15. Except as provided in Rule XXIII, after the proceeding is at issue all counsel and any unrepresented parties shall confer with one another for purposes of:
- Expediting the disposition of the action;
- Discouraging wasteful pretrial activity, including unnecessary discovery;
- Considering and taking action with respect to the items set out in Superior Court Civil Rule 16(c).
- Facilitating a settlement of action.
Within 90 days of the filing of an answer, or the filing of a reply to an answer the parties shall file a stipulated pre-trial order for entry by the Board. The order shall containa statement that the parties have conferred as required by this rule, the parties' agreement with respect to the items set out in Superior Court Civil Rule 16(c), and the parties' proposed schedule for the filing of case dispositive motions or for trial. Where a party is unrepresented the order shall recite that the unrepresented party is aware of his right to appeal a decision of the Tax Appeal Board and that any such appeal will be limited to the record made before the Board. The order shall be substantially in accordance with Form D shown in the appendix. The order may be freely amended by agreement of the parties or by application to the Board in its discretion. A copy of Superior Court Civil Rule 16 is located at the end of these rules as Exhibit B. After the receipt of the stipulated pre- trial order the Board may in its discretion or upon the motion of a party hold a pre-trial conference for any of the reasons enumerated in Superior Court Civil Rule 16. The issues considered and determined by the Board at trial will be limited to those raised at any such pre-trial conference, the parties stipulated pre-trial order not withstanding.
16a. All parties shall be given at least 10 days notice of the time set for hearing on the appeal, motions, or the other proceedings before the Board.
16b. The unexcused absence of a party or his counsel at the time and place set out in the notice of hearing described in sub-paragraph (a) above will not be an occasion for delay. The proceeding may be dismissed for failure properly to prosecute or the hearing may proceed and the case be regarded as submitted on the part of the absent party or parties.
16c. The Board may require appearance for argument or it may accept briefs in lieu of personal appearance.
16d. Any proceeding, not requiring a hearing for submission of evidence (where sufficient facts have been admitted, stipulated or included in the record in some other way), may be submitted at any time on notice submitted to the Board and signed by all parties interested. The parties need not appear in person. The Board will then proceed to the consideration of the matter and upon request of the parties or on its own motion will fix a time for the filing of briefs.
A contested motion, not predicted upon an issue of fact, may be submitted in the same way.
16e. Hearings before the Board shall be stenographically reported.