38 CFR 14.507 - Opinions.

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§ 14.507 Opinions.
(a) A written legal opinion of the General Counsel involving veterans' benefits under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs shall be conclusive as to all Department officials and employees with respect to the matter at issue, unless there has been a material change in controlling statute or regulation, a superseding written legal opinion by the General Counsel, or the designation on its face as “advisory only” by the General Counsel or the Deputy General Counsel acting as or for the General Counsel. Written legal opinions having conclusive effect under this section and not designated as precedent opinions pursuant to paragraph (b) of this section shall be considered by the Department of Veterans Affairs to be subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(2). Advice, recommendations, or conclusions on matters of Government or Department policy, contained within a written legal opinion, shall not be binding on Department officials and employees merely because of their being contained within a written legal opinion. Written legal opinions will be maintained in the Office of the General Counsel. Written legal opinions involving veterans' benefits under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, which pertain to a particular benefit matter, in addition to being maintained in the Office of the General Counsel, will be filed in the individual claim folder.
(b) A written legal opinion of the General Counsel involving veterans' benefits under laws administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs which, in the judgment of the General Counsel or the Deputy General Counsel acting as or for the General Counsel, necessitates regulatory change, interprets a statute or regulation as a matter of first impression, clarifies or modifies a prior opinion, or is otherwise of significance beyond the matter at issue, may be designated a “precedent opinion” for purposes of such benefits. Written legal opinions designated as precedent opinions under this section shall be considered by Department of Veterans Affairs to be subject to the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552(a)(1). An opinion designated as a precedent opinion is binding on Department officials and employees in subsequent matters involving a legal issue decided in the precedent opinion, unless there has been a material change in a controlling statute or regulation or the opinion has been overruled or modified by a subsequent precedent opinion or judicial decision.
(c) For purposes of this section, the term written legal opinion of the General Counsel means a typed or printed memorandum or letter signed by the General Counsel or by the Deputy General Counsel acting as or for the General Counsel, addressed to an official or officials of the Department of Veterans Affairs stating a conclusion on a legal issue pertaining to Department of Veterans Affairs activities.
(Authority: 38 U.S.C. 501)
[54 FR 5613, Feb. 6, 1989, as amended at 61 FR 68666, Dec. 30, 1996]

Title 38 published on 2013-07-01

no entries appear in the Federal Register after this date.