A. Pleadings. Pleadings before the Commissioner shall be informal. Proceedings may be initiated by application, petition, complaint, or other form of pleading as may be appropriate under the circumstances.

B. Proceedings. Proceedings may be initiated by an initial pleading or by the Commissioner. When a proceeding has been initiated, the Commissioner shall give public notice of the proceeding and shall proscribe the time within which responsive pleadings or comments may be filed.

C. Presiding Officers. Where a proceeding involves contested matters, the Commissioner may appoint a Presiding Officer to conduct the proceeding. The Presiding Officer shall convene such meetings, hearings conferences or other sessions as the Presiding Officers deems appropriate. The Presiding Officer shall prescribe the schedule and form for the submission of evidence, briefs, and arguments.

D. Settlement. The Presiding Officer shall encourage parties to negotiate and to resolve contested matters by mutual agreement. Concession and offers of compromise are inadmissible at any such meetings, hearings, conferences, or other sessions.

E. Discovery. Any party may move the Presiding Officer for the production of other evidence in the possession of another party. Discovery shall be granted only upon a showing that material evidence is likely to be obtained. The Presiding Officer may place reasonable limits on any discovery.

F. Recommended Decision. The Presiding Officer shall make a recommended decision to the Commissioner. In the recommended decision the Presiding Officer shall provide an opportunity for the submission of objections to the recommended decision. Any objection not submitted in accordance with the recommended decision shall be waived.

G. Final Decision. The final decision shall be made by the Commissioner. The Commissioner may accept the recommended decision, accept the recommended decision with modifications, or reject the recommended decision. An order by the Commissioner remanding a proceeding to the Presiding Officer for further action shall not be a final decision.