Specifically the rule changes:
- Clarify that the hearings, conferences, and proceedings at which a party may appear by telephone include all civil conferences, hearings, and proceedings except those expressly listed as requiring personal appearances;
- Shorten the time for notice of such appearances from three to two court days, and amend references in the rule regarding timeliness to reflect that change;
- Add ex parte applications to the types of proceedings at which a party may appear by telephone; and
- Clarify that a court should grant leave to appear by telephone on shortened notice if good cause exists.
At the request of the Chief Justice and other repres entatives and the judicial branch, Assemblymember Wagner and the sponsoring CCBA agreed not to move forward with AB 1582, and instead to permit the Judicial Council to create a task force (including a CCBA representative) to review the problems and address them through amendment to the Rules of court. The Telephonic Appearances Working Group was organized in July 2012, with representatives from the Judicial Council’s Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee , the CCBA, Consumer Attorneys of California, California Defense Counsel, California Judges Association, Court Executives Advisory Committee, and Trial Court Presiding Judges Advisory Committee.
It is the hope of all concerned that the revised rules will address the concerns about the lack of clarity in and inconsistent application of the law relating to telephonic appearances, which produced CCBA Resolution 07-05-2010 in the first place – and will provide the additional benefit of reducing unneeded court appearances and related travel, to the benefit of clients, attorneys, the environment and the courts.