(a) In any proceeding subject to the part 76 rules, the Commission staff may in its discretion direct the attorneys and/or the parties to appear for a conference to consider:
(1) Simplification or narrowing of the issues;
(2) The necessity for or desirability of amendments to the pleadings, additional pleadings, or other evidentiary submissions;
(3) Obtaining admissions of fact or stipulations between the parties as to any or all of the matters in controversy;
(4) Settlement of the matters in controversy by agreement of the parties;
(5) The necessity for and extent of discovery, including objections to interrogatories or requests for written documents;
(6) The need and schedule for filing briefs, and the date for any further conferences; and
(7) Such other matters that may aid in the disposition of the proceeding.
(b) Any party may request that a conference be held at any time after an initiating document has been filed.
(c) Conferences will be scheduled by the Commission at such time and place as it may designate, to be conducted in person or by telephone conference call.
(d) The failure of any attorney or party, following advance notice with an opportunity to be present, to appear at a scheduled conference will be deemed a waiver and will not preclude the Commission from conferring with those parties or counsel present.
(e) During a status conference, the Commission staff may issue oral rulings pertaining to a variety of matters relevant to the conduct of the proceeding including, inter alia, procedural matters, discovery, and the submission of briefs or other evidentiary materials. These rulings will be promptly memorialized in writing and served on the parties. When such rulings require a party to take affirmative action not subject to deadlines established by another provision of this subpart, such action will be required within ten (10) days from the date of the written memorialization unless otherwise directed by the staff.