Preparation by parties and legal representatives
Parties must notify the DRS decision-maker details of who will be attending the conference including the following:
- First and last name of all participants (e.g. the claimant, the insurer, legal representatives including Counsel, and any witnesses if required)
- Whether an interpreter is required and if so which language
- Email address of all participants
- Best contact number for all participants.
It is a matter for parties and their legal representatives to determine the best way for them to conduct the teleconference or Skype video conference (i.e. at the same premises or at different locations) ensuring that the current COVID-19 health and safety requirements are adhered to.
Prior to the teleconference or Skype video conference, parties are encouraged to consult with each other, to maximise the likelihood that the matter will settle and to also identify any agreed issues and those still in dispute.
How will teleconferences run?
Assessors may use the Telstra teleconferencing service which DRS will set up in consultation with parties.
A Skype teleconference may also be used. This is the better option if an interpreter is involved.
Alternatively, the Assessor may use their own telephone system as used in Preliminary conferences.
How will Skype video conferences run?
Skype video conferences will be scheduled generally in the standard time slots of 10:00am and 2:00pm.
DRS has currently some limitations in the number of Skype video conferences which can be held in any week however we will always endeavour to meet every request.
DRS will set up and host the Skype video conferences.
What happens after the teleconference or Skype video conference assessment conference?
In accordance with cl 18.2 of the Claims Assessment Guidelines (CAGs) the Assessor will issue a certificate and statement of reasons within 15 days of the conclusion of an assessment conference.
Deferral of matters
Upon reviewing a matter, the Assessor may determine, with agreement from the parties, that the assessment of the claim is not suitable for assessment on the papers, or by teleconference or by Skype video conferencing and may either vacate an already scheduled assessment conference or defer the assessment of the claim until such time that in-person assessments conferences are permitted by DRS.