(A) Upon being appointed to preside over an administrative hearing, the hearing officer may, in accordance with paragraph (D) of this rule, schedule a pre-hearing conference and direct participation by the parties in the pre-hearing conference.
(B) The hearing officer shall, in accordance with paragraph (D) of this rule, upon motion of any party, schedule a pre-hearing conference.
(C) The hearing officer shall issue a journal entry setting the date and time for any pre-hearing conference.
(D) Pre-hearing conferences may be held for the following purposes:
(1) Identification of issues;
(2) Obtaining stipulations and admissions;
(3) Agreements limiting the number of witnesses;
(4) Discussion of documents, exhibits, and witness lists;
(5) Estimating the time necessary for hearing;
(6) Scheduling hearing dates and times;
(7) Establishing other scheduling orders; or
(8) Discussion of any other matters the hearing officer deems appropriate.
(E) Procedural orders may be issued by the hearing officer based upon information obtained at a pre-hearing conference. The hearing officer shall issue an entry journalizing any procedural orders.
(F) The proceedings at a pre-hearing conference shall be informal, but the hearing officer may prepare, or order prepared, an entry journalizing the agreements reached and decisions made at the pre-hearing conference, including any admissions, stipulations, or proposals agreed to.
(G) Pre-hearing conferences may be held in person or via video, telephonic, or other electronic means.
(H) All journal entries, issued pursuant to this rule, shall be filed with the department in accordance with rule 3301-73-06 of the Administrative Code.