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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR Data is current as of September 19, 2014

Title 16Chapter ISubchapter APart 3 → Subpart D


Title 16: Commercial Practices
PART 3—RULES OF PRACTICE FOR ADJUDICATIVE PROCEEDINGS


Subpart D—Discovery; Compulsory Process


Contents
§3.31   General discovery provisions.
§3.31A   Expert discovery.
§3.32   Admissions.
§3.33   Depositions.
§3.34   Subpoenas.
§3.35   Interrogatories to parties.
§3.36   Applications for subpoenas for records of or appearances by certain officials or employees of the Commission or officials or employees of governmental agencies other than the Commission, and subpoenas to be served in a foreign country.
§3.37   Production of documents, electronically stored information, and any tangible things; access for inspection and other purposes.
§3.38   Motion for order compelling disclosure or discovery; sanctions.
§3.38A   Withholding requested material.
§3.39   Orders requiring witnesses to testify or provide other information and granting immunity.
§3.40   Admissibility of evidence in advertising substantiation cases.

§3.31   General discovery provisions.

(a) Discovery methods. Parties may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: Depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things for inspection and other purposes; and requests for admission. Except as provided in the rules, or unless the Administrative Law Judge orders otherwise, the frequency or sequence of these methods is not limited. The parties shall, to the greatest extent practicable, conduct discovery simultaneously; the fact that a party is conducting discovery shall not operate to delay any other party's discovery. Unless all parties expressly agree otherwise, no discovery shall take place before the issuance of a prehearing scheduling order under §3.21(c), except for the mandatory initial disclosures required by paragraph (b) of this section.

(b) Mandatory initial disclosures. Complaint counsel and respondent's counsel shall, within 5 days of receipt of a respondent's answer to the complaint and without awaiting a discovery request, provide to each other:

(1) The name, and, if known, the address and telephone number of each individual likely to have discoverable information relevant to the allegations of the Commission's complaint, to the proposed relief, or to the defenses of the respondent, as set forth in §3.31(c)(1); and

(2) A copy of, or a description by category and location of, all documents and electronically stored information including declarations, transcripts of investigational hearings and depositions, and tangible things in the possession, custody, or control of the Commission or respondent(s) that are relevant to the allegations of the Commission's complaint, to the proposed relief, or to the defenses of the respondent, as set forth in §3.31(c)(1); unless such information or materials are subject to the limitations in §3.31(c)(2), privileged as defined in §3.31(c)(4), pertain to hearing preparation as defined in §3.31(c)(5), pertain to experts as defined in §3.31A, or are obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive. A party shall make its disclosures based on the information then reasonably available to it and is not excused from making its disclosures because it has not fully completed its investigation.

(c) Scope of discovery. Unless otherwise limited by order of the Administrative Law Judge or the Commission in accordance with these rules, the scope of discovery under all the rules in this part is as follows:

(1) In general. Parties may obtain discovery to the extent that it may be reasonably expected to yield information relevant to the allegations of the complaint, to the proposed relief, or to the defenses of any respondent. Such information may include the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, other tangible things, electronically stored information, and the identity and location of persons having any knowledge of any discoverable matter. Information may not be withheld from discovery on grounds that the information will be inadmissible at the hearing if the information sought appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

(2) Limitations. Complaint counsel need only search for materials that were collected or reviewed in the course of the investigation of the matter or prosecution of the case and that are in the possession, custody or control of the Bureaus or Offices of the Commission that investigated the matter, including the Bureau of Economics. The Administrative Law Judge may authorize for good cause additional discovery of materials in the possession, custody, or control of those Bureaus or Offices, or authorize other discovery pursuant to §3.36. Neither complaint counsel, respondent, nor a third party receiving a discovery request under these rules is required to search for materials generated and transmitted between an entity's counsel (including counsel's legal staff or in-house counsel) and not shared with anyone else, or between complaint counsel and non-testifying Commission employees, unless the Administrative Law Judge determines there is good cause to provide such materials. The frequency or extent of use of the discovery methods otherwise permitted under these rules shall be limited by the Administrative Law Judge if he or she determines that:

(i) The discovery sought from a party or third party is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or is obtainable from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;

(ii) The party seeking discovery has had ample opportunity by discovery in the action to obtain the information sought; or

(iii) The burden and expense of the proposed discovery on a party or third party outweigh its likely benefit.

(3) Electronically stored information. A party or third party need not provide discovery of electronically stored information from sources that the party or third party identifies as not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost. On a motion to compel discovery, the party or third party from whom discovery is sought must show that the information is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost. If that showing is made, the Administrative Law Judge may nonetheless order discovery if the requesting party shows good cause, considering the limitations of paragraph (c)(2). The Administrative Law Judge may specify conditions for the discovery.

(4) Privilege. Discovery shall be denied or limited in order to preserve the privilege of a witness, person, or governmental agency as governed by the Constitution, any applicable act of Congress, or the principles of the common law as they may be interpreted by the Commission in the light of reason and experience.

(5) Hearing preparations: Materials. Subject to the provisions of §3.31A, a party may obtain discovery of documents and tangible things otherwise discoverable under paragraph (c)(1) of this section and prepared in anticipation of litigation or for hearing by or for another party or by or for that other party's representative (including the party's attorney, consultant, or agent) only upon a showing that the party seeking discovery has substantial need of the materials in the preparation of its case and that the party is unable without undue hardship to obtain the substantial equivalent of the materials by other means. In ordering discovery of such materials when the required showing has been made, the Administrative Law Judge shall protect against disclosure of the mental impressions, conclusions, opinions, or legal theories of an attorney or other representative of a party.

