(1) The presiding officer upon his or her own motion or upon request of a party may direct the parties or their representatives to engage in a prehearing conference or conferences to consider:
(a) Simplification of issues;
(b) The necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;
(c) The possibility of obtaining stipulations, admissions of fact and admissions of the genuineness of documents which will avoid unnecessary proof;
(d) Limitations on the number and consolidation of the examination of witnesses;
(e) Procedural matters;
(f) Distribution of written testimony and exhibits to the parties prior to the hearing;
(g) Such other matters as may aid in the disposition or settlement of the proceeding.
(2) Prehearing conferences may be held by telephone conference call or at a time and place specified by the presiding officer.
(3) Following the prehearing conference, the presiding officer shall issue an order reciting the action taken at the conference, the amendments allowed to the pleadings, and the agreements made by the parties concerning all of the matters considered. If no objection to such notice is filed within ten days after the date such notice is mailed, it shall control the subsequent course of the proceeding unless modified for good cause by subsequent order.
(4) In any proceeding the presiding officer may, in his or her discretion, conduct a conference prior to the taking of testimony, or may recess the hearing for such conference, for the purpose of carrying out the purpose of this rule. The presiding officer shall state on the record the results of such conference.
(5) Nothing in this rule shall be construed to limit the right of an agency to attempt informal settlement of an adjudicative proceeding at any time.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.020, 34.05.250, 34.12.030 and 34.12.080. 99-20-115, § 10-08-130, filed 10/6/99, effective 11/6/99. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.05.250. 89-13-036 (Order 6), § 10-08-130, filed 6/15/89. Statutory Authority: RCW 34.04.020 and 34.04.022. 82-22-052 (Order 3), § 10-08-130, filed 11/1/82.]