16 CFR § 1118.7 - Rights of witnesses at investigational hearings and of deponents at depositions.

§ 1118.7 Rights of witnesses at investigational hearings and of deponents at depositions.

(a) Any person, agent, or officer of a firm, who is required to produce documentary evidence or give testimony as a witness at an investigational hearing conducted under provisions of § 1118.5 or as a deponent at a deposition taken under provisions of § 1118.6 may be accompanied by an attorney, or an officer or partner of the firm, who may act as representative for the witness or the deponent. However, a person who is subpoenaed to produce documentary evidence or give testimony at an investigational hearing or deposition cannot act as attorney or representative for another witness or deponent at the same proceeding. The term attorney refers to members of the bar of a Federal court or the courts of any State or Territory of the United States, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or the District of Columbia. The witness or deponent and his or her attorney or representative may act as follows during the course of an investigational hearing or deposition:

(1) A witness or deponent may confer, in confidence, with his or her attorney or representative concerning any questions asked of the witness or deponent. If the witness, deponent, or his or her attorney or representative objects to a question or any other matter relevant to the investigational hearing or deposition, the objection and basis for it shall be stated on the record. In the case of an objection based upon self-incrimination, the privilege must be asserted by the witness or deponent. If a witness at an investigational hearing refuses to answer a question or provide other information, the presiding official shall have the authority to immediately order the witness to answer the question or provide the information requested, except in circumstances where, in the discretion of the presiding official an immediate ruling would be unwarranted and except where a refusal is based upon the privilege against self-incrimination. Otherwise all objections shall be ruled upon by presiding official at the time the objection is made.

(2) Objections timely made under the provisions of § 1118.7(a) shall be noted on the record, shall be treated as continuing, and shall be preserved throughout the proceeding without the necessity of repetition during similar lines of inquiry.

(3) Except as provided by § 1118.7(a), counsel for a witness or deponent may not interrupt the examination of the witness or the deponent by making objections or statements on the record.

(4) Upon completion of the examination, any witness at an investigational hearing may clarify on the record any of his or her answers, or, if the witness is accompanied by an attorney or representative, the attorney or representative may examine the witness on the record as to answers previously given. In addition, the witness or his or her attorney or representative may make a brief statement at the conclusion of the hearing giving his, her or the firm's position with regard to matters under investigation. In order to prevent abuse of the investigational process, the presiding official shall have the authority to impose reasonable limitations on the period of time allowed for objections, clarification of answers, and statements of position.

(5) Upon completion of all testimony, a deponent may clarify on the record any of his or her answers. The attorney or representative for a deponent may examine that deponent on the record to clarify answers previously given.

(b) Any person, agent, or officer who is required to appear in person at an investigational hearing or at a deposition shall testify as to matters and information known and/or reasonably available to the person or firm involved.

(c) Any person, agent or officer who is compelled by subpoena to appear in person at an investigational hearing or at a deposition shall receive the same fees and mileage allowances as are paid witnesses in the courts of the United States.

(d) Any person, agent, or officer who is required to appear at an investigational hearing or at a deposition shall be entitled to retain a copy of any document submitted by him or her and, upon payment of lawfully prescribed costs, in accordance with the Commission's regulations under the Freedom of Information Act, shall be entitled to procure a copy of his or her own testimony as recorded.

(e) The presiding official shall take all necessary action to regulate the course of the hearing, to avoid delay and to assure that reasonable standards of orderly and ethical conduct are maintained. The presiding official, for reasons stated on the record, shall immediately report to the Commission any instance in which a witness or his or her attorney or representative has refused to comply with the presiding official's directions or to adhere to reasonable standards of orderly and ethical conduct in the course of the hearing. The Commission shall take whatever action is appropriate under the circumstances.