(d) Protective orders; orders to preserve evidence. In order to protect the parties and third parties against improper use and disclosure of confidential information, the Administrative Law Judge shall issue a protective order as set forth in the appendix to this section. The Administrative Law Judge may also deny discovery or make any other order which justice requires to protect a party or other person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, or to prevent undue delay in the proceeding. Such an order may also be issued to preserve evidence upon a showing that there is substantial reason to believe that such evidence would not otherwise be available for presentation at the hearing.

(e) Supplementation of disclosures and responses. A party who has made a mandatory initial disclosure under §3.31(b) or responded to a request for discovery with a disclosure or response is under a duty to supplement or correct the disclosure or response to include information thereafter acquired if ordered by the Administrative Law Judge or in the following circumstances:

(1) A party is under a duty to supplement at appropriate intervals its mandatory initial disclosures under §3.31(b) if the party learns that in some material respect the information disclosed is incomplete or incorrect and if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to the other parties during the discovery process or in writing.

(2) A party is under a duty to amend in a timely manner a prior response to an interrogatory, request for production, or request for admission if the party learns that the response is in some material respect incomplete or incorrect.

(f) Stipulations. When approved by the Administrative Law Judge, the parties may by written stipulation (1) provide that depositions may be taken before any person, at any time or place, upon any notice, and in any manner and when so taken may be used like other depositions, and (2) modify the procedures provided by these rules for other methods of discovery.

(g) Disclosure of privileged or protected information or communications; scope of waiver; obligations of receiving party. (1)(i) The disclosure of privileged or protected information or communications during a part 3 proceeding or during a Commission precomplaint investigation shall not operate as a waiver if:

(A) The disclosure is inadvertent;

(B) The holder of the privilege or protection took reasonable steps to prevent disclosure; and

(C) The holder promptly took reasonable steps to rectify the error, including notifying any party that received the information or communication of the claim and the basis for it.

(ii) After being notified, the receiving party must promptly return, sequester, or destroy the specified information and any copies it has; must not use or disclose the information until the claim is resolved; must take reasonable steps to retrieve the information if the party disclosed it before being notified; and may promptly present the information to the Administrative Law Judge under seal for a determination of the claim. The producing party must preserve the information until the claim is resolved.

(2) The disclosure of privileged or protected information or communications during a part 3 proceeding or during a Commission precomplaint investigation shall waive the privilege or protection as to undisclosed information or communications only if:

(i) The waiver is intentional;

(ii) The disclosed and undisclosed information or communications concern the same subject matter; and

(iii) They ought in fairness to be considered together.

(h) Restriction on filings. Unless otherwise ordered by the Administrative Law Judge in his or her discretion, mandatory initial and supplemental disclosures, interrogatories, depositions, requests for documents, requests for admissions, and answers and responses thereto shall be served upon other parties but shall not be filed with the Office of the Secretary, the Administrative Law Judge, or otherwise provided to the Commission, except to support or oppose a motion or to offer as evidence.

Appendix A to §3.31: Standard Protective Order.

For the purpose of protecting the interests of the parties and third parties in the above-captioned matter against improper use and disclosure of confidential information submitted or produced in connection with this matter:

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT this Protective Order Governing Confidential Material (“Protective Order”) shall govern the handling of all Discovery Material, as hereafter defined.

1. As used in this Order, “confidential material” shall refer to any document or portion thereof that contains privileged information, competitively sensitive information, or sensitive personal information. “Sensitive personal information” shall refer to, but shall not be limited to, an individual's Social Security number, taxpayer identification number, financial account number, credit card or debit card number, driver's license number, state-issued identification number, passport number, date of birth (other than year), and any sensitive health information identifiable by individual, such as an individual's medical records. “Document” shall refer to any discoverable writing, recording, transcript of oral testimony, or electronically stored information in the possession of a party or a third party. “Commission” shall refer to the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”), or any of its employees, agents, attorneys, and all other persons acting on its behalf, excluding persons retained as consultants or experts for purposes of this proceeding.

2. Any document or portion thereof submitted by a respondent or a third party during a Federal Trade Commission investigation or during the course of this proceeding that is entitled to confidentiality under the Federal Trade Commission Act, or any other federal statute or regulation, or under any federal court or Commission precedent interpreting such statute or regulation, as well as any information that discloses the substance of the contents of any confidential materials derived from a document subject to this Order, shall be treated as confidential material for purposes of this Order. The identity of a third party submitting such confidential material shall also be treated as confidential material for the purposes of this Order where the submitter has requested such confidential treatment.

3. The parties and any third parties, in complying with informal discovery requests, disclosure requirements, or discovery demands in this proceeding may designate any responsive document or portion thereof as confidential material, including documents obtained by them from third parties pursuant to discovery or as otherwise obtained.

4. The parties, in conducting discovery from third parties, shall provide to each third party a copy of this Order so as to inform each such third party of his, her, or its rights herein.

5. A designation of confidentiality shall constitute a representation in good faith and after careful determination that the material is not reasonably believed to be already in the public domain and that counsel believes the material so designated constitutes confidential material as defined in Paragraph 1 of this Order.

