19 CFR 210.34 - Protective orders; reporting requirement; sanctions and other actions.

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§ 210.34 Protective orders; reporting requirement; sanctions and other actions.

(a)Issuance of protective order. Upon motion by a party or by the person from whom discovery is sought or by the administrative law judge on his own initiative, and for good cause shown, the administrative law judge may make any order that may appear necessary and appropriate for the protection of the public interest or that justice requires to protect a party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense, including one or more of the following:

(1) That discovery not be had;

(2) That the discovery may be had only on specified terms and conditions, including a designation of the time or place;

(3) That discovery may be had only by a method of discovery other than that selected by the party seeking discovery;

(4) That certain matters not be inquired into, or that the scope of discovery be limited to certain matters;

(5) That discovery be conducted with no one present except persons designated by the administrative law judge;

(6) That a deposition, after being sealed, be opened only by order of the Commission or the administrative law judge;

(7) That a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information not be disclosed or be disclosed only in a designated way; and

(8) That the parties simultaneously file specified documents or information enclosed in sealed envelopes to be opened as directed by the Commission or the administrative law judge. If the motion for a protective order is denied, in whole or in part, the Commission or the administrative law judge may, on such terms and conditions as are just, order that any party or person provide or permit discovery. The Commission also may, upon motion or sua sponte, issue protective orders or may continue or amend a protective order issued by the administrative law judge.

(b)Unauthorized disclosure, loss, or theft of information. If confidential business information submitted in accordance with the terms of a protective order is disclosed to any person other than in a manner authorized by the protective order, lost, or stolen, the party responsible for the disclosure, or subject to the loss or theft, must immediately bring all pertinent facts relating to such incident to the attention of the submitter of the information and the administrative law judge or the Commission, and, without prejudice to other rights and remedies of the submitter of the information, make every effort to prevent further mishandling of such information by the party or the recipient of such information.

(c)Violation of protective order.

(1) The issue of whether sanctions should be imposed may be raised on a motion by a party, the administrative law judge's own motion, or the Commission's own initiative in accordance with § 210.25(a)(2). Parties, including the party that identifies an alleged breach or makes a motion for sanctions, and the Commission shall treat the identity of the alleged breacher as confidential business information unless the Commission issues a public sanction. The identity of the alleged breacher means the name of any individual against whom allegations are made. The Commission or administrative law judge shall allow the parties to make written submissions and, if warranted, to present oral argument bearing on the issues of violation of a protective order and sanctions therefor.

(2) If the breach occurs while the investigation is before an administrative law judge, any determination on sanctions of the type enumerated in paragraphs (c)(3)(i) through (iv) of this section shall be in the form of a recommended determination. The Commission may then consider both the recommended determination and any related orders in making a determination on sanctions. When the motion is addressed to the administrative law judge for sanctions of the type enumerated in paragraph (c)(3)(v) of this section, he shall grant or deny a motion by issuing an order.

(3) Any individual who has agreed to be bound by the terms of a protective order issued pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, and who is determined to have violated the terms of the protective order, may be subject to one or more of the following:

(i) An official reprimand by the Commission;

(ii) Disqualification from or limitation of further participation in a pending investigation;

(iii) Temporary or permanent disqualification from practicing in any capacity before the Commission pursuant to § 201.15(a) of this chapter;

(iv) Referral of the facts underlying the violation to the appropriate licensing authority in the jurisdiction in which the individual is licensed to practice;

(v) Sanctions of the sort enumerated in § 210.33(b), or such other action as may be appropriate.

(d)Reporting requirement. Each person who is subject to a protective order issued pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section shall report in writing to the Commission immediately upon learning that confidential business information disclosed to him or her pursuant to the protective order is the subject of:

(1) A subpoena;

(2) A court or an administrative order (other than an order of a court reviewing a Commission decision);

(3) A discovery request;

(4) An agreement; or

(5) Any other written request, if the request or order seeks disclosure, by him or any other person, of the subject confidential business information to a person who is not, or may not be, permitted access to that information pursuant to either a Commission protective order or § 210.5(b).

Note to paragraph (d):

This reporting requirement applies only to requests and orders for disclosure made for use of confidential business information in non-Commission proceedings.

(e)Sanctions and other actions. After providing notice and an opportunity to comment, the Commission may impose a sanction upon any person who willfully fails to comply with paragraph (d) of this section, or it may take other action.

[ 59 FR 39039, Aug. 1, 1994, as amended at 73 FR 38323, July 7, 2008; 78 FR 23484, Apr. 19, 2013]

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