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Procedural Rules

Subpart E -- Hearings

§2200.60 Notice of hearing; Location.

Except by agreement of the parties, or in an expedited proceeding under §2200.103, notice of the time, place, and nature of the first setting of a hearing shall be given to the parties and intervenors at least 30 days in advance of the hearing. If a hearing is being rescheduled, or if exigent circumstances are present, at least 10 days notice shall be given. The Judge will designate a place and time of hearing that involves as little inconvenience and expense to the parties as is practicable.

§2200.61 Submission without hearing.

A case may be fully stipulated by the parties and submitted to the Commission or Judge for a decision at any time. The stipulation of facts shall be in writing and signed by the parties or their representatives. The submission of a case under this rule does not alter the burden of proof, the requirements otherwise applicable with respect to adducing proof, or the effect of failure of proof. Motions for summary judgment are covered by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56.

§2200.62 Postponement of hearing.

(a) Motion to postpone. A hearing may be postponed by the Judge on his own initiative or for good cause shown upon the motion of a party. A motion for postponement shall state the position of the other parties, either by a joint motion or by a representation of the moving party. The filing of a motion for postponement does not automatically postpone a hearing.

(b) Grounds for postponement. A motion for postponement grounded on conflicting engagements of counsel or employment of new counsel shall be filed promptly after notice is given of the hearing, or as soon as the conflict is learned of or the engagement occurs.

(c) When motion must be received. A motion to postpone a hearing must be received at least 7 days prior to the hearing. A motion for postponement received less than 7 days prior to the hearing will generally be denied unless good cause is shown for late filing.

(d) Postponement in excess of 60 days. No postponement in excess of 60 days shall be granted without the concurrence of the Chief Administrative Law Judge. The original of any motion seeking a postponement in excess of 60 days shall be filed with the Judge and a copy sent to the Chief Administrative Law Judge.

§2200.63 Stay of proceedings.

(a) Motion for stay. Stays are not favored. A party seeking a stay of a case assigned to a Judge shall file a motion for stay with the Judge and send a copy to the Chief Administrative Law Judge. A motion for a stay shall state the position of the other parties, either by a joint motion or by the representation of the moving party. The motion shall set forth the reasons a stay is sought and the length of the stay requested.

(b) Ruling on motion to stay. The Judge, with the concurrence of the Chief Administrative Law Judge, may grant any motion for stay for the period requested or for such period as is deemed appropriate.

(c) Periodic reports required. The parties in a stayed proceeding shall be required to submit periodic reports on such terms and conditions as the Judge may direct. The length of time between the reports shall be no longer than 90 days unless the Commission or the Judge otherwise orders.

§2200.64 Failure to appear.

(a) Attendance at hearing. The failure of a party to appear at a hearing may result in a decision against that party.

(b) Requests for reinstatement. Requests for reinstatement must be made, in the absence of extraordinary circumstances, within 5 days after the scheduled hearing date. See §2200.90(b)(3).

(c) Rescheduling hearing. The Commission or the Judge, upon a showing of good cause, may excuse such failure to appear. In such event, the hearing will be rescheduled as expeditiously as possible from the issuance of the Judge's order.

§2200.65 Payment of witness fees and mileage; Fees of persons taking depositions.

Witnesses summoned before the Commission or the Judge shall be paid the same fees and mileage that are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, and witnesses whose depositions are taken and the persons taking the same shall severally be entitled to the same fees as are paid for like services in the courts of the United States. Witness fees and mileage shall be paid by the party at whose instance the witness appears, and the person taking a deposition shall be paid by the party at whose instance the deposition is taken.

§2200.66 Transcript of testimony.

(a) Hearings. Hearings shall be transcribed verbatim. A copy of the transcript of testimony taken at the hearing, duly certified by the reporter, shall be filed with the Judge before whom the matter was heard.

(b) Payment for transcript. The Commission shall bear all expenses for court reporters' fees and for copies of the hearing transcript received by it. Each party is responsible for securing and paying for its copy of the transcript.

(c) Correction of errors. Error in the transcript of the hearing may be corrected by the Judge on his own motion, on joint motion by the parties, or on motion by any party. The motion shall state the error in the transcript and the correction to be made. Corrections will be made by hand with pen and ink and by the appending of an errata sheet.

§2200.67 Duties and powers of Judges.

