28 CFR 48.10 - Hearings.
(a) Upon the issuance by the Attorney General of an order for a hearing, the Assistant Attorney General for Administration shall appoint an administrative law judge in accordance with section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 3105. The administrative law judge shall:
(1) Set a date, time and place for the hearing convenient for all parties involved. The date set shall be as soon as practicable, allowing time for publication of the notice required in § 48.6 and for a reasonable period of discovery as provided in this section. In setting a place for the hearing, preference shall be given to the community in which the applicants' newspapers operate.
(2) Mail notice of the hearing to the parties, to each person who filed written comments or a request for a hearing, and to any other person he believes may have an interest in the proceeding.
(3) Permit discovery by any party, as provided in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; except that he may place such limits as he deems reasonable on the time and manner of taking discovery in order to avoid unnecessary delays in the proceedings.
(4) Conduct a hearing in accordance with section 7 of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 556. At such hearing, the burden of proving that the proposed arrangement meets the requirements of the Newspaper Preservation Act will be on the proponents of the arrangement. The rules of evidence which govern civil proceedings in matters not involving trial by jury in the courts of the United States shall apply, but these rules may be relaxed if the ends of justice will be better served in so doing: Provided, that the introduction of irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence is avoided. Only parties to the proceedings may present evidence, or cross-examine witnesses.
(b) The applicants and the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division shall be parties in any hearing held hereunder. Other persons may intervene as parties as provided in § 48.11.
(c) The Assistant Attorney General for Administration shall procure the services of a stenographic reporter. One copy of the transcript produced shall be placed in the public docket. Additional copies may be purchased from the reporter or, if the arrangement with the reporter permits, from the Department of Justice at its cost.
(d) Following the hearing the administrative law judge shall render to the Attorney General his recommendation that the proposed arrangement be approved or denied approval in accordance with the standards of the Act. The recommendation shall be in writing, shall be based solely on the hearing record, and shall include a statement of the administrative law judge's findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, on all material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record. Copies of the recommendation shall be filed and sent to each party.
(e) Within 30 days of the date the administrative law judge files his recommendation, any party may file written exceptions to the recommendation for consideration by the Attorney General. Parties shall then have a further 15 days in which to file responses to any such exceptions.