6. Material may be designated as confidential by placing on or affixing to the document containing such material (in such manner as will not interfere with the legibility thereof), or if an entire folder or box of documents is confidential by placing or affixing to that folder or box, the designation “CONFIDENTIAL—FTC Docket No. XXXX” or any other appropriate notice that identifies this proceeding, together with an indication of the portion or portions of the document considered to be confidential material. Confidential information contained in electronic documents may also be designated as confidential by placing the designation “CONFIDENTIAL—FTC Docket No. XXXX” or any other appropriate notice that identifies this proceeding, on the face of the CD or DVD or other medium on which the document is produced. Masked or otherwise redacted copies of documents may be produced where the portions masked or redacted contain privileged matter, provided that the copy produced shall indicate at the appropriate point that portions have been masked or redacted and the reasons therefor.

7. Confidential material shall be disclosed only to: (a) the Administrative Law Judge presiding over this proceeding, personnel assisting the Administrative Law Judge, the Commission and its employees, and personnel retained by the Commission as experts or consultants for this proceeding; (b) judges and other court personnel of any court having jurisdiction over any appellate proceedings involving this matter; (c) outside counsel of record for any respondent, their associated attorneys and other employees of their law firm(s), provided they are not employees of a respondent; (d) anyone retained to assist outside counsel in the preparation or hearing of this proceeding including consultants, provided they are not affiliated in any way with a respondent and have signed an agreement to abide by the terms of the protective order; and (e) any witness or deponent who may have authored or received the information in question.

8. Disclosure of confidential material to any person described in Paragraph 7 of this Order shall be only for the purposes of the preparation and hearing of this proceeding, or any appeal therefrom, and for no other purpose whatsoever, provided, however, that the Commission may, subject to taking appropriate steps to preserve the confidentiality of such material, use or disclose confidential material as provided by its Rules of Practice; sections 6(f) and 21 of the Federal Trade Commission Act; or any other legal obligation imposed upon the Commission.

9. In the event that any confidential material is contained in any pleading, motion, exhibit or other paper filed or to be filed with the Secretary of the Commission, the Secretary shall be so informed by the Party filing such papers, and such papers shall be filed in camera. To the extent that such material was originally submitted by a third party, the party including the materials in its papers shall immediately notify the submitter of such inclusion. Confidential material contained in the papers shall continue to have in camera treatment until further order of the Administrative Law Judge, provided, however, that such papers may be furnished to persons or entities who may receive confidential material pursuant to Paragraphs 7 or 8. Upon or after filing any paper containing confidential material, the filing party shall file on the public record a duplicate copy of the paper that does not reveal confidential material. Further, if the protection for any such material expires, a party may file on the public record a duplicate copy which also contains the formerly protected material.

10. If counsel plans to introduce into evidence at the hearing any document or transcript containing confidential material produced by another party or by a third party, they shall provide advance notice to the other party or third party for purposes of allowing that party to seek an order that the document or transcript be granted in camera treatment. If that party wishes in camera treatment for the document or transcript, the party shall file an appropriate motion with the Administrative Law Judge within 5 days after it receives such notice. Except where such an order is granted, all documents and transcripts shall be part of the public record. Where in camera treatment is granted, a duplicate copy of such document or transcript with the confidential material deleted therefrom may be placed on the public record.

11. If any party receives a discovery request in any investigation or in any other proceeding or matter that may require the disclosure of confidential material submitted by another party or third party, the recipient of the discovery request shall promptly notify the submitter of receipt of such request. Unless a shorter time is mandated by an order of a court, such notification shall be in writing and be received by the submitter at least 10 business days before production, and shall include a copy of this Protective Order and a cover letter that will apprise the submitter of its rights hereunder. Nothing herein shall be construed as requiring the recipient of the discovery request or anyone else covered by this Order to challenge or appeal any order requiring production of confidential material, to subject itself to any penalties for non-compliance with any such order, or to seek any relief from the Administrative Law Judge or the Commission. The recipient shall not oppose the submitter's efforts to challenge the disclosure of confidential material. In addition, nothing herein shall limit the applicability of Rule 4.11(e) of the Commission's Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 4.11(e), to discovery requests in another proceeding that are directed to the Commission.

12. At the time that any consultant or other person retained to assist counsel in the preparation of this action concludes participation in the action, such person shall return to counsel all copies of documents or portions thereof designated confidential that are in the possession of such person, together with all notes, memoranda or other papers containing confidential information. At the conclusion of this proceeding, including the exhaustion of judicial review, the parties shall return documents obtained in this action to their submitters, provided, however, that the Commission's obligation to return documents shall be governed by the provisions of Rule 4.12 of the Rules of Practice, 16 CFR 4.12.

13. The provisions of this Protective Order, insofar as they restrict the communication and use of confidential discovery material, shall, without written permission of the submitter or further order of the Commission, continue to be binding after the conclusion of this proceeding.

[74 FR 1824, Jan. 13, 2009, as amended at 74 FR 20309, May 1, 2009; 76 FR 52251, 52252, Aug. 22, 2011]

§3.31A   Expert discovery.

(a) The parties shall serve each other with a list of experts they intend to call as witnesses at the hearing not later than 1 day after the close of fact discovery, meaning the close of discovery except for depositions and other discovery permitted under §3.24(a)(4), and discovery for purposes of authenticity and admissibility of exhibits. Complaint counsel shall serve the other parties with a report prepared by each of its expert witnesses not later than 14 days after the close of fact discovery. Each respondent shall serve each other party with a report prepared by each of its expert witnesses not later than 14 days after the deadline for service of complaint counsel's expert reports. Complaint counsel shall serve respondents with a list of any rebuttal expert witnesses and a rebuttal report prepared by each such witness not later than 10 days after the deadline for service of respondent's expert reports. Aside from any information required by paragraph (c), a rebuttal report shall be limited to rebuttal of matters set forth in a respondent's expert reports. If material outside the scope of fair rebuttal is presented, a respondent may file a motion not later than 5 days after the deadline for service of complaint counsel's rebuttal reports, seeking appropriate relief with the Administrative Law Judge, including striking all or part of the report, leave to submit a surrebuttal report by respondent's experts, or leave to call a surrebuttal witness and to submit a surrebuttal report by that witness.

