If a case is not resolved through settlement, and the respondent files a timely answer to the charges issued, the case proceeds to the Business Conduct Committee, or “BCC”, for a contested hearing.
The BCC Panel is represented at the hearing by an attorney from the CME Group Legal Department.
The respondent will be informed in writing at least 28 days in advance of the scheduled hearing date of the names of the individuals appointed to the BCC Panel.
Within seven days of the notice, parties to the hearing may request the Hearing Panel Chair to strike any panelist for good cause shown.
Market Regulation and the respondent are required to exchange a list of witnesses and exhibits that each plan to utilize during their case at least 28 days prior to the hearing.
The Panel may refuse to consider any evidence that was not made available to, or witnesses whose names and titles were not submitted to, the other party.
To the extent that Market Regulation or the respondent intends to call an expert witness at the hearing, that party shall provide a summary of the expert’s opinions and credentials to the other side at least 28 days prior to the hearing date.
A party to a contested hearing may request the Hearing Panel Chair to resolve pre-hearing issues. For example, some of these matters may include: scope and timing of fact discovery or allocation of discovery costs. This may be completed through a pre-trial conference or through the parties’ written submissions.
The Hearing Panel Chair has the authority to decide all procedural, evidentiary, and pre-hearing motions, and the Chair’s decision is final.
All pre-hearing motions must be submitted in writing to the parties and to counsel for the BCC at least 21 days before the hearing.
The opposing party may submit a response, if any, within 7 days of receipt of the pre-hearing motion and no reply is permitted. The Hearing Panel Chair may hold oral argument on any motion or may decide any motion on the written submissions of the parties. No motions to dismiss the charges, or any other dispositive motions, may be filed.
In general, BCC contested hearings allow both Market Regulation and the respondent to present their cases, which may include opening and closing statements, and direct and cross examination of any witnesses. Additionally, the BCC Hearing panel will have the opportunity to question the witnesses.
After closing arguments, the Panel deliberates. Neither Market Regulation nor the respondent is permitted to be present for the deliberations.
The BCC Panel must determine whether Market Regulation established that the respondent committed the alleged rule violations by a preponderance of the evidence.
If the respondent is found guilty on any of the charges by the majority of the Panel, the case moves into the sanctioning phase.
The sanctioning phase of the hearing is held immediately following the liability phase, unless the Hearing Panel Chair finds that there are circumstances that warrant adjournment for another day.
During the sanctioning phase of the BCC hearing, Market Regulation and the respondent have an opportunity to present arguments and information with respect to the appropriate nature and amount of a sanction. The Panel then deliberates, again outside the parties’ presence, and imposes sanctions.
Following a hearing, the BCC Panel will issue a written decision of the Panel’s findings to Market Regulation and respondent.