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e-CFR data is current as of August 11, 2020

Title 16Chapter IISubchapter APart 1025 → Subpart E

Title 16: Commercial Practices

Subpart E—Hearings

§1025.41   General rules.
§1025.42   Powers and duties of Presiding Officer.
§1025.43   Evidence.
§1025.44   Expert witnesses.
§1025.45   In camera materials.
§1025.46   Proposed findings, conclusions, and order.
§1025.47   Record.
§1025.48   Official docket.
§1025.49   Fees.

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§1025.41   General rules.

(a) Public hearings. All hearings conducted pursuant to these Rules shall be public unless otherwise ordered by the Commission or the Presiding Officer.

(b) Prompt completion. Hearings shall proceed with all reasonable speed and, insofar as practicable and with due regard to the convenience of the parties, shall continue without suspension until concluded, except in unusual circumstances or as otherwise provided in these Rules.

(c) Rights of parties. Every party shall have the right of timely notice and all other rights essential to a fair hearing, including, but not limited to, the rights to present evidence, to conduct such cross-examination as may be necessary for a full and complete disclosure of the facts, and to be heard by objection, motion, brief, and argument.

(d) Rights of participants. Every participant shall have the right to make a written or oral statement of position and to file proposed findings of fact, conclusions of law, and a post hearing brief, in accordance with §1025.17(b) of these Rules.

(e) Rights of witnesses. Any person compelled to testify in any proceedings in response to a subpoena may be accompanied, represented, and advised by legal counsel or other representative, and may purchase a transcript of his/her testimony.

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§1025.42   Powers and duties of Presiding Officer.

(a) General. A Presiding Officer shall have the duty to conduct full, fair, and impartial hearings, to take appropriate action to avoid unnecessary delay in the disposition of proceedings, and to maintain order. He/she shall have all powers necessary to that end, including the following powers:

(1) To administer oaths and affirmations;

(2) To compel discovery and to impose appropriate sanctions for failure to make discovery;

(3) To rule upon offers of proof and receive relevant, competent, and probative evidence;

(4) To regulate the course of the proceedings and the conduct of the parties and their representatives;

(5) To hold conferences for simplification of the issues, settlement of the proceedings, or any other proper purposes;

(6) To consider and rule, orally or in writing, upon all procedural and other motions appropriate in adjudicative proceedings;

(7) To issue Summary Decisions, Initial Decisions, Recommended Decisions, rulings, and orders, as appropriate;

(8) To certify questions to the Commission for its determination; and

(9) To take any action authorized by these Rules or the provisions of title 5, United States Code, sections 551-559.

(b) Exclusion of parties by Presiding Officer. A Presiding Officer shall have the authority, for good cause stated on the record, to exclude from participation in any proceedings any party, participant, or representative who violates the requirements of §1025.66 of these rules. Any party, participant or representative so excluded may appeal to the Commission in accordance with the provisions of §1025.24 of these rules. If the representative of a party or participant is excluded, the hearing may be suspended for a reasonable time so that the party or participant may obtain another representative.

(c) Substitution of Presiding Officer. In the event of the substitution of a new Presiding Officer for the one originally designated, any motion predicated upon such substitution shall be made within five (5) days.

(d) Interference. In the performance of adjudicative functions, a Presiding Officer shall not be responsible to or subject to the supervision or direction of any Commissioner or of any officer, employee, or agent engaged in the performance of investigative or prosecuting functions for the Commission. All directions by the Commission to a Presiding Officer concerning any adjudicative proceedings shall appear on and be made a part of the record.

(e) Disqualification of Presiding Officer. (1) When a Presiding Officer considers himself/herself disqualified to preside in any adjudicative proceedings, he/she shall withdraw by notice on the record and shall notify the Chief Administrative Law Judge and the Secretary of such withdrawal.