It shall be the duty of the Judge to conduct a fair and impartial hearing, to assure that the facts are fully elicited, to adjudicate all issues and avoid delay. The Judge shall have authority with respect to cases assigned to him, between the time he is designated and the time he issues his decision, subject to the rules and regulations of the Commission, to:

(a) Administer oaths and affirmations;

(b) Issue authorized subpoenas;

(c) Rule upon petitions to revoke subpoenas;

(d) Rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant evidence;

(e) Take or cause depositions to be taken whenever the needs of justice would be served;

(f) Regulate the course of the hearing and, if appropriate or necessary, exclude persons or counsel from the hearing for contemptuous conduct and strike all related testimony of witnesses refusing to answer any proper questions;

(g) Hold conferences for the settlement or simplification of the issues;

(h) Dispose of procedural requests or similar matters, including motions referred to the Judge by the Commission and motions to amend pleadings; also to dismiss complaints or portions thereof, and to order hearings reopened or, upon motion, consolidated prior to issuance of his decision;

(i) Make decisions in conformity with §557 of title 5, United States Code;

(j) Call and examine witnesses and to introduce into the record documentary or other evidence;

(k) Request the parties to state their respective positions concerning any issue in the case or theory in support thereof;

(l) Adjourn the hearing as the needs of justice and good administration require;

(m) Take any other action necessary under the foregoing and authorized by the published rules and regulations of the Commission.

§2200.68 Disqualification of the Judge.

(a) Discretionary withdrawal. A Judge may withdraw from a proceeding whenever he deems himself disqualified.

(b) Request for withdrawal. Any party may request the Judge, at any time following his designation and before the filing of his decision, to withdraw on ground of personal bias or disqualification, by filing with him promptly upon the discovery of the alleged facts an affidavit setting forth in detail the matters alleged to constitute grounds for disqualification.

(c) Granting request. If, in the opinion of the Judge, the affidavit referred to in paragraph (b) of this section is filed with due diligence and is sufficient on its face, the Judge shall forthwith disqualify himself and withdraw from the proceeding.

(d) Denial of request. If the Judge does not disqualify himself and withdraw from the proceedings, he shall so rule upon the record, stating the grounds for his ruling and shall proceed with the hearing, or, if the hearing has closed, he shall proceed with the issuance of his decision, and the provisions of §2200.90 shall thereupon apply.

§2200.69 Examination of witnesses.

Witnesses shall be examined orally under oath or affirmation. Opposing parties have the right to cross-examine any witness whose testimony is introduced by an adverse party. All parties shall have the right to cross-examine any witness called by the Judge pursuant to §2200.67(j).

§2200.70 Exhibits.

(a) Marking exhibits. All exhibits offered in evidence by a party shall be marked for identification before or during the hearing. Exhibits shall be marked with the case docket number, with a designation identifying the party or intervenor offering the exhibit, and numbered consecutively.

(b) Removal or substitution of exhibits in evidence. Unless the Judge finds it impractical, a copy of each exhibit shall be given to the other parties and intervenors. A party may remove an exhibit from the official record during the hearing or at the conclusion of the hearing only upon permission of the Judge. The Judge, in his discretion, may permit the substitution of a duplicate for any original document offered into evidence.

(c) Reasons for denial of admitting exhibit. A Judge may, in his discretion, deny the admission of any exhibit because of its excessive size, weight, or other characteristic that prohibits its convenient transportation and storage. A party may offer into evidence photographs, models or other representations of any such exhibit.

(d) Rejected exhibits. All exhibits offered but denied admission into evidence, except exhibits referred to in paragraph (c) of this section, shall be placed in a separate file designated for rejected exhibits.

(e) Return of physical exhibits. A party may on motion request the return of a physical exhibit within 30 days after expiration of the time for filing a petition for review of a Commission final order in a United States Court of Appeals under section 11 of the Act, 29 U.S.C. §660, or within 30 days after completion of any proceedings initiated thereunder. The motion shall be addressed to the Executive Secretary and provide supporting reasons. The exhibit shall be returned if the Executive Secretary determines that it is no longer necessary for use in any Commission proceeding.

