§ 69.405. ALJ case management procedures.
(a) Seventy to 75 days following the general rate case filing, an initial prehearing conference will be held by the presiding Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) for scheduling purposes.
(1) For general rate proceedings involving amounts of $1 million or more, the parties will follow the procedures for filing written testimony and scheduling hearings outlined in the Commissions regulations, or as otherwise directed by the presiding ALJ.
(2) For general rate proceedings involving amounts of $1 million or less, absent good cause shown, the parties will file all written utility direct, intervenor direct, rebuttal and surrebuttal testimony sequentially. After the submission of the written testimony, one set of hearings will be held at which the witnesses are cross-examined. Requests to depart from this procedure will be submitted to the presiding ALJor the Chief ALJ if an ALJ has not been assigned30 days before the prefiled testimony would otherwise be due.
(b) Eighty-five to ninety days following the filing, the presiding ALJ will schedule a second prehearing conference to discuss substantive issues and the potential for settlement. Prior thereto, the ALJ will advise the customary parties whether he desires litigation position summaries to be presented at the second prehearing conference or shortly thereafter for purposes of initiating settlement discussions.
(1) The litigation position summary should include, at a minimum, the partys proposed stipulations of fact, adjustments to the utilitys claimed rate base, operating revenues and operating expenses, its proposed return on common equity and basis thereof, and the proposed alternative rate structure.
(2) A copy of the litigation position summary should be provided to each of the customary parties participating in the proceeding.
(c) By the date of the initial prehearing conference, the utility will advise the Chief ALJ if one or more parties believe that settlement prospects will be enhanced by having a separate settlement judge assigned for the negotiation process. In that event, the Chief ALJ will assign a settlement judge to the proceeding. Otherwise, the proceeding will operate under a one-judge system.
(1) When a one-judge system is used, the presiding ALJ will notify the parties regarding the scheduling of future settlement conferences and may participate in the settlement negotiations in order to promote the public interest.
(2) When a two-judge system is used, a second ALJ will be assigned to adjudicate the matter if no settlement is achieved. The parties will provide the first ALJthe settlement judgewith a summary of their respective litigation and settlement positions, without prejudice to the litigation position that the party may present if settlement negotiations prove unsuccessful. These documents will be held in confidence by the settlement judge. Subsequent settlement conferences will be scheduled by the settlement judge.
(d) At least one public input session will be held prior to the date the settlement is filed. This permits public testimony to be considered in developing settlement parameters without delaying the time necessary to achieve a satisfactory result.
(e) The ALJ is encouraged to be assertive in the settlement process in cases which he believes should settle. The ALJ will be an active participant in bringing the interested parties towards a reasonable compromise.
(f) To provide the necessary time for a negotiated settlement to be achieved, the ALJ is authorized to provide the parties with an additional 2 weeks in the litigation schedule to conclude settlement negotiations. This 2-week period will be subtracted from the 8-week time period provided to the Commission and its staff for review of the recommended decision and exceptions.
The provisions of this § 69.405 adopted September 2, 1994, effective February 1, 1995, 24 Pa.B. 4485.
This section cited in 52 Pa. Code § 69.401 (relating to general); and 52 Pa. Code § 69.403 (relating to prefiling discovery guidelines).
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