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Pre-Hearing Conferences in Medicaid Cases

An ALJ may order a prehearing conference to simplify the issues being presented. Conferences may be held in person or by telephone. Ga. R. & Regs. § 616-1-2-.14 is analogous to O.C.G.A. § 9-11-16(a) because it allows ALJs to clear up evidentiary and procedural matters before the hearing. Specifically, Rule 14 provides:

(1) Conferences. The Court, at its discretion, may order the parties to appear at a specified time and place for one or more conferences before or during a hearing.

(a) Conferences may be held to consider the following:

1. a schedule for prehearing procedures, including the submission and disposition of all prehearing motions;
2. simplification, clarification, amplification, or limitation of the issues;
3. necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings;
4. evidentiary matters, such as:

(i) identification of documents expected to be tendered by a party;
(ii) admissions and stipulations of facts and the genuineness and admissibility of documents, which will avoid unnecessary proof;
(iii) identification of persons expected to be called as witnesses by a party and the substance of the anticipated testimony;
(iv) identification of expert witnesses expected to be called by a party to testify and the substance of the facts and opinions to which the expert witness is expected to testify, and a summary of the grounds for each opinion; and
(v) objections to the introduction of any written testimony, documents, papers, exhibits, or other submissions proposed by any party;

5. matters for which official notice is sought; and
6. other matters that may expedite hearing procedures or that the Court otherwise deems appropriate.

(b) The Court may issue an order reciting the action taken at the conference and the agreements made by the parties as to any of the matters considered. The order, when entered, shall control the subsequent course of the action, unless later modified.

(c) At the Court’s discretion, conferences may be conducted in whole or in part by telephone or other remote communication method.

(2) Prehearing Proposals. The Court may require a party to submit written proposals regarding any of the matters listed in subsection (1)(a) of this Rule.

(3) Exchange of Exhibits and Witness Lists.

(a) The Court, at its discretion, may order the parties to exchange exhibits and/or witness lists in advance of the hearing.
(b) Nothing in this Rule is intended to create a right to discovery or to limit the provisions of Article 4 of Chapter 18 of Title 50 or Rule 38.

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