83 FR 17087, April 18, 2018, unless otherwise noted.
(a) This part sets forth rules to be followed when a litigant requests an employee of the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), including LSC's Office of the Inspector General (OIG), to provide testimony in a deposition, trial, or other similar proceeding concerning information acquired in the course of performing official duties or because of such person's official capacity with LSC. This part also sets forth procedures for the handling of subpoenas for documents and other requests for documents in the possession of LSC or the OIG, and for the processing of requests for certification of copies of documents.
(b) It is LSC's policy to provide information, data, and records to non-federal litigants to the same extent and in the same manner that they are made available to the public. When subject to the jurisdiction of a court or other tribunal presiding over litigation between non-federal parties, LSC will follow all applicable procedural and substantive rules relating to the production of information, data, and records by a non-party. The availability of LSC employees to testify in litigation not involving federal parties is governed by LSC's policy to maintain strict impartiality with respect to private litigants and to minimize the disruption of official duties.
(c) This part applies to state, local, and tribal judicial, administrative, and legislative proceedings, and to federal judicial and administrative proceedings.
(d) This part does not apply to:
(1) Any civil or criminal proceedings to which LSC is a party.
(2) Congressional requests or subpoenas for testimony or documents.
(3) Consultative services and technical assistance provided by LSC in carrying out its normal program activities.
(4) Employees serving as expert witnesses in connection with professional and consultative services as approved outside activities. In cases where employees are providing such outside services, they must state for the record that the testimony represents their own views and does not necessarily represent the official position of LSC.
(5) Employees making appearances in their private capacity in legal or administrative proceedings that do not relate to LSC, such as cases arising out of traffic accidents, crimes, domestic relations, etc., and not involving professional and consultative services.
(6) Any civil or criminal proceedings in State court brought on behalf of LSC.
(7) Any criminal proceeding brought as a result of a referral for prosecution by the OIG or by any other Inspector General in connection with a case worked jointly with the OIG.
(a) Certify means to authenticate official LSC documents.
(b) Employee means current and former LSC employees, including temporary employees, OIG employees, and members of the Board of Directors and its Committees.
(c) LSC means the Legal Services Corporation. Unless explicitly stated otherwise, LSC includes the OIG.
(d) Testify and testimony include in-person, oral statements before a court, legislative or administrative body and statements made pursuant to depositions, interrogatories, declarations, affidavits, or other formal participation.
In any proceedings to which this part applies, no employee may provide testimony or produce documents concerning information acquired in the course of performing official duties or because of the person's official relationship with LSC unless authorized by the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel pursuant to this part based on his or her determination that compliance with the request would promote LSC's objectives.
(a) All requests for testimony by an employee in his or her official capacity, except employees of OIG described in paragraph (b) of this section, and not subject to the exceptions set forth in § 1603.1(d) of this part must be in writing and addressed to the General Counsel.
(b) All requests for testimony by an employee of the OIG must be in writing and addressed to the OIG Legal Counsel.
(c) Requests must state the nature of the requested testimony, why the information sought is unavailable by any other means, and the reasons why the testimony would be in the interest of LSC.
No employee shall serve as an expert witness in any proceeding described in § 1603.1(c) of this part or before a court or agency of the United States unless the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel authorizes the employee's participation.
(a) Whenever a subpoena commanding the production of any LSC record has been served upon an employee, the employee shall refer the subpoena to the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel, as appropriate. The General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel shall determine whether the subpoena is legally sufficient, whether the subpoena was properly served, and whether the issuing court or other tribunal has jurisdiction over LSC. If the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel determines that the subpoena satisfies all three factors, LSC shall comply with the terms of the subpoena unless LSC takes affirmative action to modify or quash the subpoena in accordance with Fed. R. Civ. P. 45 (c).
(b) If a subpoena commanding the production of any record served upon an employee is determined by the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel to be legally insufficient, improperly served, or from a tribunal not having jurisdiction, LSC shall deem the subpoena a request for records under the Freedom of Information Act. LSC shall handle the subpoena pursuant to the rules governing public disclosure established in 45 CFR part 1602.
(c) If the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel denies approval to comply with a subpoena for testimony or has not acted by the return date, the employee will be directed to appear at the stated time and place, unless advised by the General Counsel or the OIG Legal Counsel that responding to the subpoena would be inappropriate. The employee will be directed to produce a copy of these regulations and respectfully decline to testify or produce any documents on the basis of these regulations.
Upon request, LSC will certify the authenticity of copies of records that are to be disclosed. The requesting party will be responsible for reasonable fees for copying and certification.
This part is intended only to provide a process for receipt and processing of private litigants' requests for LSC documents and testimony. It does not, and may not be relied upon, to create a right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law by a party against LSC.