10 CFR § 1708.109 - Rights of witnesses in safety investigations.

§ 1708.109 Rights of witnesses in safety investigations.

(a) Any person who is compelled to appear in person to provide testimony or produce documents in connection with a safety investigation is entitled to be accompanied, represented, and advised by an attorney. Subpoenas in safety investigations shall issue only under signature of the Chairman or any Member of the Board designated by the Chairman. Attendance and testimony shall be before the Board or a Member authorized by the Board.

(b) If an executive branch agency employee witness is represented by counsel from that same agency, counsel shall identify who counsel represents to determine whether counsel represents multiple interests in the safety investigation.

(c) Counsel for a witness may advise the witness with respect to any question asked where it is claimed that the testimony sought from the witness is outside the scope of the safety investigation, or that the witness is privileged to refuse to answer a question or to produce other evidence. For these permissible objections, the witness or counsel may object on the record to the question and may state briefly and precisely the grounds therefore. If the witness refuses to answer a question, then counsel may briefly state on the record that counsel has advised the witness not to answer the question and the legal grounds for such refusal. The witness and his or her counsel shall not otherwise object to or refuse to answer any question, and they shall not otherwise interrupt any oral examination.

(d) When it is claimed that the witness has a privilege to refuse to answer a question on the grounds of self-incrimination, the witness must assert the privilege personally.

(e) Any objections made during the course of examination will be treated as continuing objections and preserved throughout the further course of testimony without the necessity for repeating them as to any similar line of inquiry.

(f) Counsel for a witness may not interrupt the examination by making any unnecessary objections or statements on the record.

(g) Following completion of the examination of a witness, such witness may make a statement on the record, and that person's counsel may, on the record, question the witness to enable the witness to clarify any of the witness's answers or to offer other evidence.

(h) The Board or any Member authorized by the Board shall take all measures necessary to regulate the course of an investigative proceeding to avoid delay and prevent or restrain obstructionist or contumacious conduct or contemptuous language.

(i) If the Board or any Member authorized by the Board finds that counsel for a witness, or other representative, has refused to comply with his or her directions, or has engaged in obstructionism or contumacy, the Board or Member authorized by the Board may thereupon take action as the circumstances may warrant.

(j) Witnesses appearing voluntarily do not have a right to have counsel present during questioning, although the Board or Member authorized by the Board, in consultation with the Office of the General Counsel, may permit a witness appearing on a voluntary basis to be accompanied by an attorney or non-attorney representative.