(b) No party may call an expert witness at the hearing unless he or she has been listed and has provided reports as required by this section. Each side will be limited to calling at the evidentiary hearing 5 expert witnesses, including any rebuttal or surrebuttal expert witnesses. A party may file a motion seeking leave to call additional expert witnesses due to extraordinary circumstances.

(c) Each report shall be signed by the expert and contain a complete statement of all opinions to be expressed and the basis and reasons therefor; the data, materials, or other information considered by the witness in forming the opinions; any exhibits to be used as a summary of or support for the opinions; the qualifications of the witness, including a list of all publications authored by the witness within the preceding 10 years; the compensation to be paid for the study and testimony; and a listing of any other cases in which the witness has testified as an expert at trial or by deposition within the preceding 4 years. A rebuttal or surrebuttal report need not include any information already included in the initial report of the witness.

(d) A party may depose any person who has been identified as an expert whose opinions may be presented at trial. Unless otherwise ordered by the Administrative Law Judge, a deposition of any expert witness shall be conducted after the disclosure of a report prepared by the witness in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section. Depositions of expert witnesses shall be completed not later than 65 days after the close of fact discovery. Upon motion, the Administrative Law Judge may order further discovery by other means, subject to such restrictions as to scope as the Administrative Law Judge may deem appropriate.

(e) A party may not discover facts known or opinions held by an expert who has been retained or specifically employed by another party in anticipation of litigation or preparation for hearing and who is not listed as a witness for the evidentiary hearing. A party may not discover drafts of any report required by this section, regardless of the form in which the draft is recorded, or any communications between another party's attorney and any of that other party's testifying experts, regardless of the form of the communications, except to the extent that the communications:

(1) Relate to compensation for the expert's study or testimony;

(2) Identify facts or data that the other party's attorney provided and that the expert considered in forming the opinions to be expressed; or

(3) Identify assumptions that the other party's attorney provided and that the expert relied on in forming the opinions to be expressed.

(f) The Administrative Law Judge may, upon a finding of good cause, alter the pre-hearing schedule set forth in this section; provided, however, that no such alteration shall affect the date of the evidentiary hearing noticed in the complaint.

[74 FR 1826, Jan. 13, 2009, as amended at 76 FR 52252, Aug. 22, 2011]

§3.32   Admissions.

(a) At any time after thirty (30) days after issuance of complaint, or after publication of notice of an adjudicative hearing in a rulemaking proceeding under §3.13, any party may serve on any other party a written request for admission of the truth of any matters relevant to the pending proceeding set forth in the request that relate to statements or opinions of fact or of the application of law to fact, including the genuineness of any documents described in the request. Copies of documents shall be served with the request unless they have been or are otherwise furnished or are known to be, and in the request are stated as being, in the possession of the other party. Each matter of which an admission is requested shall be separately set forth. A copy of the request shall be filed with the Secretary.

(b) The matter is admitted unless, within ten (10) days after service of the request, or within such shorter or longer time as the Administrative Law Judge may allow, the party to whom the request is directed serves upon the party requesting the admission, with a copy filed with the Secretary, a sworn written answer or objection addressed to the matter. If objection is made, the reasons therefor shall be stated. The answer shall specifically deny the matter or set forth in detail the reasons why the answering party cannot truthfully admit or deny the matter. A denial shall fairly meet the substance of the requested admission, and when good faith requires that a party qualify its answer or deny only a part of the matter of which an admission is requested, the party shall specify so much of it as is true and qualify or deny the remainder. An answering party may not give lack of information or knowledge as a reason for failure to admit or deny unless the party states that it has made reasonable inquiry and that the information known to or readily obtainable by the party is insufficient to enable it to admit or deny. A party who considers that a matter of which an admission has been requested presents a genuine issue for trial may not, on that ground alone, object to the request; the party may deny the matter or set fourth reasons why the party cannot admit or deny it.

(c) Any matter admitted under this rule is conclusively established unless the Administrative Law Judge on motion permits withdrawal or amendment of the admission. The Administrative Law Judge may permit withdrawal or amendment when the presentation of the merits of the proceeding will be subserved thereby and the party who obtained the admission fails to satisfy the Administrative Law Judge that withdrawal or amendment will prejudice him in maintaining his action or defense on the merits. Any admission made by a party under this rule is for the purpose of the pending proceeding only and is not an admission by him for any other purpose nor may it be used against him in any other proceeding.

[43 FR 56865, Dec. 4, 1978, as amended at 50 FR 53305, Dec. 31, 1985]

§3.33   Depositions.

