FTC Seeks Public Comment on Agency's Rules of Practice

The Federal Trade Commission announces proposed changes to two parts of the procedures that govern the way the agency operates. The proposed changes would attempt to: 1) streamline the FTC's investigatory procedures; 2) make updates to keep pace with electronic discovery; and 3) detail the agency's procedures for evaluating allegations of misconduct by attorneys practicing before the Commission.

For example, the proposed changes require parties to meet and confer with Commission staff on an accelerated basis in order to resolve electronic discovery issues relating to subpoenas and civil investigative demands (CIDs), as well as any other issues. Proposals also include changes to: 1) streamline the process for resolving disputes over FTC subpoenas and CIDs, as well as petitions to limit or quash FTC subpoenas and CIDs; and 2) relieve parties of their obligations to preserve documents related to an FTC investigation after a year passes with no written communication from the Commission or staff.

The proposed changes, which will be published in the Federal Register and are subject to public comment until March 23, 2012. 

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