Title 45

SECTION 672.12

672.12 Prehearing conference.

§ 672.12 Prehearing conference.

(a) Purpose of prehearing conference. Unless a conference appears unnecessary, the Presiding Officer, at any time before the hearing begins, shall direct the parties and their counsel or other representatives to appear at a conference before him to consider:

(1) The settlement of the case;

(2) The simplification of issues and stipulation of facts not in dispute;

(3) The necessity or desirability of amendments to pleadings;

(4) The exchange of exhibits, documents, prepared testimony, and admissions or stipulations of fact which will avoid unnecessary proof;

(5) The limitation of the number of expert or other witnesses;

(6) Setting a time and place for the hearing; and

(7) Any other matters which may expedite the proceeding.

(b) Exchange of witness lists and documents. Unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer, each party at the prehearing conference shall make available to all other parties (1) the names of the expert and other witnesses he intends to call, together with a brief narrative summary of their expected testimony, and (2) copies of all documents and exhibits which each party intends to introduce into evidence. Documents and exhibits shall be marked for identification as ordered by the Presiding Officer. The Presiding Officer may exclude from evidence any document or testimony not disclosed at the prehearing conference. If the Presiding Officer permits the submittal of new evidence, he will grant parties a reasonable opportunity to respond.

(c) Record of the prehearing conference. No transcript of a prehearing conference relating to settlement shall be made. With respect to other prehearing conferences, no transcript of any prehearing conferences shall be made unless ordered by the Presiding Officer upon motion of a party or sua sponte. The Presiding Officer shall prepare and file for the record a written summary of the action taken at the conference. The summary shall incorporate any written stipulations or agreements of the parties and all rulings and appropriate orders containing directions to the parties.

(d) Unavailability of a prehearing conference. If a prehearing conference is unnecessary or impracticable, the Presiding Officer, on motion or sua sponte, may conduct a telephonic conference or direct the parties to correspond with him to accomplish any of the objectives set forth in this section.

(e) Other discovery. (1) Except as provided by paragraph (b) of this section, further discovery shall be permitted only upon determination by the Presiding Officer that (i) such discovery will not in any way unreasonably delay the proceeding; (ii) the information to be obtained is not otherwise obtainable; and (iii) such information has significant probative value.

(2) The Presiding Officer shall order depositions upon oral questions only upon a showing of good cause and upon a finding that (i) the information sought cannot be obtained by alternative methods; or (ii) there is substantial reason to believe that relevant and probative evidence may otherwise not be preserved for presentation by a witness at the hearing.

(3) Any party may request further discovery by motion. Such a motion shall set forth (i) the circumstances warranting the taking of the discovery; (ii) the nature of the information expected to be discovered; and (iii) the proposed time and place where it will be taken. If the Presiding Officer determines that the motion should be granted, he shall issue an order granting discovery, with any qualifying conditions and terms.

(4) When the information sought to be obtained is within the control of one of the parties, failure to comply with an order issued pursuant to this paragraph may lead to (i) the inference that the information to be discovered would be adverse to the party from whom the information was sought; or (ii) the issuance of a default.