(2) Whenever, for good and reasonable cause, any party considers the Presiding Officer to be disqualified to preside, or to continue to preside, in any adjudicative proceedings, that party may file with the Secretary a motion to disqualify and remove, supported by affidavit(s) setting forth the alleged grounds for disqualification. A copy of the motion and supporting affidavit(s) shall be served by the Secretary on the Presiding Officer whose removal is sought. The Presiding Officer shall have ten (10) days to respond in writing to such motion. However, the motion shall not stay the proceedings unless otherwise ordered by the Presiding Officer or the Commission. If the Presiding Officer does not disqualify himself/herself, the Commission shall determine the validity of the grounds alleged, either directly or on the report of another Presiding Officer appointed to conduct a hearing for that purpose and, in the event of disqualification, shall take appropriate action by assigning another Presiding Officer or requesting loan of another Administrative Law Judge through the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.

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§1025.43   Evidence.

(a) Applicability of Federal Rules of Evidence. Unless otherwise provided by statute or these rules, the Federal Rules of Evidence shall apply to all proceedings held pursuant to these Rules. However, the Federal Rules of Evidence may be relaxed by the Presiding Officer if the ends of justice will be better served by so doing.

(b) Burden of proof. (1) Complaint counsel shall have the burden of sustaining the allegations of any complaint.

(2) Any party who is the proponent of a legal or factual proposition shall have the burden of sustaining that proposition.

(c) Admissibility. All relevant and reliable evidence is admissible, but may be excluded by the Presiding Officer if its probative value is substantially outweighed by unfair prejudice or confusion of the issues, or by considerations of undue delay, waste of time, immateriality, or needless presentation of cumulative evidence.

(d) Official notice—(1) Definition. Official notice means use by the Presiding Officer or the Commission of facts not appearing on the record and legal conclusions drawn from those facts. An officially noticed fact or legal conclusion must be one not subject to reasonable dispute in that it is either:

(i) Generally known within the jurisdiction of the Commission or

(ii) Capable of accurate and ready determination by resort to sources whose accuracy cannot reasonably be questioned.

(2) Method of taking official notice. The Presiding Officer and/or the Commission may at any time take official notice upon motion of any party or upon its own initiative. The record shall reflect the facts and conclusions which have been officially noticed.

(e) [Reserved]

(f) Offer of proof. When an objection to proffered testimony or documentary evidence is sustained, the sponsoring party may make a specific offer, either in writing or orally, of what the party expects to prove by the testimony or the document. When an offer of proof is made, any other party may make a specific offer, either in writing or orally, of what the party expects to present to rebut or contradict the offer of proof. Written offers of proof or of rebuttal, adequately marked for identification, shall accompany the record and be available for consideration by any reviewing authority.

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§1025.44   Expert witnesses.

(a) Definition. An expert witness is one who, by reason of education, training, experience, or profession, has peculiar knowledge concerning the subject matter to which his/her testimony relates and from which he/she may draw inferences based upon hypothetically stated facts or offer opinions from facts involving scientific or technical knowledge.

(b) Method of presenting testimony of expert witness. Except as may otherwise be ordered by the Presiding Officer, the direct testimony of an expert witness shall be in writing and shall be filed on the record and exchanged between the parties no later than ten (10) days preceding the commencement of the hearing. The written testimony of an expert witness shall be incorporated into the record and shall constitute the direct testimony of that witness. Upon a showing of good cause, the party sponsoring the expert witness may be permitted to amplify the written direct testimony during the hearing.

(c) Cross-examination and redirect examination of expert witness. Cross-examination, redirect examination, and re-cross-examination of an expert witness shall proceed in due course based upon the written testimony and any amplifying oral testimony.

(d) Failure to file or exchange written testimony. Failure to file or exchange written testimony of expert witnesses as provided in this section shall deprive the sponsoring party of the use of the expert witness and of the conclusions which that witness would have presented, unless the opposing parties consent or the Presiding Officer otherwise orders in unusual circumstances.

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§1025.45   In camera materials.

(a) Definition. In camera materials are documents, testimony, or other data which by order of the Presiding Officer or the Commission are kept confidential and excluded from the public record.