(a) In general. Any party may take a deposition of any named person or of a person or persons described with reasonable particularity, provided that such deposition is reasonably expected to yield information within the scope of discovery under §3.31(c)(1) and subject to the requirements in §3.36. Such party may, by motion, obtain from the Administrative Law Judge an order to preserve relevant evidence upon a showing that there is substantial reason to believe that such evidence would not otherwise be available for presentation at the hearing. Depositions may be taken before any person having power to administer oaths, either under the law of the United States or of the state or other place in which the deposition is taken, who may be designated by the party seeking the deposition, provided that such person shall have no interest in the outcome of the proceeding. The party seeking the deposition shall serve upon each person whose deposition is sought and upon each party to the proceeding reasonable notice in writing of the time and place at which it will be taken, and the name and address of each person or persons to be examined, if known, and if the name is not known, a description sufficient to identify them. The parties may stipulate in writing or the Administrative Law Judge may upon motion order that a deposition be taken by telephone or other remote electronic means. A deposition taken by such means is deemed taken at the place where the deponent is to answer questions.

(b) The Administrative Law Judge may rule on motion by a party that a deposition shall not be taken upon a determination that such deposition would not be reasonably expected to meet the scope of discovery set forth under §3.31(c), or that the value of the deposition would be outweighed by the considerations set forth under §3.43(b). The fact that a witness testifies at an investigative hearing does not preclude the deposition of that witness.

(c)(1) Notice to corporation or other organization. A party may name as the deponent a public or private corporation, partnership, association, governmental agency other than the Federal Trade Commission, or any bureau or regional office of the Federal Trade Commission, and describe with reasonable particularity the matters on which examination is requested. The organization so named shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf, and may set forth, for each person designated, the matters on which he or she will testify. A subpoena shall advise a non-party organization of its duty to make such a designation. The persons so designated shall testify as to matters known or reasonably available to the organization. This subsection does not preclude taking a deposition by any other procedure authorized in these rules.

(2) Notice to Commission. Except as provided in §3.31(h), notices of depositions shall not be filed with the Office of the Secretary, the Administrative Law Judge, or otherwise provided to the Commission.

(d) Taking of deposition. Each deponent shall be duly sworn, and any party shall have the right to question him or her. Objections to questions or to evidence presented shall be in short form, stating the grounds of objections relied upon. The questions propounded and the answers thereto, together with all objections made, shall be recorded and certified by the officer. Thereafter, upon payment of the charges therefor, the officer shall furnish a copy of the deposition to the deponent and to any party.

(e) Depositions upon written questions. A party desiring to take a deposition upon written questions shall serve them upon every other party with a notice stating:

(1) The name and address of the person who is to answer them, and

(2) The name or descriptive title and address of the officer before whom the deposition is to be taken.

A deposition upon written questions may be taken of a public or private corporation, partnership, association, governmental agency other than the Federal Trade Commission, or any bureau or regional office of the Federal Trade Commission in accordance with the provisions of §3.33(c). Within 30 days after the notice and written questions are served, any other party may serve cross questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with cross questions, the party taking the deposition may serve redirect questions upon all other parties. Within 10 days after being served with redirect questions, any other party may serve recross questions upon all other parties. The content of any question shall not be disclosed to the deponent prior to the taking of the deposition. A copy of the notice and copies of all questions served shall be delivered by the party taking the deposition to the officer designated in the notice, who shall proceed promptly to take the testimony of the deponent in response to the questions and to prepare, certify, and file or mail the deposition, attaching thereto the copy of the notice and the questions received by him or her. When the deposition is filed the party taking it shall promptly give notice thereof to all other parties.

(f) Correction of deposition. A deposition may be corrected, as to form or substance, in the manner provided by §3.44(b). Any such deposition shall, in addition to the other required procedures, be read to or by the deponent and signed by him or her, unless the parties by stipulation waive the signing or the deponent is unavailable or cannot be found or refuses to sign. If the deposition is not signed by the deponent within 30 days of its submission or attempted submission, the officer shall sign it and certify that the signing has been waived or that the deponent is unavailable or that the deponent has refused to sign, as the case may be, together with the reason for the refusal to sign, if any has been given. The deposition may then be used as though signed unless, on a motion to suppress under §3.33(g)(2)(iv), the Administrative Law Judge determines that the reasons given for the refusal to sign require rejection of the deposition in whole or in part. In addition to and not in lieu of the procedure for formal correction of the deposition, the deponent may enter in the record at the time of signing a list of objections to the transcription of his or her remarks, stating with specificity the alleged errors in the transcript.

(g) Objections; errors and irregularities—(1) Objections to admissibility. Subject to the provisions of paragraph (g)(2) of this section, objection may be made at the hearing to receiving in evidence any deposition or part thereof for any reason which would require the exclusion of the evidence if the witness were then present and testifying.

(2) Effect of errors and irregularities in depositions—(i) As to notice. All errors and irregularities in the notice for taking a deposition are waived unless written objection is promptly served upon the party giving the notice.

(ii) As to disqualification of officer. Objection to taking a deposition because of disqualification of the officer before whom it is to be taken is waived unless made before the taking of the deposition begins or as soon thereafter as the disqualification becomes known or could be discovered with reasonable diligence.

(iii) As to taking of deposition. (A) Objections to the competency of a witness or to the competency, relevancy, or materiality of testimony are not waived by failure to make them before or during the taking of the deposition, unless the ground of the objection is one which might have been obviated or removed if presented at that time.

(B) Errors and irregularities occurring at the oral examination in the manner of taking the deposition, in the form of the questions or answers, in the oath or affirmation, or in the conduct of parties, and errors of any kind which might be obviated, removed, or cured if promptly presented, are waived unless seasonable objection thereto is made at the taking of the deposition.

(C) Objections to the form of written questions are waived unless served in writing upon all parties within the time allowed for serving the succeeding cross or other questions and within 5 days after service of the last questions authorized.

