16 CFR 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.