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Title 15 Subtitle A Part 15 Subpart B §15.14

Title 15 → Subtitle A → Part 15 → Subpart B → §15.14

Electronic Code of Federal Regulations e-CFR

Title 15 Subtitle A Part 15 Subpart B §15.14

e-CFR data is current as of September 19, 2019

Title 15Subtitle APart 15Subpart B → §15.14


Title 15: Commerce and Foreign Trade
PART 15—LEGAL PROCEEDINGS
Subpart B—Testimony by Employees and the Production of Documents in Legal Proceedings


§15.14   Demand for testimony or production of documents: Department procedures.

(a) Whenever a demand for testimony or for the production of documents is made upon an employee, the employee shall immediately notify the General Counsel (Room 5890, U. S. Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230, (202) 482-1067) or appropriate agency counsel. When a demand for testimony or for the production of documents is made upon an employee of the Patent and Trademark Office, the employee should immediately notify the Solicitor, by phone, (703) 305-9035; by mailed addressed Solicitor, Box 8, Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231; or in person to 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal Park 2, Suite 918, Arlington, Virginia 22215.

(b) A Department employee may not give testimony, produce documents, or answer inquiries from a person not employed by the Department regarding testimony or documents subject to a demand or a potential demand under the provisions of this subpart without the approval of the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or the appropriate agency counsel. A Department employee shall immediately refer all inquiries and Demands to the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel. Where appropriate, the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel, may instruct the Department employee, orally or in writing, not to give testimony or produce documents.

(c)(1) Demand for testimony or documents. A demand for the testimony of a Department employee shall be addressed to the General Counsel, Room 5890, Department of Commerce, Washington, DC 20230 or appropriate agency counsel. A demand for testimony of an employee of the Patent and Trademark Office shall be mail addressed to the Solicitor, Box 8, Patent and Trademark Office, Washington, DC 20231; or in person to 2121 Crystal Drive, Crystal Park 2, Suite 918, Arlington, Virginia 22215.

(2) Subpoenas. A subpoena for testimony by a Department employee or a document shall be served in accordance with the Federal Rules of Civil or Criminal Procedure or applicable state procedure and a copy of the subpoena shall be sent to the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel.

(3) Affidavit. Except when the United States is a party, every demand shall be accompanied by an affidavit or declaration under 28 U.S.C. 1746 or, if an affidavit is not feasible, a statement setting forth the title of the legal proceeding, the forum, the requesting party's interest in the legal proceeding, the reason for the demand, a showing that the desired testimony or document is not reasonably available from any other source, and if testimony is requested, the intended use of the testimony, a general summary of the desired testimony, and a showing that no document could be provided and used in lieu of testimony. The purpose of this requirement is to assist the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel in making an informed decision regarding whether testimony or the production of a document(s) should be authorized.

(d) A certified copy of a document for use in a legal proceeding may be provided upon written request and payment of applicable fees. Written requests for certification shall be addressed to the agency counsel for the component having possession, custody, or control of the document. Unless governed by another applicable provision of law or component regulation, the applicable fee includes charges for certification and reproduction as set out in 15 CFR part 4.9. Other reproduction costs and postage fees, as appropriate, must also be borne by the requester.

(e) The Secretary retains the authority to authorize and direct testimony in those cases where a statute or Presidential order mandates a personal decision by the Secretary.

(f) The General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel may consult or negotiate with an attorney for a party or the party if not represented by an attorney, to refine or limit a demand so that compliance is less burdensome or obtain information necessary to make the determination required by paragraph (b) of this section. Failure of the attorney to cooperate in good faith to enable the General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or the Secretary, or the appropriate agency counsel to make an informed determination under this subpart may serve, where appropriate, as a basis for a determination not to comply with the demand.

(g) A determination under this subpart to comply or not to comply with a demand is not an assertion or waiver of privilege, lack of relevance, technical deficiency or any other ground for noncompliance.

(h) The General Counsel, or the Solicitor, or appropriate agency counsel may waive any requirements set forth under this section when circumstances warrant.