7 CFR § 1.422 - Conduct of the hearing.

§ 1.422 Conduct of the hearing.

(a)Time and place. The hearing shall be held at the time and place fixed in the notice of hearing. If any change in the time or place of the hearing is made, the Judge shall file with the Hearing Clerk a notice of such change, which notice shall be served upon the parties, unless it is made during the course of an oral script, or actual notice is given to the parties.

(b)Appearances. The parties may appear in person or by attorney of record in the proceeding. Any party who desires to be heard in person shall, before proceeding to testify, state his name, address, and occupation. If any such person is appearing through counsel, such person or such counsel shall, before proceeding to testify or otherwise to participate in the hearing, state for the record the authority to act as such counsel or representative, and the names, addresses, and occupations of such person and such counsel. Any such person or such counsel shall give such other information respecting his appearance as the Judge may request. Any person who appears as counsel must conform to the standards of ethical conduct required of practitioners before the courts of the United States.

(c)Failure to appear. A party of record who, after being duly notified, fails to appear at the hearing without good cause, shall be deemed to have waived the right to an oral hearing in the proceeding. Failure to appear at a hearing shall not be deemed to be a waiver of the right to be served with a copy of the Judge's decision.

(d)Order of proceeding. The Judge shall determine the order in which the parties shall proceed.

(e)Evidence -

(1)In general.

(i) The testimony of witnesses at a hearing shall be on oath or affirmation and shall be subject to cross-examination. Cross-examination shall be permitted to the extent required for a full and true disclosure of the facts. The Judge may require that testimony on one issue raised by numerous parties be heard at one time.

(ii) Upon a finding of good cause, the Judge may order that any witness be examined separately and apart from all other witnesses except those who may be parties to the proceeding.

(iii) After a witness has testified on direct examination, any other party may request and obtain the production of any statement, or part thereof, of such witness in the possession of the party who called the witness, which relates to the subject matter as to which the witness has testified. Such production shall be made according to the procedures and subject to the definitions and limitations prescribed in the Jencks Act (18 U.S.C. 3500).

(iv) Evidence which is immaterial, or unduly repetitious, or which is not of the sort upon which responsible persons are accustomed to rely, shall be excluded insofar as practicable.

(2)Objections.

(i) If a party objects to the admission of any evidence or to the limitation of the scope of any examination or cross-examination or to any other ruling of the Judge, the party shall state briefly the grounds of such objection, whereupon an automatic exception will follow if the objection is overruled by the Judge.

(ii) Only objections made before the Judge may subsequently be relied upon in the proceeding.

(3)Depositions. The deposition of any witness shall be admitted in the manner provided in and subject to the provisions of § 1.228 of these procedures.

(4)Exhibits. Unless the Judge finds that the furnishing of copies is impracticable, two copies of each exhibit shall be filed with the Judge. The party submitting the exhibit shall serve on every other party of record a copy of the exhibit, pursuant to § 1.427(c) of these procedures. A true copy of an exhibit may be substituted for the original.

(5)Official records or documents. An official government record or document or entry therein, if admissible for any purpose, shall be admissible in evidence without the production of the person who made or prepared the same, and shall be prima facie evidence of the relevant facts stated therein. Such record or document shall be evidenced by an official publication thereof or a copy certified by a person having legal authority to make such certification.

(6)Official notice. Official notice shall be taken of such matters as are judicially noted by the courts of the United States and of any other matter of technical, scientific, or commercial fact of established character: Provided, That the parties shall be given adequate notice of matters so noticed, and shall be given adequate opportunity to show that such facts are erroneously noticed.

(7)Offer of proof. Whenever evidence is excluded by the Judge, the party offering such evidence may make an offer of proof, which shall be included in the transcript. The offer of proof shall consist of a brief statement describing the evidence excluded. If the evidence consists of a brief oral statement, it shall be included in the transcript in toto. If the evidence consists of an exhibit, it shall be marked for identification and inserted in the hearing record.

(f)Transcript.Hearings shall be recorded and transcribed verbatim. Transcripts thereof shall be made available to any person, at actual cost of duplication (5 U.S.C. App. 2, section 11).