(1) Unless the hearing examiner determines otherwise the hearing shall be conducted substantially in the following manner:
(a) After opening the hearing, the hearing examiner shall, unless all parties are represented by counsel, state the procedural rules for the hearing including the following:
(i) All parties may present evidence and argument with respect to the issues and cross-examine witnesses. At the request of the party or the attorney for the party whose witness is being cross-examined, the hearing examiner may make such rulings as are necessary to prevent repetitive or irrelevant questioning and to expedite the cross-examination to the extent consistent with disclosure of all relevant testimony and information.
(ii) All parties have a right to be represented at the hearing.
(iii) The rules of evidence are set forth in ARM 36.12.221(1) .
(2) Any stipulation agreements entered into by any of the parties prior to or during the hearing shall be entered into the record.
(3) The party with the burden of proof may make an opening statement. All of the parties may make such statements in a sequence determined by the hearing examiner.
(4) After any opening statements, unless otherwise determined by the hearing examiner, the applicant shall begin the presentation of evidence. The applicant shall be followed by the other parties and/or expert witness in a sequence determined by the hearing examiner.
(5) Cross-examination of witnesses shall be conducted in a sequence determined by the hearing examiner.
(6) When all parties and witnesses have been heard, opportunity shall be offered to present final argument in a sequence determined by the hearing examiner. Such final argument may be in the form of written memoranda or oral argument, or both.
(7) After final argument, the hearing shall be closed or continued. If continued, it shall be either continued to a certain time and day, announced at the time of the hearing and made a part of the record, or continued to a date to be determined later, which must be upon not less than 10 days written notice to the parties.
(8) The hearing examiner may require all parties of record to file proposed findings of fact or briefs, or both, at the close of testimony in the hearing. The proposed findings and briefs may be submitted simultaneously or sequentially and within such time periods as the hearing examiner may prescribe. Any party may volunteer to file proposed findings and briefs, and the hearing examiner may receive them even if the other parties choose not to so file.
(9) The record of the contested case proceeding shall be closed upon receipt of the final written memorandum, transcript, if any, or late filed exhibits that the parties and the hearing examiner have agreed should be received into the record, whichever occurs latest.