(1) The administrative judge shall preside over the conference held pursuant to MGL c. 152, § 10A. Such conference shall be informal, and inquiries and investigations shall not be subject to the rules of evidence applied in this Commonwealth.
(2) The parties shall prepare for submission at the outset of a conference a memorandum setting forth the benefits claimed and the issues in dispute, the facts stipulated, the exhibits to be marked for identification, the names of witnesses to be presented, a summary of their anticipated testimony, the estimated length of the hearing, and such other matter as may be allowed or required.
Such memorandum may be amended by the parties, with the leave of the administrative judge, at or before the hearing. At a conference involving a medical issue, the parties shall also identify to the administrative judge as part of the required memorandum:
(a) the medical issue(s) in dispute requiring the filing of the requisite fee;
(b) a list of documents to be included in the medical records to be sent to an impartial physician; any hypotheticals or disclosure questions to be submitted to the impartial physician upon the judge's approval; identification of a specialty or the names of up to three impartial physicians in order of preference if agreed upon; and the names of any additional physicians anticipated to be requested at hearing to be deposed;
(c) any objection to the documents included in the medical records and hypotheticals to be submitted to the impartial physician.
(3) At a conference, the administrative judge shall make such inquiries and investigations as he deems necessary and shall have the power to require and receive reports of injury, signed statements of the employee and other witnesses, medical and hospital reports and records, and such other oral and written matter as shall enable him to determine whether weekly compensation or medical and hospital bills under MGL c. 152 are due.
(4) No stenographic transcription or electronic recording shall be made of the conference proceedings under MGL c. 152, § 10A, except that the administrative judge, if he deems it to be in the interest of justice, may require such transcription or recording or, with the con- sent of all parties, may allow any party, at its own expense, to make a transcription or recording of the proceedings.
(5) No impartial physician shall be required in disputed matters concerning death and matters where the dispute over entitlement to weekly benefits concerns specific period(s) of prior disability.
(6) In disputes regarding the extent of incapacity where the parties agree upon both the nature of impairment as well as the causal relationship between the impairment and the employment, subject to the provisions of MGL c. 152, § 11A(2) and 452 CMR 1.02, the parties may agree in writing at the time of conference that an impartial physician is not required.
(7) In claims where initial liability has not been established, subject to the provisions of MGL c. 152, § 11A(2) and 452 CMR 1.02, the parties may agree in writing at the time of conference that an impartial physician is not required.
(8) In cases where no impartial physician is required the requisite fee pursuant to MGL c. 152, § 11A(2) shall not be required.
(9) No impartial physician shall be required where an administrative judge has determined, based upon the information submitted at the § 10A conference, that there is no dispute over medical issues and has so stated in the § 10A conference order.
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