Oregon Department of Justice

Rule Rule 137-003-0575
Prehearing Conferences


Prior to hearing, the administrative law judge may conduct one or more prehearing conferences to facilitate the conduct and resolution of the case. The administrative law judge may convene the conference on the initiative of the administrative law judge or at the agency’s or a party’s request.


Prior to the conference, the administrative law judge shall notify the party and the agency, if participating, of the purposes of the conference and the matters to be considered. The agency or any party may request that additional matters be considered at the conference by providing notice in writing to the administrative law judge, the parties and the agency.


The party and the agency, if participating in the contested case hearing, shall appear at a prehearing conference through legal counsel or through persons authorized to represent the party or the agency in the contested case hearing.


The purposes of a prehearing conference may include, but are not limited to the following:


To facilitate discovery and to resolve disagreements about discovery;


To identify, simplify and clarify issues;


To eliminate irrelevant or immaterial issues;


To obtain stipulations of fact and to admit documents into evidence;


To provide to the administrative law judge, agency and parties, in advance of the hearing, copies of all documents intended to be offered as evidence at the hearing and the names of all witnesses expected to testify;


To authenticate documents;


To decide the order of proof and other procedural matters pertaining to the conduct of the hearing;


To assist in identifying whether the case might be appropriate for settlement or for a collaborative dispute resolution process and, if the agency agrees that the case is appropriate, to refer the case to the agency for settlement discussions or for exploration or initiation of a collaborative dispute resolution process;


To schedule the date, time and location of the hearing or for any other matters connected with the hearing, including dates for pre-filed testimony and exhibits and exchange of exhibits and witness lists; and


To consider any other matters that may expedite the orderly conduct of the proceeding.


The prehearing conference may be conducted in person or by telephone.


The failure of a party or the agency to appear at a prehearing conference convened by the administrative law judge shall not preclude the administrative law judge from making rulings on any matters identified by the administrative law judge in the notice issued under section (2) of this rule, and discussion of any of these matters at the conference in the absence of the agency or a party notified of the conference does not constitute an ex parte communication with the administrative law judge.


The administrative law judge conducting the prehearing conference must make a record of any stipulations, rulings and agreements. The administrative law judge shall either make an audio or stenographic record of the pertinent portions of the conference or shall place the substance of stipulations, rulings and agreements in the record by written summary. Stipulations to facts and to the authenticity of documents and agreements to narrow issues shall be binding upon the agency and the parties to the stipulation unless good cause is shown for rescinding a stipulation or agreement.


After the hearing begins, the administrative law judge may at any time recess the hearing to discuss any of the matters listed in section (4) of this rule.


Nothing in this rule precludes the agency and parties from engaging in informal discussions of any of the matters listed in section (4) of this rule without the participation of the administrative law judge. Any agreement reached in an informal discussion shall be submitted to the administrative law judge in writing or presented orally on the record at the hearing.


An agency may adopt rules regarding the exchange of exhibits and a list of witnesses before the hearing for cases where there are no prehearing conferences.

Last accessed
Jun. 8, 2021