(1) Except as provided in this rule, hearings shall be conducted in Helena, Montana. Upon a showing of compelling circumstances by either party, the hearing examiner may order a hearing to be conducted at a location elsewhere in Montana.
(2) The location for hearings pertaining to liquor matters is determined according to ARM 42.11.305 and 42.12.108, and is not subject to (1).
(3) Upon agreement of the parties, hearings may be conducted by telephone or video conference. If the hearing examiner determines that telephonic or video conference participation may unfairly prejudice the rights of any party, the hearing will be conducted in person. If, however, telephonic or video conference participation is approved, the hearing examiner will place the call at the designated time to the numbers provided by the parties.
(4) Notice of the time and place for a hearing shall be given to the parties concerned, or their representatives if legal authorization is on file, not less than 14 days prior to the day fixed for such proceedings.
(5) A party may request a continuance of a scheduled matter. The party seeking the continuance shall indicate whether the request is opposed. If the request for continuance is contested, the requesting party shall provide the basis for the request.
(6) A party may be represented by legal counsel at the hearing at any stage of adjudication. Legal counsel must enter a notice of appearance with the department to represent a person or other entity before the hearing examiner.
(7) Failure to obtain legal representation may not be cited as grounds for complaint at a later stage in the adjudicative process or for relief on appeal from an adverse decision.
(8) If a person or other entity chooses to be represented by someone other than legal counsel at the hearing or adjudication stage, the person or other entity must first submit a signed power of attorney form to the department authorizing the representative to act on the party's behalf.
(9) If a party is represented by legal counsel or another representative, all documents and information pertaining to the dispute will be directed to the representative. The information may be transmitted by fax, e-mail, or other electronic means, provided such transmission meets the department's confidentiality requirements. Otherwise, documents will be mailed to the representative's address as shown in the original filing.
(10) Hearing proceedings shall be conducted at all times with due regard for the confidentiality requirements imposed by law.
(11) Testimony at hearings shall be given under oath.