18 CFR § 385.504 - Duties and powers of presiding officers (Rule 504).

§ 385.504 Duties and powers of presiding officers (Rule 504).

(a) Duties.

(1) It shall be the duty of the presiding officer to conduct a fair and impartial hearing and to determine the matter justly under the law.

(2) The presiding officer will cause all appearances during a hearing to be entered on the record with a notation in whose behalf each appearance is made.

(3) The presiding officer will establish the order of presentation of the cases of all participants in the hearing.

(4) The presiding officer will assure that the taking of evidence and subsequent matters proceed with all reasonable diligence and with the least delay practicable.

(5) The presiding officer will prepare and certify an initial decision or a revised initial decision, whichever is appropriate, to the Commission as provided in Subpart G of this part.

(b) Powers. Except as otherwise ordered by the Commission or provided by law, the presiding officer may:

(1) Schedule and otherwise regulate the course of the hearing;

(2) Recess, reconvene, postpone, or adjourn the hearing;

(3) Administer oaths;

(4) Rule on and receive evidence;

(5) Cause Discovery to be conducted;

(6) Exercise powers granted a presiding officer under Subpart D;

(7) Hold conferences of the participants, as provided in Subpart F of this part, including for the purpose of considering the use of alternative dispute resolution procedures;

(8) Rule on, and dispose of, procedural matters, including oral or written motions;

(9) Summarily dispose of a proceeding or part of a proceeding, as provided in Rule 217;

(10) Certify a question to the Commission, as provided in Rule 714;

(11) Permit or deny appeal of an interlocutory ruling, as provided in Rule 715;

(12) Rule on motions to intervene, as provided in Rule 214;

(13) Separate any issue or group of issues from other issues in a proceeding and treat such issue or group of issues as a separate phase of the proceeding;

(14) Maintain order, as follows:

(i) Ensure that any disregard by any person of rulings on matters of order and procedure is noted on the record or, if appropriate, is made the subject of a special written report to the Commission;

(ii) In the event any person engages in disrespectful, disorderly, or contumacious language or conduct in connection with the hearing, recess the hearing for such time as necessary to regain order;

(iii) Request that the Commission take appropriate action, including removal from the proceeding, against a participant or counsel, if necessary to maintain order.

(15) Modify any time period, if such modification is in the interest of justice and will result in no undue prejudice to any participant;

(16) Limit the number of expert witnesses who may testify on any issue, consistent with the rule against repetitious testimony in Rule 509(a);

(17) Limit the number of persons, other than staff, representing a similar interest who may examine witnesses or make or argue motions or objections;

(18) Require; or authorize the admission of, further evidence upon any issue at any time before the close of the evidentiary record;

(19) Rule on motions for reconsideration of an initial decision as provided in Rule 717;

(20) Take any other action necessary or appropriate to the discharge of the duties of a presiding officer, consistent with applicable law and policy.

(c) Disqualification.

(1) A presiding officer may withdraw from a proceeding, if that officer believes himself or herself disqualified.

(2) The Commission may, for good cause, order the removal of any presiding officer from a proceeding, on motion filed with the Commission or otherwise.

[Order 225, 47 FR 19022, May 3, 1982; 48 FR 786, Jan. 7, 1983, as amended by Order 375, 49 FR 21315, May 21, 1984; Order 466, 52 FR 6970, Mar. 6, 1987; Order 578, 60 FR 19505, Apr. 19, 1995]

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