The Securities and Exchange Commission July 13 approved changes to its rules of practice to adjust the timing of hearings and other deadlines in administrative proceedings, and to provide parties in administrative proceedings with the ability to take depositions. As amended, the rules will:
extend the potential length of the prehearing period from the current four months to a maximum of 10 months for the cases designated for the longest timelines;
allow parties in the cases designated for the longest timelines the right to notice three depositions per side in single-respondent cases and five depositions per side in multi-respondent cases, and to request an additional two depositions;
clarify the types of dispositive motions that may be filed at various stages of proceedings and the applicable procedures and legal standards for the motions; and
make additional clarifying and conforming changes to other rules, including rules regarding the admissibility of certain types of evidence, expert disclosures and reports, the requirements for the contents of an answer, and procedures for appeals.
“The amendments to the Commission’s rules of practice provide parties with additional opportunities to conduct depositions and add flexibility to the timelines of our administrative proceedings, while continuing to promote the fair and timely resolution of the proceedings,” said SEC Chair Mary Jo White.
The amendments will become effective 60 days after publication in the Federal Register and will apply to all proceedings initiated on or after that date. The amended evidentiary rules will apply to pending proceedings if the hearing has not begun as of the effective date of the changes. Other amended rules may apply to pending cases, depending on the stage of the proceeding. The adopting release describes the applicability of the other rule amendments to pending proceedings in Section Q.
SEC Release No. 34-78319 (July 13, 2016).
Read more on the SEC’s amended rules of practice here.
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