(A) Definition. “Communication equipment” means a conference telephone or other electronic device that permits all those appearing or participating to hear and speak to each other.
(B) Use. A court may, on its own initiative or on the written request of a party, direct that communication equipment be used for a motion hearing, pretrial conference, scheduling conference, or status conference. The court must give notice to the parties before directing on its own initiative that communication equipment be used. A party wanting to use communication equipment must submit a written request to the court at least 7 days before the day on which such equipment is sought to be used, and serve a copy on the other parties, unless good cause is shown to waive this requirement. The requesting party also must provide a copy of the request to the office of the judge to whom the request is directed. The court may, with the consent of all parties or for good cause, direct that the testimony of a witness be taken through communication equipment. A verbatim record of the proceeding must still be made.
(C) Burden of Expense. The party who initiates the use of communication equipment shall pay the cost for its use, unless the court otherwise directs. If the use of communication equipment is initiated by the court, the cost for its use is to be shared equally, unless the court otherwise directs.