(1) The department recognizes that a wide array of parties appear before the department with disputes to resolve. These disputes range from large corporations employing professional tax counsel to individuals appearing on their own behalf. It is the intent of the department to accommodate all such disputes to the greatest extent possible in a manner that is deemed most appropriate for each situation.
(2) The ALJ, in consultation with the parties, will evaluate the circumstances and complexity of each dispute being presented and determine the most appropriate level of formality and procedure to follow.
(3) To the extent the department's rules do not provide for or specify procedures, or where necessary to supplement the rules, the Montana Administrative Procedure Act, Montana Rules of Civil Procedure, Montana Uniform District Court Rules, and Montana Rules of Evidence may be utilized to the extent that they clarify fair procedures, expedite determinations, and assist in the adjudication of rights, duties, or privileges of parties.
(4) When conducting discovery, the parties shall attempt to obtain discovery through informal consultation or communication. If reasonable informal efforts to obtain information are unsuccessful, then formal discovery procedures may be used.
(5) Liquor matters and marijuana matters are handled pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act and are not subject to this rule.