(b) In camera treatment of documents and testimony. The Presiding Officer or the Commission shall have authority, when good cause is found on the record, to order documents or testimony offered in evidence, whether admitted or rejected, to be received and preserve in camera. The order shall specify the length of time for in camera treatment and shall include:

(1) A description of the documents or testimony;

(2) The reasons for granting in camera treatment for the specified length of time; and

(3) The terms and conditions imposed by the Presiding Official, if any, limiting access to or use of the in camera material.

(c) Access and disclosure to parties. (1) Commissioners and their staffs, Presiding Officers and their staffs, and Commission staff members concerned with judicial review shall have complete access to in camera materials. Any party to the proceedings may seek access only in accordance with paragraph (c)(2) of this section.

(2) Any party desiring access to, or disclosure of, in camera materials for the preparation and presentation of that party's case shall make a motion which sets forth its justification. The Presiding Officer or the Commission may grant such motion for good cause shown and shall enter a protective order prohibiting unnecessary disclosure and requiring any other necessary safeguards. The Presiding Officer or the Commission may examine the in camera materials and excise any portions prior to disclosure of the materials to the moving party.

(d) Segregation of in camera materials. In camera materials shall be segregated from the public record and protected from public view.

(e) Public release of in camera materials. In camera materials constitute a part of the confidential records of the Commission and shall not be released to the public until the expiration of in camera treatment.

(f) Reference to in camera materials. In the submission of proposed findings, conclusions, briefs, or other documents, all parties shall refrain from disclosing specific details of in camera materials. However, such refraining shall not preclude general references to such materials. To the extent that parties consider necessary the inclusion of specific details of in camera materials, those references shall be incorporated into separate proposed findings, conclusions, briefs, or other documents marked “Confidential, Contains In Camera Material,” which shall be placed in camera and become part of the in camera record. Those documents shall be served only on parties accorded access to the in camera materials by these rules, the Presiding Officer, or the Commission.

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§1025.46   Proposed findings, conclusions, and order.

Within a reasonable time after the closing of the record and receipt of the transcript, all parties and participants may file, simultaneously unless otherwise directed by the Presiding Officer, post-hearing briefs, including proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, as well as a proposed order. The Presiding Officer shall establish a date certain for the filing of the briefs, which shall not exceed fifty (50) days after the closing of the record except in unusual circumstances. The briefs shall be in writing and shall be served upon all parties. The briefs of all parties shall contain adequate references to the record and authorities relied upon. Replies shall be filed within fifteen (15) days of the date for the filing of briefs unless otherwise established by the Presiding Officer. The parties and participants may waive either or both submissions.

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§1025.47   Record.

(a) Reporting and transcription. Hearings shall be recorded and transcribed by the official reporter of the Commission under the supervision of the Presiding Officer. The original transcript shall be a part of the record of proceedings. Copies of transcripts are available from the reporter at a cost not to exceed the maximum rates fixed by contract between the Commission and the reporter. In accordance with Section 11 of the Federal Advisory Committee Act (Pub. L. 92-463, 5 U.S.C. appendix I), copies of transcripts may be made by members of the public or by Commission personnel, when available, at the Office of the Secretary at reproduction costs as provided in §1025.49.

(b) Corrections. Corrections of the official transcript may be made only when they involve errors affecting substance and then only in the manner described in this section. The Presiding Officer may order corrections, either on his/her own motion or on motion of any party. The Presiding Officer shall determine the corrections to be made and shall so order. Corrections shall be interlineated or otherwise inserted in the official transcript so as not to obliterate the original text.

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§1025.48   Official docket.

The official docket in any adjudicatory proceedings shall be maintained in the Office of the Secretary and be available for public inspection during normal business hours of the Commission.

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§1025.49   Fees.

(a) Fees for deponents and witnesses. Any person compelled to appear in person in response to a subpoena or notice of deposition shall be paid the same attendance and mileage fees as are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States, in accordance with title 28, United States Code, section 1821. The fees and mileage referred to in this paragraph shall be paid by the party at whose instance deponents or witnesses appear.

(b) Fees for production of records. Fees charged for production or disclosure of records contained in the official docket shall be in accordance with the Commission's “Procedures for Disclosures or Production of Information Under the Freedom of Information Act,” title 16, Code of Federal Regulations, §1015.9.

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