(f) Request for custody of physical exhibit. Any person may on motion to the Executive Secretary request custody of a physical exhibit for use in any court or tribunal. The motion shall state the reasons for the request and the duration of custody requested. If the exhibit has been admitted in a pending Commission case, the motion shall be served on all parties to the proceeding. Any person granted custody of an exhibit shall inform the Executive Secretary of the status every 6 months of his continuing need for the exhibit and return the exhibit after completion of the proceeding.

(g) Disposal of physical exhibit. Any physical exhibit may be disposed of by the Commission's Executive Secretary at any time more than 30 days after expiration of the time for filing a petition for review of a Commission final order in a United States Court of Appeals under section 11 of the Act, 29 U.S.C. §660, or 30 days after completion of any proceedings initiated thereunder.

§2200.71 Rules of evidence.

The Federal Rules of Evidence are applicable.

§2200.72 Objections.

(a) Statement of objection. Any objection with respect to the conduct of the hearing, including any objection to the introduction of evidence or a ruling by the Judge, may be stated orally or in writing, accompanied by a short statement of the grounds for the objection, and shall be included in the record. No such objection shall be deemed waived by further participation in the hearing.

(b) Offer of proof. Whenever evidence is excluded from the record, the party offering such evidence may make an offer of proof, which shall be included in the record of the proceeding.

§2200.73 Interlocutory review.

(a) General. Interlocutory review of a Judge's ruling is discretionary with the Commission. A petition for interlocutory review may be granted only where the petition asserts and the Commission finds: (1) that the review involves an important question of law or policy about which there is substantial ground for difference of opinion and that immediate review of the ruling may materially expedite the final disposition of the proceedings; or (2) that the ruling will result in a disclosure, before the Commission may review the Judge's report, of information that is alleged to be privileged.

(b) Petition for interlocutory review. Within 5 days following the receipt of a Judge's ruling from which review is sought, a party may file a petition for interlocutory review with the Commission. Responses to the petition, if any, shall be filed within 5 days following service of the petition. A copy of the petition and responses shall be filed with the Judge. The petition is denied unless granted within 30 days of the date of receipt by the Commission's Executive Secretary. A corporate party that files a petition for interlocutory review or a response to such a petition under this section shall file with the Commission a copy of its declaration of corporate parents, subsidiaries, and affiliates previously filed with the Judge under the requirements of §2200.35 or §2200.37(d)(4). In its discretion the Commission may refuse to accept for filing a petition or response that fails to comply with this disclosure requirement. A corporate party filing the declaration required by this paragraph shall have a continuing duty to advise the Executive Secretary of any changes to its declaration until the Commission either denies the petition for interlocutory appeal or issues its decision on the merits of the appeal.

(c) Denial without prejudice. The Commission's action in denying a petition for interlocutory review shall not preclude a party from raising an objection to the Judge's interlocutory ruling in a petition for discretionary review.

(d) Stay.

    (1) Trade secret matters. The filing of a petition for interlocutory review of a Judge's ruling concerning an alleged trade secret shall stay the effect of the ruling until the Commission denies the petition or rules on the merits.

    (2) Other cases. In all other cases, the filing or granting of a petition for interlocutory review shall not stay a proceeding or the effect of a ruling unless otherwise ordered.

(e) Judge's comments. The Judge may be requested to provide the Commission with his written views on whether the petition is meritorious. The Judge shall serve copies of these comments on all parties when he files them with the Commission.

(f) Briefs. Should the Commission desire briefs on the issues raised by an interlocutory review, it shall give notice to the parties. See §2200.93--Briefs before the Commission.

(g) When filing effective. A petition for interlocutory review is deemed to be filed only when received by the Commission.

§2200.74 Filing of briefs and proposed findings with the Judge; Oral argument at the hearing.

(a) General. A party is entitled to a reasonable period at the close of the hearing for oral argument, which shall be included in the stenographic report of the hearing. Any party shall be entitled, upon request made before the close of hearing, to file a brief, proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, or both, with the Judge. In lieu of briefs, the Judge may permit or direct the parties to file memoranda or statements of authority.

(b) Time. Briefs shall be filed simultaneously on a date established by the Judge. A motion for extension of time for filing any brief shall be made at least 3 days prior to the due date and shall recite that the moving party has advised the other parties of the motion. Reply briefs shall not be allowed except by order of the Judge.

(c) Untimely briefs. Untimely briefs will not be accepted unless accompanied by a motion setting forth good cause for the delay.

Last Updated: January 19, 2010

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