(iv) As to completion and return of deposition. Errors and irregularities in the manner in which the testimony is transcribed or the deposition is prepared, signed, certified, endorsed, or otherwise dealt with by the officer are waived unless a motion to suppress the deposition or some part thereof is made with reasonable promptness after such defect is or with due diligence might have been ascertained.

[74 FR 1827, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.34   Subpoenas.

(a) Subpoenas ad testificandum. Counsel for a party may sign and issue a subpoena, on a form provided by the Secretary, requiring a person to appear and give testimony at the taking of a deposition to a party requesting such subpoena or to attend and give testimony at an adjudicative hearing.

(b) Subpoenas duces tecum; subpoenas to permit inspection of premises. Counsel for a party may sign and issue a subpoena, on a form provided by the Secretary, commanding a person to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, documents, or tangible things, or commanding a person to permit inspection of premises, at a time and place therein specified. The subpoena shall specify with reasonable particularity the material to be produced. The person commanded by the subpoena need not appear in person at the place of production or inspection unless commanded to appear for a deposition or hearing pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section. As used herein, the term “documents” includes written materials, electronically stored information, and tangible things. A subpoena duces tecum may be used by any party for purposes of discovery, for obtaining documents for use in evidence, or for both purposes, and shall specify with reasonable particularity the materials to be produced.

(c) Motions to quash; limitation on subpoenas. Any motion by the subject of a subpoena to limit or quash the subpoena shall be filed within the earlier of 10 days after service thereof or the time for compliance therewith. Such motions shall set forth all assertions of privilege or other factual and legal objections to the subpoena, including all appropriate arguments, affidavits and other supporting documentation, and shall include the statement required by §3.22(g). Nothing in paragraphs (a) and (b) of this section authorizes the issuance of subpoenas except in accordance with §§3.31(c)(2) and 3.36.

[74 FR 1828, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.35   Interrogatories to parties.

(a) Availability; procedures for use. (1) Any party may serve upon any other party written interrogatories, not exceeding 25 in number, including all discrete subparts, to be answered by the party served or, if the party served is a public or private corporation, partnership, association or governmental agency, by any officer or agent, who shall furnish such information as is available to the party. For this purpose, information shall not be deemed to be available insofar as it is in the possession of the Commissioners, the General Counsel, the office of Administrative Law Judges, or the Secretary in his or her capacity as custodian or recorder of any such information, or their respective staffs.

(2) Each interrogatory shall be answered separately and fully in writing under oath, unless it is objected to on grounds not raised and ruled on in connection with the authorization, in which event the reasons for objection shall be stated in lieu of an answer. The answers are to be signed by the person making them, and the objections signed by the attorney making them. The party upon whom the interrogatories have been served shall serve a copy of the answers, and objections, if any, within 30 days after the service of the interrogatories. The Administrative Law Judge may allow a shorter or longer time.

(3) Except as provided in §3.31(h), interrogatories shall not be filed with the Office of the Secretary, the Administrative Law Judge, or otherwise provided to the Commission.

(b) Scope; use at hearing. (1) Interrogatories may relate to any matters that can be inquired into under §3.31(c)(1), and the answers may be used to the extent permitted by the rules of evidence.

(2) An interrogatory otherwise proper is not necessarily objectionable merely because an answer to the interrogatory involves an opinion or contention that relates to fact or the application of law to fact, but such an interrogatory need not be answered until after designated discovery has been completed, but in no case later than 3 days before the final pretrial conference.

(c) Option to produce records. Where the answer to an interrogatory may be derived or ascertained from the records of the party upon whom the interrogatory has been served or from an examination, audit, or inspection of such records, or from a compilation, abstract, or summary based thereon, and the burden of deriving or ascertaining the answer is substantially the same for the party serving the interrogatory as for the party served, it is a sufficient answer to such interrogatory to specify the records from which the answer may be derived or ascertained and to afford to the party serving the interrogatory reasonable opportunity to examine, audit or inspect such records and to make copies, compilations, abstracts or summaries. The specification shall include sufficient detail to permit the interrogating party to identify readily the individual documents from which the answer may be ascertained.

[74 FR 1828, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.36   Applications for subpoenas for records of or appearances by certain officials or employees of the Commission or officials or employees of governmental agencies other than the Commission, and subpoenas to be served in a foreign country.

(a) Form. An application for issuance of a subpoena for the production of documents, as defined in §3.34(b), or for the issuance of a request requiring the production of or access to documents, other tangible things, or electronically stored information for the purposes described in §3.37(a), in the possession, custody, or control of the Commissioners, the General Counsel, any Bureau or Office not involved in the matter, the office of Administrative Law Judges, or the Secretary in his or her capacity as custodian or recorder of any such information, or their respective staffs, or of a governmental agency other than the Commission or the officials or employees of such other agency, or for the issuance of a subpoena requiring the appearance of a Commissioner, the General Counsel, an official of any Bureau or Office not involved in the matter, an Administrative Law Judge, or the Secretary in his or her capacity as custodian or recorder of any such information, or their respective staffs, or of an official or employee of another governmental agency, or for the issuance of a subpoena to be served in a foreign country, shall be made in the form of a written motion filed in accordance with the provisions of §3.22(a). No application for records pursuant to §4.11 of this chapter or the Freedom of Information Act may be filed with the Administrative Law Judge.

