48 CFR 6101.33 - Ex parte contact; sanctions and other proceedings [Rule 33].
(a) Standards. All parties and their representatives, attorneys, and any expert/consultant retained by them or their attorneys, must obey directions and orders prescribed by the Board and adhere to standards of conduct applicable to such parties and persons. As to an attorney, the standards include the rules of professional conduct and ethics of the jurisdictions in which that attorney is licensed to practice, to the extent that those rules are relevant to conduct affecting the integrity of the Board, its process, or its proceedings. The Board will also look to voluntary professional guidelines in evaluating an individual's conduct.
(b) Ex parte communications. No member of the Board or of the Board's staff shall entertain, nor shall any person directly or indirectly involved in an appeal submit to the Board or the Board's staff, off the record, any evidence, explanation, analysis, or advice, whether written or oral, without the knowledge and consent of the adverse party, regarding any matter at issue in that appeal. This provision does not apply to consultation among Board members or to ex parte communications concerning the Board's administrative functions or procedures.
(c) Sanctions. When a party or its representative or attorney or any expert/consultant fails to comply with any direction or order issued by the Board (including an order to provide or permit discovery), or engages in misconduct affecting the Board, its process, or its proceedings, the Board may make such orders as are just, including the imposition of appropriate sanctions. The sanctions may include:
(1) Taking the facts pertaining to the matter in dispute to be established for the purpose of the case in accordance with the contention of the party submitting the discovery request;
(2) Forbidding challenge of the accuracy of any evidence;
(3) Refusing to allow the disobedient party to support or oppose designated claims or defenses;
(4) Prohibiting the disobedient party from introducing in evidence designated documents or items of testimony;
(5) Striking pleadings or parts thereof, or staying further proceedings until the order is obeyed;
(6) Dismissing the case or any part thereof;
(7) Enforcing the protective order and disciplining individuals subject to such order for violation thereof, including disqualifying a party's representative, attorney, or expert/consultant from further participation in the case; or
(8) Imposing such other sanctions as the Board deems appropriate.
(d) Denial of access to protected material for prior violations of protective orders. The Board may in its discretion deny access to protected material to any person found to have previously violated a protective order, regardless of who issued the order.
(e) Disciplinary proceedings.
(1) In addition to the procedures in this section 6101.33 (Rule 33), the Board may discipline individual party representatives, attorneys, and experts/consultants for a violation of any Board order or direction or standard of conduct applicable to such individual where the violation seriously affects the integrity of the Board, its process, or its proceedings. Sanctions may be public or private, and may include admonishment, disqualification from a particular matter, referral to an appropriate licensing authority, or such other action as circumstances may warrant.
(2) The Board in its discretion may suspend an individual from appearing before the Board as a party representative, attorney, or expert/consultant if, after affording such individual notice and an opportunity to be heard, a majority of the members of the full Board determines such a sanction is warranted.