§ 180.445 Settlement negotiations before a settlement judge.
(a)Appointment of settlement judge. The ALJ, upon the motion of a party or upon his or her own motion, may request the Director of the Office of Hearings and Appeals to appoint another ALJ to conduct settlement negotiations. The order shall direct the settlement judge to report to the presiding ALJ within specified time periods.
(b)Duties of settlement judge.
(1) The settlement judge shall convene and preside over conferences and settlement negotiations between the parties and assess the practicalities of a potential settlement.
(2) The settlement judge shall report to the presiding ALJ describing the status of the settlement negotiations, evaluating settlement prospects, and recommending the termination or continuation of the settlement negotiations.
(c)Termination of settlement negotiations. Settlement negotiations shall terminate upon the order of the presiding ALJ issued after consultation with the settlement judge. The conduct of settlement negotiations shall not unduly delay the commencement of the hearing.