Yesterday’s Prehearing Conference in Madison

Filed under:Hampton-Alma-LaCrosse,Wisconsin — posted by admin on December 6, 2011 @ 6:01 pm

statecapitolmadisonwis

Back from Madison, a long long day, I just don’t do mornings well, 4:45 a.m. sucks.  Anyway, here’s the Prehearing Order for the CapX 2020 Hampton-Rochester-LaCrosse transmission line, hot off the press:

Prehearing Conference Memo – December 6, 2011

The most important part of this, well, the part that sticks out for me, is that the “technical” (evidentiary) hearing is at most one week long.  The Certificate of Need in Minnesota took 5 weeks, maybe more, and each routing proceeding took 2 weeks, and here we’re doing both in one week?  I just don’t see how that can be done.

Next are public hearings, and that will be on March 13 and 14, 2012, in only two locations, with afternoon and evening sessions.

And check this — there’s this point about cross-examination of witnesses, and the judge said “presenting a direct case on cross isn’t going to work.”  That was in a discussion of “At Hearing” point #4:

4. Limit cross-examination of a witness by the length and scope required to reasonably investigate matters with respect to the testimony of that witness. To investigate beyond these parameters requires the party to have followed the applicable pre-hearing process for compelling the witness to appear at hearing.

OK, so let’s look at the “pre-hearing process for compelling the witness to appear at hearing,” that’s Prehearing point #4 and 6a:

4. Any party who compels a witness to appear at hearing shall create a volume of written testimony for that witness in the form of either a deposition or interrogatory. This requirement shall not apply if the party receives consent of the other parties and Commission staff prior to the deadline to file such testimony.

6.a. The volume of written testimony for any witness being compelled to appear, and corresponding exhibits, by the deadline to file rebuttal testimony.

I can see a logistical plus for us on this, filing ahead of time, but this looks to me to be the death of live testimony under cross.  And LOTS of data requests — and they (ATC particularly) are not too happy about what’s been sent thus far.  Oh well, here we go!


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image: detail of installation by Bronwyn Lace