(a)  In all proceedings wherein pleadings are filed and a formal hearing is held involving the taking of testimony and the formulation of a record subject to review by the courts, no person may appear in a representative capacity other than an attorney at law, duly qualified and entitled to practice before the Supreme Court of the State of North Carolina. (See G.S. Ch. 84.)

(b)  This rule does not limit the right of any individual to plead his own cause before the Commission and to call and examine witnesses in his own behalf, and to cross‑examine the opposing witnesses. Neither does this rule limit the right of any individual, whether called as a witness or not, to testify in any hearing or investigation before the Commission with respect to facts pertinent to the issues involved.