§ 14.632Standards of conduct for persons providing representation before the Department
(1) All persons acting on behalf of a claimant shall faithfully execute their duties as individuals providing representation on a particular claim under § 14.630, representatives, agents, or attorneys.
(2) All individuals providing representation are required to be truthful in their dealings with claimants and VA.
(b) An individual providing representation on a particular claim under § 14.630, representative, agent, or attorney shall:
(1) Provide claimants with competent representation before VA. Competent representation requires the knowledge, skill, thoroughness, and preparation necessary for the representation. This includes understanding the issues of fact and law relevant to the claim as well as the applicable provisions of title 38, United States Code, and title 38, Code of Federal Regulations;
(2) Act with reasonable diligence and promptness in representing claimants. This includes responding promptly to VA requests for information or assisting a claimant in responding promptly to VA requests for information.
(c) An individual providing representation on a particular claim under § 14.630, representative, agent, or attorney shall not:
(1) Violate the standards of conduct as described in this section;
(2) Circumvent a rule of conduct through the actions of another;
(3) Engage in conduct involving fraud, deceit, misrepresentation, or dishonesty;
(4) Violate any of the provisions of title 38, United States Code, or title 38, Code of Federal Regulations;
(5) Enter into an agreement for, charge, solicit, or receive a fee that is clearly unreasonable or otherwise prohibited by law or regulation;
(6) Solicit, receive, or enter into agreements for gifts related to representation provided before an agency of original jurisdiction has issued a decision on a claim or claims and a Notice of Disagreement has been filed with respect to that decision;
(7) Delay, without good cause, the processing of a claim at any stage of the administrative process;
(8) Mislead, threaten, coerce, or deceive a claimant regarding benefits or other rights under programs administered by VA;
(9) Engage in, or counsel or advise a claimant to engage in acts or behavior prejudicial to the fair and orderly conduct of administrative proceedings before VA;
(10) Disclose, without the claimant's authorization, any information provided by VA for purposes of representation; or
(11) Engage in any other unlawful or unethical conduct.
(d) In addition to complying with standards of conduct for practice before VA in paragraphs (a) through (c) of this section, an attorney shall not, in providing representation to a claimant before VA, engage in behavior or activities prohibited by the rules of professional conduct of any jurisdiction in which the attorney is licensed to practice law.