Prehearing, Settlement Conferences, & Continuances. An Attorney | Lawyer’s Perspective on Fighting or Mitigating Matters with a Washington State Administrative Agency.
As lawyers | attorneys who practice administrative law, we know that the Washington State’s Administrative Procedure Act does not have a rule in place requiring prehearings and settlement conferences but it also does not prohibit them. Instead, the presiding officer upon his or her own motion or upon the request of a party may order the parties to have a prehearing conference to consider key issues such as: simplification of issues, the necessity or desirability of amendments to the pleadings, the possibility of obtaining stipulations; procedural matters; and distribution of written testimony and exhibits to the parties prior to the hearing. Prehearing and settlement conferences can also be ordered to aid in settlement or disposition of cases. The prehearing conference can be held by way or telephone or can also be done in person at a location and time directed by the presiding officer. Our office’s preference is always to do so in person.
Similarly, a presiding officer can order a postponement, continuance, time extension, and adjournment on his or her own or may grant one if a your administrative law attorney | lawyer makes a timely request with good cause and provides notice to all other parties. A party’s request can be done orally or in writing. Our office’s preference, as we always try to create a clear record, is to do so in writing. The request must also state whether all parties agree to it or not. If it is not an agreed continuance, the presiding officer will have to schedule a prehearing conference to hear the arguments for and against the request and then make a ruling on the motion.
Prehearing, Settlement Conferences and Continuances are all valuable tools that you and your lawyer should be aware of and use litigation. Being aware of them and using them at the proper place and time in a case is part of the bigger chess game that is law. Having the lawyers with Rhodes Legal Group working with you through this process will provide you with the comfort of knowing what is going on, knowing you are not going to be pushed around, knowing you will not be left wondering whether you missed an opportunity and knowing you have a team on your side that is result oriented. In every case, the important “key issues” must be discussed, argued and fought about. Using a team of lawyers assures your case is well positioned.
An experienced administrative lawyer and their firm will be able to identify, discuss and help weigh argument, opportunity and problems with a case. Building an investigation, knowing when to fight vs. mitigates a situation are decisions best made with the help with counsel.
Our firm is defined by its goal oriented mentality, blue collar work ethic, an intense dislike of losing and a refreshingly clear approach to candid legal counseling. Our reputation and client reviews reflect this. Together, our lawyers have over 50 years of combined legal experience and as a team, we have the ability to act quickly and decisively. We practice throughout the State of Washington. Call or email us to schedule an appointment.