Rights of witnesses in investigations.
Any person compelled to submit data to the Commission or to testify in an investigational hearing shall be entitled to retain a copy or, on payment of lawfully prescribed costs, procure a copy of any document submitted by him and of his own testimony as stenographically reported, except that in a nonpublic hearing the witness may for good cause be limited to inspection of the official transcript of his testimony. Where the investigational hearing has been conducted pursuant to a civil investigative demand issued under section 20 of the Federal Trade Commission Act, upon completion of transcription of the testimony of the witness, the witness shall be offered an opportunity to read the transcript of his testimony. Any changes in form or substance which the witness desires to make shall be entered and identified upon the transcript by the Commission investigator with a statement of the reasons given by the witness for making such changes. The transcript shall then be signed by the witness unless the witnesss cannot be found, is ill, waives in writing his right to signature or refuses to sign. If the transcript is not signed by the witness within thirty days of his being afforded a reasonable opportunity to review it, the Commission investigator shall take the actions prescribed by section 20(c)(12)(E)(ii) of the Federal Trade Commission Act.
Any witness compelled to appear in person in an investigational hearing may be accompanied, represented, and advised by counsel as follows:
Counsel for a witness may advise the witness, in confidence and upon the initiative of either counsel or the witness, with respect to any question asked of the witness. If the witness refuses to answer a question, then counsel may briefly state on the record if he has advised the witness not to answer the question and the legal grounds for such refusal.
Where it is claimed that the testimony or other evidence sought from a witness is outside the scope of the investigation, or that the witness is privileged to refuse to answer a question or to produce other evidence, the witness or counsel for the witness may object on the record to the question or requirement and may state briefly and precisely the ground therefor. The witness and his counsel shall not otherwise object to or refuse to answer any question, and they shall not otherwise interrupt the oral examination.
Any objections made under the rules in this part will be treated as continuing objections and preserved throughout the further course of the hearing without the necessity for repeating them as to any similar line of inquiry. Cumulative objections are unnecessary. Repetition of the grounds for any objection will not be allowed.
Counsel for a witness may not, for any purpose or to any extent not allowed by paragraphs (b) (1) and (2) of this section, interrupt the examination of the witness by making any objections or statements on the record. Petitions challenging the Commission's authority to conduct the investigation or the sufficiency or legality of the subpoena or civil investigative demand must have been addressed to the Commission in advance of the hearing. Copies of such petitions may be filed as part of the record of the investigation with the person conducting the investigational hearing, but no arguments in support thereof will be allowed at the hearing.
Following completion of the examination of a witness, counsel for the witness may on the record request the person conducting the investigational hearing to permit the witness of clarify any of his or her answers. The grant or denial of such request shall be within the sole discretion of the person conducting the hearing.
The person conducting the hearing shall take all necessary action to regulate the course of the hearing to avoid delay and to prevent or restrain disorderly, dilatory, obstructionist, or contumacious conduct, or contemptuous language. Such person shall, for reasons stated on the record, immediately report to the Commission any instances where an attorney has allegedly refused to comply with his or her directions, or has allegedly engaged in disorderly, dilatory, obstructionist, or contumacious conduct, or contemptuous language in the course of the hearing. The Commission, acting pursuant to § 4.1(e) of this chapter, will thereupon take such further action, if any, as the circumstances warrant, including suspension or disbarment of the attorney from further practice before the Commission or exclusion from further participation in the particular investigation.
18 U.S.C. 6002, 6004
[32 FR 8446, June 13, 1967, as amended at 45 FR 36343, May 29, 1980; 45 FR 39244, June 10, 1980; 46 FR 26290, May 12, 1981; 50 FR 53304, Dec. 31, 1985; 61 FR 50645, Sept. 26, 1996]