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Proposed Update of Commission Pleading, Motion, and Discovery Rules Approved

February 27, 2012

NR 12-05

Contact: Karen V. Gregory, Secretary (202-523-5725)

A proposed rule to update the Commission’s Rules of Practice and Procedure for pleadings, motions, and discovery in agency adjudications has been approved for publication and comment. The proposed changes are intended to add clarity, reduce burdens on parties, and incorporate standards from the current Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. This is the second proposed rule change in an ongoing initiative to make the Commission’s procedural rules more clear, modern, and efficient. Comments on the proposed rule are due by April 30, 2012.

"Our ongoing rules modernization project is an important part of several Commission efforts to enhance efficiency, reduce costs, and reduce regulatory burdens consistent with President Obama’s executive orders,” said FMC Chairman Richard A. Lidinsky, Jr.  “Commission staff has done impressive work, and I encourage the maritime administrative bar and public to submit comments that will help the Commission improve this rule as we finalize it."

Commission staff members on the rules modernization working group are Rachel E. Dickon, Assistant Secretary; Theresa E. Dike, Office of Consumer Affairs and Dispute Resolution Services; Chief Administrative Law Judge Clay G. Guthridge; Daniel S. Lee, Office of the General Counsel; Brian L. Troiano, Bureau of Enforcement Deputy Director; and Administrative Law Judge Erin M. Wirth. The working group also included George A. Quadrino, Office of Managing Director, who retired in September 2011.

The Federal Maritime Commission (FMC) is the independent federal agency responsible for regulating the nation’s international ocean transportation for the benefit of exporters, importers, and the American consumer. The FMC’s mission is to foster a fair, efficient, and reliable international ocean transportation system while protecting the public from unfair and deceptive practices.