The Securities and Exchange Commission approved amendments to the rules of practice for its administrative hearings to make them somewhat more parallel to rules of practice customary in state and federal courts. (Under SEC rules, the SEC’s Division of Enforcement can elect to bring enforcement actions in an administrative forum or federal court.) Under its new rules, parties in complex cases would be permitted to take depositions of three persons in single respondent cases and five persons in multiple-respondent cases, as well as to request an additional two depositions each under an expedited process. In addition, the SEC’s new rules explicitly permit three types of dispositive motions (i.e., motion for a ruling on the pleading; motion for summary disposition; and motion for ruling as a matter of law following completion of the case in chief) and describes the standards and procedures for such motions. The new rules also dictate when an initial decision must be issued following completion of post-hearing or dispositive motions, and provide for the exclusion of evidence that is irrelevant, immaterial, unduly repetitious or unreliable, but permits hearsay to be admitted subject to certain conditions. SEC administrative hearings have been subject to challenge as providing too much of a home-court advantage to its Division of Enforcement, although this thesis was recently rejected in a study by the SEC Inspector General. (Click here for details in the article, “No Home Court Advantage in Administrative Proceedings Says SEC Inspector General” in the February 21, 2016 edition of Bridging the Week.)