days of the filing. This approach permits parties to prepare for the informal discovery conference. Absent good cause, the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) will restrict discovery of the utility following the informal discovery conference to specific inquiries not appropriately asked at an earlier date. Following the conference, each party should begin preparation of a litigation position to be presented by the second prehearing conference.
(b) A public utility which is requesting a general rate increase of $1 million or more is encouraged to file contemporaneously with its rate request, answers to a standard set of industry-specific data requests provided by the Office of Special Assistants.
(1) A utility which objects to any of the standard data requests may petition the presiding ALJor Chief ALJ if an ALJ has not been assigned to the casefor permission to depart from answering the data requests, setting forth the reasons for the request.
(2) Failure of the utility to file answers to the standard data requests contemporaneously with its rate filing severely impedes the settlement process. In addition to appropriate sanctions, the presiding ALJ will consider the utilitys efforts to provide timely responses to determine whether additional time for settlement negotiations should be granted. Appropriate sanctions may include postponing or cancelling the second prehearing conference contemplated in § 69.405(b) (relating to ALJ case management procedures).
The provisions of this § 69.403 adopted September 2, 1994, effective February 1, 1995, 24 Pa.B. 4485.
This section cited in 52 Pa. Code § 69.401 (relating to general).
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