15 CFR § 906.6 - Ex parte communications.

§ 906.6 Ex parte communications.

(a) Ex parte communication means any oral or written communication about the merits of a pending appeal between one party and the NAO with respect to which reasonable prior notice to all parties is not given. However, ex parte communication does not include inquiries regarding procedures, scheduling, and status.

(b) Ex parte communication is not permissible unless all parties have been given reasonable notice and an opportunity to participate in the communication.

(c) If NAO receives an ex parte communication, NAO shall document the communication and any responses thereto in the NAO case record. If the ex parte communication was in writing, NAO shall include a copy of the communication in the NAO case record. If the ex parte communication was oral, NAO shall prepare a memorandum stating the substance of the oral communication, and include the memorandum in the NAO case record. NAO will provide copies of any such materials included in the NAO case record under this paragraph to the parties.

(d) NAO may require a party to show cause why such party's claim or interest in the appeal should not be dismissed, denied, disregarded, or otherwise adversely affected because of an ex parte communication.

(e) NAO may suspend this section during an alternative dispute resolution process established by regulation or agency policy.

(f) Communication with NAO, including appellate officers, concerning procedures, scheduling, and status is permissible.