33 CFR 20.1207 - Pre-hearing conferences.
(a)When held. As early as practicable, the ALJ shall order and conduct a pre-hearing conference. He or she may order the holding of the conference in person, or by telephonic or electronic means.
(b)Answer. The respondent shall enter his or her answer at the pre-hearing conference. If the answer is an admission, the ALJ shall either issue an appropriate order or schedule a hearing on the order.
(1) At the pre-hearing conference, the parties shall:
(i) Identify and simplify the issues in dispute and prepare an agreed statement of issues, facts, and defenses.
(ii) Establish a simplified procedure appropriate to the matter.
(iii) Fix a time and place for the hearing 30 days or less after the temporary suspension.
(iv) Discuss witnesses and exhibits.
(2) The ALJ shall issue an order directing the exchange of witness lists and documents.
(d)Order. Before the close of the pre-hearing conference, the ALJ shall issue an order setting forth any agreements reached by the parties. The order must specify the issues for the parties to address at the hearing.
(e)Procedures not to cause delay. Neither any filing of pleadings or motions, nor any conduct of discovery, may interfere with -
(1) The holding of the hearing 30 days or less after the temporary suspension or
(2) The closing of the record early enough for the issuance of an initial decision 45 days or less after the temporary suspension.
(f)Times. The ALJ may shorten the time for any act required or permitted under this subpart to enable him or her to issue an initial decision 45 days or less after the temporary suspension.