|(a) Consolidation. Consistent with notices required by law, the judge may consolidate related cases or claims if consolidation will not prejudice any party and may save time and expense or otherwise benefit the public interest and welfare. With the judge's permission, the executive director may consolidate cases or claims, including those involving different media or persons. The commission may, when referring matters to SOAH, direct that cases or claims be consolidated for hearing. (b) Severance. The judge may sever issues in a proceeding or hold special hearings on separate issues if doing so will not prejudice any party and may save time and expense or benefit the public interest and welfare. The judge may sever contested enforcement cases or claims involving any number of parties, upon motion by any respondent, where the respondent can show that he would be unduly prejudiced if severance were not granted.