(b) Content. The motion shall make a showing that:

(1) The material sought is reasonable in scope;

(2) If for purposes of discovery, the material falls within the limits of discovery under §3.31(c)(1), or, if for an adjudicative hearing, the material is reasonably relevant;

(3) If for purposes of discovery, the information or material sought cannot reasonably be obtained by other means or, if for purposes of compelling a witness to appear at the evidentiary hearing, the movant has a compelling need for the testimony;

(4) With respect to subpoenas to be served in a foreign country, that the party seeking discovery or testimony has a good faith belief that the discovery requested would be permitted by treaty, law, custom, or practice in the country from which the discovery or testimony is sought and that any additional procedural requirements have been or will be met before the subpoena is served; and

(5) If the subpoena requires access to documents or other tangible things, it meets the requirements of §3.37.

(c) Execution. If an Administrative Law Judge issues an order authorizing a subpoena pursuant to this section, the moving party may forward to the Secretary a request for the authorized subpoena, with a copy of the authorizing order attached. Each such subpoena shall be signed by the Secretary; shall have attached to it a copy of the authorizing order; and shall be served by the moving party only in conjunction with a copy of the authorizing order.

[74 FR 1828, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.37   Production of documents, electronically stored information, and any tangible things; access for inspection and other purposes.

(a) Availability; procedures for use. Any party may serve on another party a request: to produce and permit the party making the request, or someone acting on the party's behalf, to inspect and copy any designated documents or electronically stored information, as defined in §3.34(b), or to inspect and copy, test, or sample any tangible things which are within the scope of §3.31(c)(1) and in the possession, custody, or control of the party upon whom the request is served; or to permit entry upon designated land or other property in the possession or control of the party upon whom the order would be served for the purpose of inspection and measuring, surveying, photographing, testing, or sampling the property or any designated object or operation thereon, within the scope of §3.31(c)(1). Each such request shall specify with reasonable particularity the documents or things to be produced or inspected, or the property to be entered. Each such request shall also specify a reasonable time, place, and manner of making the production or inspection and performing the related acts. Each request may specify the form in which electronically stored information is to be produced, but the requested form of electronically stored information must not be overly burdensome or unnecessarily costly to the producing party. A party shall make documents available as they are kept in the usual course of business or shall organize and label them to correspond with the categories in the request. A person not a party to the action may be compelled to produce documents and things or to submit to an inspection as provided in §3.34. Except as provided in §3.31(h), requests under this section shall not be filed with the Office of the Secretary, the Administrative Law Judge, or otherwise provided to the Commission.

(b) Response; objections. No more than 30 days after receiving the request, the response of the party upon whom the request is served shall state, with respect to each item or category, that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested, unless the request is objected to, in which event the reasons for the objection shall be stated. If objection is made to part of an item or category, the part shall be specified and inspection permitted of the remaining parts. The response may state an objection to a requested form for producing electronically stored information. If the responding party objects to a requested form - or if no form was specified in the request - the party must state the form it intends to use. The party submitting the request may move for an order under §3.38(a) with respect to any objection to or other failure to respond to the request or any part thereof, or any failure to permit inspection as requested.

(c) Production of documents or electronically stored information. Unless otherwise stipulated or ordered by the Administrative Law Judge, these procedures apply to producing documents or electronically stored information:

(i) A party must produce documents as they are kept in the usual course of business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the request;

(ii) If a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information, a party must produce it in a form in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable form; and

(iii) A party need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form.

[74 FR 1829, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.38   Motion for order compelling disclosure or discovery; sanctions.

(a) Motion for order to compel. A party may apply by motion to the Administrative Law Judge for an order compelling disclosure or discovery, including a determination of the sufficiency of the answers or objections with respect to the mandatory initial disclosures required by §3.31(b), a request for admission under §3.32, a deposition under §3.33, an interrogatory under §3.35, or a production of documents or things or access for inspection or other purposes under §3.37. Any memorandum in support of such motion shall be no longer than 2,500 words. Any response to the motion by the opposing party must be filed within 5 days of receipt of service of the motion and shall be no longer than 2,500 words. These word count limitations include headings, footnotes, and quotations, but do not include the cover, table of contents, table of citations or authorities, glossaries, statements with respect to oral argument, any addendums containing statutes, rules or regulations, any certificates of counsel, proposed form of order, and any attachment required by §3.45(e). The Administrative Law Judge shall rule on a motion to compel within 3 business days of the date in which the response is due. Unless the Administrative Law Judge determines that the objection is justified, the Administrative Law Judge shall order that an initial disclosure or an answer to any requests for admissions, documents, depositions, or interrogatories be served or disclosure otherwise be made.

(b) If a party or an officer or agent of a party fails to comply with any discovery obligation imposed by these rules, upon motion by the aggrieved party, the Administrative Law Judge or the Commission, or both, may take such action in regard thereto as is just, including but not limited to the following:

(1) Order that any answer be amended to comply with the request, subpoena, or order;

(2) Order that the matter be admitted or that the admission, testimony, documents, or other evidence would have been adverse to the party;

(3) Rule that for the purposes of the proceeding the matter or matters concerning which the order or subpoena was issued be taken as established adversely to the party;

(4) Rule that the party may not introduce into evidence or otherwise rely, in support of any claim or defense, upon testimony by such party, officer, agent, expert, or fact witness, or the documents or other evidence, or upon any other improperly withheld or undisclosed materials, information, witnesses, or other discovery;

(5) Rule that the party may not be heard to object to introduction and use of secondary evidence to show what the withheld admission, testimony, documents, or other evidence would have shown;

(6) Rule that a pleading, or part of a pleading, or a motion or other submission by the party, concerning which the order or subpoena was issued, be stricken, or that a decision of the proceeding be rendered against the party, or both.

