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(a) Convening. At any time before the hearing begins, the administrative law judge, on his/her own motion or on motion by a party, may direct the parties or their counsel to participate with him/her in a prehearing conference to consider the following:
(1) Simplification and clarification of the issues;
(2) Necessity or desirability of amending pleadings;
(3) Stipulations as to the facts and the contents and authenticity of documents;
(4) Issuance of and responses to subpoenas;
(5) Taking of depositions and the use of depositions in the proceedings;
(6) Orders for discovery, inspection and examination of premises, production of documents and other physical objects, and responses to such orders;
(7) Disclosure of the names and addresses of witnesses and the exchange of documents intended to be offered in evidence; and
(8) Any other matter that will tend to simplify the issues or expedite the proceedings.
(b) Order. The administrative law judge shall issue an order which recites the matters discussed, the agreements reached, and the rulings made at the prehearing conference. The order shall be served on the parties and filed in the record of the proceedings.