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    (a) Criminal.  Preliminary appearances as defined by CrR 3.2(b) and CrRLJ 3.2.1(d), arraignments as defined by CrR 3.4 and 4.1 and CrRLJ 3.4 and 4.1, bail hearings as defined by CrR 3.2 and CrRLJ 3.2, and trial settings, as defined by CrR 3.3 and CrRLJ 3.3(f), conducted via video conference in which all participants can simultaneously see, hear, and speak as authorized by the Court, shall be deemed held in open court and in the defendant’s presence for the purposes of any statute, court rule, or policy.  All video conference hearings conducted pursuant to this rule shall be public, and the public shall be able to simultaneously see and hear all participants and speak as permitted by the trial court Judge.  Any party may request an in-person hearing which may, in the Judge’s discretion, be granted.
    (b) Agreement.  Other trial court proceedings may be conducted by video conference only by agreement of the parties either in writing or on the record and upon the approval of the Judge.
    (c) Standards for Video Conference Proceedings.  The Judge, counsel, all parties, and the public attending the hearing must be able to see, hear, and speak as authorized by the Court during proceedings.  Video conference facilities must provide for confidential communications between attorney and client and security sufficient to protect the safety of all participants and observers.  In interpreted proceedings, the interpreter should be located next to the defendant, and the proceeding must be conducted to assure that the interpreter can hear all participants.

[Effective September 1, 1996.]