Many cases are settled by an agreement without a hearing. All Wisconsin agencies encourage parties to settle their disagreements, if possible. All parties are free to respond to or to contact the other party or that person's attorney to discuss the possibility of settlement. If parties are close to reaching an agreement as the hearing approaches and need some more time, they should ask the ALJ to postpone the hearing so they can work on settling the case. It is up to the ALJ to determine if an extension is warranted.
Settlement discussions are usually not disclosed to the ALJ. If the case goes to hearing, the content of settlement discussions cannot be mentioned at the hearing.
When parties settle the matter, they sign an agreement (called a "stipulation", "settlement agreement" or "compromise") setting forth the terms of settlement. An order, which is a command to the parties, may then be issued by the ALJ accepting and implementing the stipulation.