(c) Any such action may be taken by written or oral order issued in the course of the proceeding or by inclusion in an initial decision of the Administrative Law Judge or an order or opinion of the Commission. It shall be the duty of parties to seek and Administrative Law Judges to grant such of the foregoing means of relief or other appropriate relief as may be sufficient to compensate for withheld testimony, documents, or other evidence. If in the Administrative Law Judge's opinion such relief would not be sufficient, or in instances where a nonparty fails to comply with a subpoena or order, he or she shall certify to the Commission a request that court enforcement of the subpoena or order be sought.

[74 FR 1829, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.38A   Withholding requested material.

(a) Any person withholding material responsive to a subpoena issued pursuant to §3.34 or §3.36, written interrogatories requested pursuant to §3.35, a request for production or access pursuant to §3.37, or any other request for the production of materials under this part, shall assert a claim of privilege or any similar claim not later than the date set for production of the material. Such person shall, if so directed in the subpoena or other request for production, submit, together with such claim, a schedule which describes the nature of the documents, communications, or tangible things not produced or disclosed - and does so in a manner that, without revealing information itself privileged or protected, will enable other parties to assess the claim. The schedule need not describe any material outside the scope of the duty to search set forth in §3.31(c)(2) except to the extent that the Administrative Law Judge has authorized additional discovery as provided in that paragraph.

(b) A person withholding material for reasons described in §3.38A(a) shall comply with the requirements of that subsection in lieu of filing a motion to limit or quash compulsory process.

(Sec. 5 of theFTC Act (15 U.S.C. 45))

[74 FR 1830, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.39   Orders requiring witnesses to testify or provide other information and granting immunity.

(a) Where Commission complaint counsel desire the issuance of an order requiring a witness or deponent to testify or provide other information and granting immunity under 18 U.S.C. 6002, Directors and Assistant Directors of Bureaus and Regional Directors and Assistant Regional Directors of Commission Regional Offices who supervise complaint counsel responsible for presenting evidence in support of the complaint are authorized to determine:

(1) That the testimony or other information sought from a witness or deponent, or prospective witness or deponent, may be necessary to the public interest, and

(2) That such individual has refused or is likely to refuse to testify or provide such information on the basis of his or her privilege against self-incrimination; and to request, through the Commission's liaison officer, approval by the Attorney General for the issuance of such order. Upon receipt of approval by the Attorney General (or his or her designee), the Administrative Law Judge is authorized to issue an order requiring the witness or deponent to testify or provide other information and granting immunity when the witness or deponent has invoked his or her privilege against self-incrimination and it cannot be determined that such privilege was improperly invoked.

(b) Requests by counsel other than Commission complaint counsel for an order requiring a witness to testify or provide other information and granting immunity under 18 U.S.C. 6002 may be made to the Administrative Law Judge and may be made ex parte. When such requests are made, the Administrative Law Judge is authorized to determine:

(1) That the testimony or other information sought from a witness or deponent, or prospective witness or deponent, may be necessary to the public interest, and

(2) That such individual has refused or is likely to refuse to testify or provide such information on the basis of his or her privilege against self-incrimination; and, upon making such determinations, to request, through the Commission's liaison officer, approval by the Attorney General for the issuance of an order requiring a witness to testify or provide other information and granting immunity; and, after the Attorney General (or his or her designee) has granted such approval, to issue such order when the witness or deponent has invoked his or her privilege against self-incrimination and it cannot be determined that such privilege was improperly invoked.

(18 U.S.C. 6002, 6004)

[74 FR 1830, Jan. 13, 2009]

§3.40   Admissibility of evidence in advertising substantiation cases.

(a) If a person, partnership, or corporation is required through compulsory process under section 6, 9 or 20 of the Act issued after October 26, 1977 to submit to the Commission substantiation in support of an express or an implied representation contained in an advertisement, such person, partnership or corporation shall not thereafter be allowed, in any adjudicative proceeding in which it is alleged that the person, partnership, or corporation lacked a reasonable basis for the representation, and for any purpose relating to the defense of such allegation, to introduce into the record, whether directly or indirectly through references contained in documents or oral testimony, any material of any type whatsoever that was required to be but was not timely submitted in response to said compulsory process. Provided, however, that a person, partnership, or corporation is not, within the meaning of this section, required through compulsory process to submit substantiation with respect to those portions of said compulsory process to which such person, partnership, or corporation has raised good faith legal objections in a timely motion pursuant to the Commission's Rules of Practice and Procedure, until the Commission denies such motion; or if the person, partnership, or corporation thereafter continues to refuse to comply, until such process has been judicially enforced.

(b) The Administrative Law Judge shall, upon motion, at any stage exclude all material that was required to be but was not timely submitted in response to compulsory process described in paragraph (a) of this section, or any reference to such material, unless the person, partnership, or corporation demonstrates in a hearing, and the Administrative Law Judge finds, that by the exercise of due diligence the material could not have been timely submitted in response to the compulsory process, and that the Commission was notified of the existence of the material immediately upon its discovery. Said findings of the Administrative Law Judge shall be in writing and shall specify with particularity the evidence relied upon. The rules normally governing the admissibility of evidence in Commission proceedings shall in any event apply to any material coming within the above exception.

[42 FR 56500, Oct. 10, 1977; 42 FR 61450, Dec. 5, 1977, as amended at 45 FR 45578, July 7, 1980]



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