7 CFR 1.144 - Judges.
(a)Assignment. No Judge shall be assigned to serve in any proceeding who (1) has any pecuniary interest in any matter or business involved in the proceeding, (2) is related within the third degree by blood or marriage to any party to the proceeding, or (3) has any conflict of interest which might impair the Judge's objectivity in the proceeding.
(b)Disqualification of Judge.
(1) Any party to the proceeding may, by motion made to the Judge, request that the Judge withdraw from the proceeding because of an alleged disqualifying reason. Such motion shall set forth with particularity the grounds of alleged disqualification. The Judge may then either rule upon or certify the motion to the Secretary, but not both.
(1) Rule upon motions and requests;
(3) Administer oaths and affirmations;
(4) Issue subpoenas as authorized by the statute under which the proceeding is conducted, requiring the attendance and testimony of witnesses and the production of books, contracts, papers, and other documentary evidence at the hearing;
(5) Summon and examine witnesses and receive evidence at the hearing;
(6) Take or order the taking of depositions as authorized under these rules;
(7) Admit or exclude evidence;
(8) Hear oral argument on facts or law;
(9) Require each party to provide all other parties and the Judge with a copy of any exhibit that the party intends to introduce into evidence prior to any hearing to be conducted by telephone or audio-visual telecommunication;
(10) Require each party to provide all other parties with a copy of any document that the party intends to use to examine a deponent prior to any deposition to be conducted by telephone or audio-visual telecommunication;
(11) Require that any hearing to be conducted by telephone or audio-visual telecommunication be conducted at locations at which the parties and the Judge are able to transmit and receive documents during the hearing;
(12) Require that any deposition to be conducted by telephone or audio-visual telecommunication be conducted at locations at which the parties are able to transmit and receive documents during the deposition;
(13) Do all acts and take all measures necessary for the maintenance of order, including the exclusion of contumacious counsel or other persons; and
(14) Take all other actions authorized under these rules.
(d)Who may act in the absence of the Judge. In case of the absence of the Judge or the Judge's inability to act, the powers and duties to be performed by the Judge under these rules of practice in connection with any assigned proceeding may, without abatement of the proceeding unless otherwise directed by the Chief Judge, be assigned to any other Judge.