37 CFR 251.47
Conduct of hearings: Witnesses and counsel.
This document contains one section of Chapter 37 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
This page was last updated in November, 2005. You may return to
the main 37 CFR Index, or to the index
for one of the follow parts:
part 1 (patents);
part 2 (trademarks);
part 3 (assignments);
part 10 (representation); or
part 200+ (copyrights).
Previous Section (§251.46) | Next Section (§251.48)
§251.47 Conduct of hearings: Witnesses and counsel.
With all due regard for the convenience of the witnesses, proceedings shall be conducted as expeditiously as possible.
In each distribution or rate adjustment proceeding, each party may present its opening statement with the presentation of its direct case.
All witnesses shall be required to take an oath or affirmation before testifying; however, attorneys who do not appear as witnesses shall not be required to do so.
Witnesses shall first be examined by their attorney and by opposing attorneys for their competency to support their written testimony and exhibits (voir dire).
Witnesses may then summarize, highlight or read their testimony. However, witnesses may not materially supplement or alter their written testimony except to correct it, unless the CARP expands the witness's testimony to complete the record.
Parties are entitled to raise objections to evidence on any proper ground during the course of the hearing, including an objection that an opposing party has not furnished nonprivileged underlying documents. However, they may not raise objections that were apparent from the face of a written case and could have been raised before the hearing without leave from the CARP. See § 251.45(c)
All written testimony and exhibits will be received into the record, except any to which the panel sustains an objection; no separate motion will be required.
If the panel rejects or excludes testimony and an offer of proof is made, the offer of proof shall consist of a statement of the substance of the evidence which it is contended would have been adduced. In the case of documentary or written evidence, a copy of such evidence shall be marked for identification and shall constitute the offer of proof.
The CARP shall discourage the presentation of cumulative evidence, and may limit the number of witnesses that may be heard on behalf of any one party on any one issue.
Parties are entitled to conduct cross-examination and redirect examination. Cross-examination is limited to matters raised on direct examination. Redirect examination is limited to matters raised on cross-examination. The panel, however, may limit cross-examination and redirect examination if in its judgment this evidence or examination would be cumulative or cause undue delay. Conversely, this subsection does not restrict the discretion of the panel to expand the scope of cross-examination or redirect examination.
Documents that have not been exchanged in advance may be shown to a witness on cross-examination. However, copies of such documents must be distributed to the CARP and to other participants or their counsel at hearing before being shown to the witness at the time of cross-examination, unless the panel directs otherwise. If the document is not, or will not be, supported by a witness for the cross-examining party, that document can be used solely to impeach the witness's direct testimony and cannot itself be relied upon in findings of fact as rebutting the witness's direct testimony. However, upon leave from the panel, the document may be admitted as evidence without a sponsoring witness if official notice is proper, or if, in the panel's view, the cross-examined witness is the proper sponsoring witness.
A CARP will encourage individuals or groups with the same or similar interests in a proceeding to select a single representative to conduct their examination and cross-examination of any given witness. However, if there is no agreement on the selection of a representative, each individual or group will be allowed to conduct its own examination and cross-examination of any given witness, but only on issues affecting its particular interests, provided that the questioning is not repetitious or cumulative of the questioning of other parties within the group.