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(a) Informal conferences of the parties involved in an informal complaint or formal proceeding or of their authorized representatives may be held at any time to provide opportunity for the settlement, adjustment, clarification or resolution of any issues or problems relating to any matter whatever. Informal conferences may be initiated by the parties or by the commission or members of its staff. Any decision, or agreement, resulting from an informal conference may, if necessary, be presented to the commission by an authorized spokesman for the conferees and the commission may take whatever action thereon it deems appropriate.
(b) Upon call by a presiding officer, on motion by any party, or on the commission's own initiative, a pre-hearing conference of the parties or their attorneys or authorized representatives may be held at any time to expedite the orderly conduct and disposition of a hearing. Any member of the commission may attend a pre-hearing conference, and shall conduct the conference if elected to do so by the commission. Alternatively, the commission will appoint as chair of the pre-hearing conference a presiding officer, a hearing examiner, a hearing officer, an administrative law judge, an employee of the commission, or legal counsel representing the commission, and will direct that person to conduct and preside over the pre-hearing conference and report the results to the commission. If a pre-hearing conference is called while a hearing is in session with all parties either present or represented, oral notice of the time and place of the conference is sufficient. Otherwise, notice of the time and place of the conference must be given to each party, in writing, with due regard and consideration to the convenience of the parties.
(c) By direction of the chairman of the pre-hearing conference or by prior agreement of the conferees, a pre-hearing conference may be conducted on or off the record. In addition to any pertinent matter considered previously at an informal conference, each conferee will be encouraged to present any factual contentions and theories in support of the conferee's pleading or position in the proceeding and, in addition, to consider and, if possible, agree upon other matters including
(1) the simplification, delineation, and limitation of matters involving issues of fact and questions of law;
(2) the identification and numbering of exhibits;
(3) the exchange and acceptance of service of exhibits, including exhibits containing written testimony proposed to be offered in evidence;
(4) the obtaining of admission as to, or stipulation of, facts not remaining in dispute;
(5) the necessity or desirability of amendments to pleadings for purposes of clarification, amplification, or limitation;
(6) limitation of the number of witnesses;
(7) the feasibility of consolidating the examination of witnesses;
(8) the procedure of the hearing; and
(9) any other matter that may expedite the orderly conduct and disposition of the proceeding.
(d) Upon conclusion of a pre-hearing conference, the parties, their attorneys, or their authorized representatives shall reduce the results of the conference to the form of a written stipulation reciting the matters agreed upon. An original and 10 copies of that stipulation, as well as any additional copies required under 3 AAC 48.090(b) (3), must be filed with the commission within 10 days after the date of the conference or at the beginning of the hearing that follows, whichever occurs first. Every stipulation must be
(1) signed by the parties or by their attorneys or authorized representatives;
(2) received in evidence as part of the evidentiary record; and
(3) binding on the parties with respect to the matters stipulated.
(e) If a pre-hearing conference is conducted on the record, and a transcript of it is ordered, it may, upon agreement of the conferees, be introduced in evidence at the hearing and be received as part of the evidentiary record. If the record of a pre-hearing conference is not introduced and received in evidence, all facts disclosed during the pre-hearing conference, except as set forth in a stipulation pursuant to (d) of this section, are privileged and, except by prior agreement, shall not be used against participating parties either before the commission or elsewhere unless fully substantiated by evidence.
History: Eff. 1/13/73, Register 44; am 6/29/84, Register 90; am 8/6/92, Register 123; am 3/21/2003, Register 165
Authority: AS 42.05.141
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Last modified 7/05/2006