(a) This subsection applies to carriers, carrier representatives, claimants represented by an attorney, and claimants assisted by the Office of Injured Employee Counsel (OIEC). The parties shall work collaboratively to reach any agreement reasonably necessary for the efficient disposition of a case. Unless presented during a proceeding, all requests to presiding officers, including rescheduling and continuance requests, discovery requests, and other requests, must be in writing and include a signed statement that the requester made reasonable efforts to confer with the other party or parties about the request. If the requester was unable to confer with the other party or parties, the statement must summarize the efforts made to confer. If the parties conferred, the statement must:
(1) include whether the other party or parties oppose the request; and
(2) for a request to reschedule or continue a proceeding, propose a date and time the parties are available for the rescheduled proceeding that has been coordinated with the division’s docketing section.
(b) Requests must be sent to the division and to the opposing party or parties. For claimants represented by an attorney, requests must be sent to the claimant and the claimant’s representative. For claimants assisted by OIEC, requests must be sent to the claimant and to OIEC.
(c) Unless otherwise directed or allowed by a presiding officer, any responses to requests for rescheduling and continuance must be filed, in writing, with the division and delivered to all parties within three days of receipt of the request and any responses to other requests must be filed, in writing, with the division and delivered to all parties within five days of receipt.
(d) Unless precluded by other law, a presiding officer may, in the interest of justice, consider a request or response that is not timely filed or which otherwise fails to comply with the requirements of this section. The presiding officer may reconsider previous rulings made in the absence of this information.
(e) Requests to reschedule or cancel a benefit review conference must meet the requirements of §141.2 of this title (relating to Canceling or Rescheduling a Benefit Review Conference).
(f) Claimants who are neither represented by an attorney nor assisted by OIEC may request a continuance by contacting the division in any manner.
The provisions of this §140.9 adopted to be effective January 7, 2019, 44 TexReg 104.