Office of Administrative Law Judges

D. Michael Chappell, Chief Administrative Law Judge

The Office of Administrative Law Judges performs the initial adjudicative fact-finding in Commission administrative complaint proceedings, guided by the FTC Act, the Administrative Procedure Act, relevant case law interpreting these statutes, and the FTC's Rules of Practice, 16 C.F.R. Part 3. The administrative law judge assigned to handle each complaint issued by the Commission holds pre-hearing conferences; resolves discovery disputes, evidentiary disputes and procedural disputes; and conducts the full adversarial evidentiary hearing on the record. The administrative law judge issues an initial decision which sets out relevant and material findings of fact with record citations, explains the correct legal standard, applies the law to the facts, and, where appropriate, issues an order on remedy.

Administrative Law Judges are independent decision makers, appointed under the authority of the Office of Personnel Management.