304.31 Pre-hearing conference.§ 304.31 Pre-hearing conference.
(a) The Arbitrator and the parties shall exchange witness lists (with a brief summary of the testimony of each witness) and any exhibits or documents that the parties have not submitted in their pleadings pursuant to § 304.30 of this part, within 110 days after the appointment of the Arbitrator (see § 304.22 of this part) or within 10 days prior to the pre-hearing conference, whichever is earlier.
(b) The Arbitrator shall select the location, date, and time for the pre-hearing conference, giving due consideration to any recommendations by the parties.
(c) The pre-hearing conference shall be held within one hundred twenty days after the appointment of the Arbitrator (see § 304.22 of this part).
(d) The Arbitrator shall mail to each party notice of the pre-hearing conference not later than twenty days in advance of such conference, unless the parties by mutual agreement waive such notice.
(e) Any party may be represented by counsel at the pre-hearing conference. A party who intends to be so represented shall notify the other parties and the Arbitrator of the name, address and telephone number of counsel at least three days prior to the date set for the pre-hearing conference. When an attorney has initiated the arbitration by signing the joint request for arbitration on behalf of a party, or when an attorney has filed a pleading on behalf of a party, such notice is deemed to have been given.
(f) The pre-hearing conference may proceed in the absence of any party who, after due notice, fails to appear.
(g)(1) At the pre-hearing conference, the Arbitrator and the parties shall exchange witness statements, a stipulation of uncontested facts, a statement of disputed issues, and any other documents, including written direct testimony, that will assist in prompt resolution of the dispute and avoid unnecessary proof.
(2) The Arbitrator and the parties shall consider the settlement of all or part of the claim. The Arbitrator may encourage further settlement discussions among the parties. Any settlement reached may be set forth in a proposed decision in accordance with § 304.33 of this part. If such a settlement is not set forth in a proposed decision, the settlement shall be treated as an administrative settlement pursuant to section 122(h)(1) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9622(h)(1), and shall be subject to public comment pursuant to section 122(i) of CERCLA, 42 U.S.C. 9622(i).