Rule 12-10 Conferences.

 (a) Only cases referred to OATH are eligible for conferences.

(b) Conferences may be held for the formulation and simplification of issues, the possibility of obtaining admissions or stipulations of fact and of admissibility and authenticity of documents, the order of proof and of witnesses, discovery issues, legal issues, pre-hearing applications, scheduling, and settlement of the case.

(c) In the discretion of the administrative law judge, and whether or not a case has been placed on the OATH conference calendar, conferences may be scheduled on the application of either party or sua sponte. In the discretion of the administrative law judge, conferences may be conducted by telephone.

(d) All parties are required to attend conferences as scheduled unless timely application is made to the administrative law judge. Participants shall be prompt and prepared to begin on time. No particular format for conducting the conference is required. The structure of the conference may be tailored to the circumstances of the particular case.

(e) If settlement is to be discussed at the conference, each party shall have an individual possessing authority to settle the matter either present at the conference or readily accessible. During settlement discussions, upon notice to the parties, the administrative law judge or other person conducting the conference may confer with each party and/or representative separately.

(f) All settlement offers, whether or not made at a conference, shall be confidential and shall be inadmissible in any future hearing.

(g) A settlement shall be reduced to writing, or, in the discretion of the administrative law judge, placed on the record. In the event that a settlement is reached other than at a conference, the hearing officer shall be notified immediately pursuant to Rule 12-12(f). Copies of all written settlement agreements shall be sent promptly to the hearing officer.

(h) In the event that the case is not settled at the conference, outstanding pre-hearing matters, including discovery issues, shall be raised during the conference. In the event that the case is not settled at the conference, a hearing date may be set, if such a date has not already been set. The parties shall be expected to know their availability and the availability of their witnesses for a hearing.