29 CFR § 2700.80 - Standards of conduct; disciplinary proceedings.

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§ 2700.80 Standards of conduct; disciplinary proceedings.

(a) Standards of conduct. Individuals practicing before the Commission or before Commission Judges shall conform to the standards of ethical conduct required of practitioners in the courts of the United States.

(b) Grounds. Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted against anyone who is practicing or has practiced before the Commission on grounds that such person has engaged in unethical or unprofessional conduct; has failed to comply with these rules or an order of the Commission or its Judges; has been disbarred or suspended by a court or administrative agency; or has been disciplined by a Judge under paragraph (e) of this section.

(c) Disciplinary proceedings shall be subject to the following procedure:

(1) Disciplinary referral. Except as provided in paragraph (e) of this section, a Judge or other person having knowledge of circumstances that may warrant disciplinary proceedings against an individual who is practicing or has practiced before the Commission shall forward to the Commission for action such information in the form of a written disciplinary referral. Whenever the Commission receives a disciplinary referral, the matter shall be assigned a docket number.

(2) Inquiry by the Commission. The Commission shall conduct an inquiry concerning a disciplinary referral and shall determine whether disciplinary proceedings are warranted. The Commission may require persons to submit affidavits setting forth their knowledge of relevant circumstances. If the Commission determines that disciplinary proceedings are not warranted, it shall issue an order terminating the referral.

(3) Transmittal and hearing. Whenever, as a result of its inquiry, the Commission, by a majority vote of the full Commission or a majority vote of a duly constituted panel of the Commission, determines that the circumstances warrant a hearing, the Commission's Chief Administrative Law Judge shall assign the matter to a Judge, other than the referring Judge, for hearing and decision. The Commission shall specify the disciplinary issues to be resolved through hearing and may designate counsel to prosecute the matter before the Judge. The Judge shall provide the opportunity for reply and hearing on the specific disciplinary matters at issue. The individual shall have the opportunity to present evidence and cross-examine witnesses. The Judge's decision shall include findings of fact and conclusions of law and either an order dismissing the proceedings or an appropriate disciplinary order, which may include reprimand, suspension, or disbarment from practice before the Commission.

(d) Appeal from Judge's decision. Any person adversely affected or aggrieved by the Judge's decision is entitled to review by the Commission. A person seeking such review shall file a notice of appeal with the Commission within 30 days after the issuance of the Judge's decision.

(e) Misconduct before a Judge. A Judge may order the removal of any person, including a representative of a party, who engages in disruptive conduct in the Judge's presence. If a representative is ordered removed, the Judge shall allow the party represented by the person a reasonable time to engage another representative. In all instances of removal of a person for disruptive conduct, the Judge shall place in the record a written statement on the matter. A party aggrieved by a Judge's order of removal may appeal by requesting interlocutory review pursuant to § 2700.76 or, alternatively, may assign the Judge's ruling as error in a petition for discretionary review.

[58 FR 12164, Mar. 3, 1993, as amended at 71 FR 44209, Aug. 4, 2006]

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