19 CFR 210.27 - General provisions governing discovery.
(a)Discovery methods. The parties to an investigation may obtain discovery by one or more of the following methods: depositions upon oral examination or written questions; written interrogatories; production of documents or things or permission to enter upon land or other property for inspection or other purposes; and requests for admissions.
(b)Scope of discovery. Regarding the scope of discovery for the temporary relief phase of an investigation, see § 210.61. For the permanent relief phase of an investigation, unless otherwise ordered by the administrative law judge, a party may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the following:
(1) The claim or defense of the party seeking discovery or to the claim or defense of any other party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things;
(2) The identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter;
(4) The appropriate bond for the respondents, under section 337(j)(3) of the Tariff Act of 1930, during Presidential review of the remedial order (if any) issued by the Commission (see § 210.42(a)(1)(ii)(B)).
(c)Specific limitations on electronically stored information. A person need not provide discovery of electronically stored information from sources that the person identifies as not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost. The party seeking the discovery may file a motion to compel discovery pursuant to § 210.33(a). In response to the motion to compel discovery, or in a motion for a protective order filed pursuant to § 210.34, the person from whom discovery is sought must show that the information is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost. If that showing is made, the administrative law judge may order discovery from such sources if the requesting party shows good cause, considering the limitations found in paragraph (d) of this section. The administrative law judge may specify conditions for the discovery.
(d)General limitations on discovery. In response to a motion made pursuant to §§ 210.33(a) or 210.34 or sua sponte, the administrative law judge must limit by order the frequency or extent of discovery otherwise allowed in this subpart if the administrative law judge determines that:
(1) The discovery sought is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive;
(3) The responding person has waived the legal position that justified the discovery or has stipulated to the particular facts pertaining to a disputed issue to which the discovery is directed; or
(4) The burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the investigation, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues to be decided by the Commission, and matters of public concern.
(e)Claiming privilege or work product protection.
(1) When, in response to a discovery request made under this subpart, a person withholds information otherwise discoverable by claiming that the information is privileged or subject to protection as attorney work product, the person must:
(i) Expressly make the claim when responding to a relevant question or request; and
(ii) Within 10 days of making the claim produce to the requester a privilege log that describes the nature of the information not produced or disclosed, in a manner that will enable the requester to assess the claim without revealing the information at issue. The privilege log must separately identify each withheld document, communication, or item, and to the extent possible must specify the following for each entry:
(A) The date the information was created or communicated;
(B) The author(s) or speaker(s);
(C) All recipients;
(D) The employer and position for each author, speaker, or recipient, including whether that person is an attorney or patent agent;
(E) The general subject matter of the information; and
(F) The type of privilege or protection claimed.
(2) If a document produced in discovery is subject to a claim of privilege or of protection as attorney work product, the person making the claim may notify any person that received the document of the claim and the basis for it.
(i) The notice shall identify the information in the document subject to the claim, preferably using a privilege log as defined under paragraph (e)(1) of this section. After being notified, a person that received the document must do the following:
(A) Within 7 days of service of the notice return, sequester, or destroy the specified document and any copies it has;
(B) Not use or disclose the document until the claim is resolved; and
(C) Within 7 days of service of the notice take reasonable steps to retrieve the document if the person disclosed it to others before being notified.
(ii) Within 7 days of service of the notice, the claimant and the parties shall meet and confer in good faith to resolve the claim of privilege or protection. Within 5 days after the conference, a party may file a motion to compel the production of the document and may, in the motion to compel, use a description of the document from the notice produced under this paragraph. In connection with the motion to compel, the party may submit the document in camera for consideration by the administrative law judge. The person that produced the document must preserve the document until the claim of privilege or protection is resolved.
(3) Parties may enter into a written agreement to waive compliance with paragraph (e)(1) of this section for documents, communications, and items created or communicated within a time period specified in the agreement. The administrative law judge may decline to entertain any motion based on information claimed to be subject to the agreement. If information claimed to be subject to the agreement is produced in discovery then the administrative law judge may determine that the produced information is not entitled to privilege or protection.
(4) For good cause, the administrative law judge may order a different period of time for compliance with any requirement of this section. Parties may enter into a written agreement to set a different period of time for compliance with any requirement of this section without approval by the administrative law judge unless the administrative law judge has ordered a different period of time for compliance, in which case the parties' agreement must be approved by the administrative law judge.
(f)Supplementation of responses.
(1) A party who has responded to a request for discovery with a response is under a duty to supplement or correct the response to include information thereafter acquired if ordered by the administrative law judge or the Commission or in the following circumstances: A party is under a duty seasonably to amend a prior response to an interrogatory, request for production, or request for admission if the party learns that the response is in some material respect incomplete or incorrect and if the additional or corrective information has not otherwise been made known to the other parties during the discovery process or in writing.
(2) A duty to supplement responses also may be imposed by agreement of the parties, or at any time prior to a hearing through new requests for supplementation of prior responses.
(g)Signing of discovery requests, responses, and objections.
(1) The front page of every request for discovery or response or objection thereto shall contain a caption setting forth the name of the Commission, the title of the investigation or related proceeding, and the docket number or investigation number, if any, assigned to the investigation or related proceeding.
(2) Every request for discovery or response or objection thereto made by a party represented by an attorney shall be signed by at least one attorney of record in the attorney's individual name, whose address shall be stated. A party who is not represented by an attorney shall sign the request, response, or objection and shall state the party's address. The signature of the attorney or party constitutes a certification that to the best of the signer's knowledge, information, and belief formed after a reasonable inquiry, the request, objection, or response is:
(i) Consistent with § 210.5(a) (if applicable) and other relevant provisions of this chapter, and warranted by existing law or a good faith argument for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law;
(ii) Not interposed for any improper purpose, such as to harass or to cause unnecessary delay or needless increase in the cost of litigation; and
(iii) Not unreasonable or unduly burdensome or expensive, given the needs of the case, the discovery already had in the case, and the importance of the issues at stake in the litigation.
(3) If without substantial justification a request, response, or objection is certified in violation of paragraph (d)(2) of this section, the administrative law judge or the Commission, upon motion or sua sponte under § 210.25 of this part, may impose an appropriate sanction upon the person who made the certification, the party on whose behalf the request, response, or objection was made, or both.
(4) An appropriate sanction may include an order to pay to the other parties the amount of reasonable expenses incurred because of the violation, including a reasonable attorney's fee, to the extent authorized by Rule 26(g) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Monetary sanctions shall not be imposed under this section against the United States, the Commission, or a Commission investigative attorney.
(5) Monetary sanctions may be imposed under this section to reimburse the Commission for expenses incurred by a Commission investigative attorney or the Commission's Office of Unfair Import Investigations. Monetary sanctions will not be imposed under this section to reimburse the Commission for attorney's fees.
- 19 CFR 210.25 — Sanctions.
- 19 CFR 210.29 — Interrogatories.
- 19 CFR 210.7 — Service of Process and Other Documents; Publication of Notices.
- 19 CFR 210.28 — Depositions.
- 19 CFR 210.4 — Written Submissions; Representations; Sanctions.
- 19 CFR 210.30 — Requests for Production of Documents and Things and Entry Upon Land.