(a)Prehearing conference notice. The hearing officer schedules a prehearing conference and serves a prehearing conference notice on the parties promptly after being designated as a hearing officer.
(1) The prehearing conference notice specifies the date, time, place, and manner (in person or by telephone) of the prehearing conference.
(2) The prehearing conference notice may direct the parties to exchange proposed witness lists, requests for evidence and the production of documents in the possession of another party, responses to interrogatories, admissions, proposed procedural schedules, and proposed stipulations before the date of the prehearing conference.
(b)The prehearing conference. The prehearing conference is conducted by telephone or in person, at the hearing officer's discretion. The prehearing conference addresses matters raised in the prehearing conference notice and such other matters as the hearing officer determines will assist in a prompt, full and fair hearing of the issues.
(c)Prehearing conference report. At the close of the prehearing conference, the hearing officer rules on any requests for evidence and the production of documents in the possession of other parties, responses to interrogatories, and admissions; on any requests for depositions; on any proposed stipulations; and on any pending applications for subpoenas as permitted by § 16.219. In addition, the hearing officer establishes the schedule, which shall provide for the issuance of an initial decision not later than 110 days after issuance of the Director's Determination order unless otherwise provided in the hearing order.