18 CFR § 385.603 - Settlement of negotiations before a settlement judge (Rule 603).

§ 385.603 Settlement of negotiations before a settlement judge (Rule 603).

(a) Applicability. This section applies to any proceeding set for hearing under subpart E of this part and to any other proceeding in which the Commission has ordered the appointment of a settlement judge.

(b) Definition. For purposes of this section, settlement judge means the administrative law judge appointed by the Chief Administrative Law Judge to conduct settlement negotiations under this section.

(c) Requests for appointment of settlement judges.

(1) Any participant may file a motion requesting the appointment of a settlement judge with the presiding officer, or, if there is no presiding officer for the proceeding, with the Commission.

(2) A presiding officer may request the Chief Administrative Law Judge to appoint a settlement judge.

(3) A motion under paragraph (c)(1) of this section may be acted upon at any time, and the time limitations on answers in Rule 213(d) do not apply.

(4) Any answer or objection filed after a motion has been acted upon will not be considered.

(d) Commission order directing appointment of settlement judge. The Commission may, on motion or otherwise, order the Chief Administrative Law Judge to appoint a settlement judge.

(e) Appointment of settlement judge by Chief Administrative Law Judge. The Chief Administrative Law Judge may appoint a settlement judge for any proceeding, if requested by the presiding officer under paragraph (c)(2) of this section or if the presiding officer concurs in a motion made under paragraph (c)(1) of this section.

(f) Order appointing settlement judge. The Chief Administrative Law Judge will appoint a settlement judge by an order, which specifies whether, and to what extent, the proceeding is suspended pending termination of settlement negotiations conducted in accordance with this section. The order may confine the scope of any settlement negotiations to specified issues.

(g) Powers and duties of settlement judge.

(1) A settlement judge will convene and preside over conferences and settlement negotiations between the participants and assess the practicalities of a potential settlement.

(2)

(i) A settlement judge will report to the Chief Administrative Law Judge or the Commission, as appropriate, describing the status of the settlement negotiations and evaluating settlement prospects.

(ii) In any such report, the settlement judge may recommend the termination or continuation of settlement negotiations conducted under this section.

(iii) The first report by the settlement judge will be made not later than 30 days after the appointment of the settlement judge. The Commission or the Chief Administrative Law Judge may order additional reports at any time.

(h) Termination of settlement negotiations before a settlement judge. Unless an order of the Commission directing the appointment of a settlement judge provides otherwise, settlement negotiations conducted under this section will terminate upon the order of the Chief Administrative Law Judge issued after consultation with the settlement judge.

(i) Non-reviewability. Any decision concerning the appointment of a settlement judge or the termination of any settlement negotiations is not subject to review by, appeal to, or rehearing by the presiding officer, Chief Administrative Law Judge, or the Commission.

(j) Multiple settlement negotiations. If settlement negotiations are terminated under paragraph (h) of this section, the Chief Administrative Law Judge may subsequently appoint a settlement judge in the same proceeding to conduct settlement negotiations in accordance with this section.

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