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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of June 3, 2020

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VISubchapter GPart 776 → Subpart D

Title 32: National Defense

Subpart D—Outside Practice of Law by Covered USG Attorneys

§776.89   Background.
§776.90   Definition.
§776.91   Policy.
§776.92   Action.
§776.93   Revalidation.
Appendix to Subpart D of Part 776—Outside Law Practice Questionnaire and Request.

§776.89   Background.

(a) A covered USG attorney's primary professional responsibility is to the DoN, and he or she is expected to devote the required level of time and effort to satisfactorily accomplish assigned duties. Covered USG attorneys engaged in the outside practice of law, including while on terminal leave, must comply with local bar rules governing professional responsibility and conduct and obtain proper authorization from the JAG as required by §§776.57 and 776.88 of this part.

(b) Outside employment of DoN personnel, both military and civilian, is limited by the UCMJ, MCM, and 10 U.S.C. 1044. A covered USG attorney may not provide compensated legal services, while working in a private capacity, to persons who are eligible for legal assistance, unless specifically authorized by the JAG. See §776.24. Because of the appearance of misuse of public office for private gain, this prohibition is based upon the status of the proposed client and applies whether or not the services provided are actually available in a DoN/DoD legal assistance office.

(c) Additionally, DoN officers and employees are prohibited by 18 U.S.C. 209 from receiving pay or allowances from any source other than the United States for the performance of any official service or duty unless specifically authorized by law. Furthermore, 18 U.S.C. 203 and 205 prohibit Federal officers and employees from personally representing or receiving, directly or indirectly, compensation for representing any other person before any Federal agency or court on matters in which the United States is a party or has an interest.

(d) These limitations are particularly significant when applied to covered USG attorneys who intend to engage concurrently in a civilian law practice. In such a situation, the potential is high for actual or apparent conflict arising from the mere opportunity to obtain clients through contacts in the course of official business. Unique conflicts or adverse appearances may also develop because of a covered USG attorney's special ethical responsibilities and loyalties.

§776.90   Definition.

(a) Outside practice of law is defined as any provision of legal advice, counsel, assistance or representation, with or without compensation, that is not performed pursuant or incident to duties as a covered USG attorney (including while on terminal leave). Occasional uncompensated assistance rendered to relatives or friends is excluded from this definition (unless otherwise limited by statute or regulation). Teaching a law course as part of a program of education or training offered by an institution of higher education is not practicing law for purposes of this rule.

(b) The requirement to seek permission prior to engaging in the outside practice of law does not apply to non-USG attorneys, or to Reserve or Retired judge advocates unless serving on active duty for more than 30 consecutive days.

§776.91   Policy.

(a) As a general rule, the JAG will not approve requests by covered USG attorneys to practice law in association with attorneys or firms which represent clients with interests adverse to the DoN.

(b) The JAG's approval of a particular request does not constitute DoN certification of the requesting attorney's qualifications to engage in the proposed practice or DoN endorsement of activities undertaken after such practice begins. Moreover, because any outside law practice is necessarily beyond the scope of a covered USG attorney's official duties, the requesting attorney should consider obtaining personal malpractice insurance coverage.

§776.92   Action.

(a) Covered USG attorneys, who contemplate engaging in the outside practice of law, including while on terminal leave, must first obtain approval from the JAG. Requests should be forwarded in the form prescribed in appendix to subpart D of part 776 to OJAG (Code 05), JAG (Code 13), or JAR, as appropriate, via the attorney's chain of command.

(b) The requesting attorney's commanding officer may:

(1) Disapprove and return the request if he or she perceives actual or apparent conflicts of interests;

(2) Recommend disapproval of the request and forward it, along with his or her rationale for such a recommendation; or

(3) Forward the request recommending approval and providing such other information as may be relevant.

(c) The JAG will review the request and advise applicants in writing of the decision, and of any conditions and limitations under which a particular practice may be undertaken. Until permission is granted, applicants will not commence any outside law practice.

§776.93   Revalidation.

(a) Covered USG attorneys to whom permission is given to engage in the outside practice of law will notify the JAG in writing, via their chain of command, within 30 days of any material change in:

(1) The nature or scope of the outside practice described in their requests, including termination, or

(2) Their DoN assignment or responsibilities.

(b) Covered USG attorneys to whom permission is given to engage in the outside practice of law will annually resubmit an application to continue the practice, with current information, by October 1 each year.

Appendix to Subpart D of Part 776—Outside Law Practice Questionnaire and Request.


From: (Attorney Requesting Outside Practice of Law)

To: Deputy Chief Judge, Navy-Marine Corps Trial Judiciary/Deputy Assistant Judge Advocate General (Administrative Law)/Head, Judge Advocate Research and Civil Law Branch, Judge Advocate Division

Via: (Chain of Command)


1. Background Data

a. Name, rank/pay grade:

b. Current command and position:

c. Description of duties and responsibilities (including collateral duty assignments):

d. Describe any DoN responsibilities that require you to act officially in any way with respect to any matters in which your anticipated outside employer or clients have interests:

e. Normal DoN working hours:

2. Proposed Outside Practice of Law Information

a. Mailing address and phone number:

b. Working hours:

c. Number of hours per month:

d. Description of proposed practice (indicate the type of clientele you anticipate serving, as well as the type of work that you will perform):

e. Describe whether you will be a sole practitioner, or collocated, renting from, or otherwise affiliated or associated in any matter with other attorneys:

f. Describe, in detail, any anticipated representation of any client before the United States or in any matter in which the United States has an interest:

g. Describe the manner in which you will be compensated (hourly, by case, fixed salary, and how much of your fees will be related in any way to any representational services before the Federal Government by yourself or by another):

h. Provide a description of any military-related work to which your proposed practice may be applied including, but not limited to, courts-martial, administrative discharge boards, claims against the Department of the Navy, and so forth:

3. Attorneys With Whom Outside Practice Is/Will Be Affiliated, Collocated, or Otherwise Associated

a. Identify the type of organization with which you will be affiliated (sole practitioner, partnership, and so forth), the number of attorneys in the firm, and the names of the attorneys with whom you will be working:

b. Identify the attorneys in the firm who are associated in any way with the military legal community (e.g., active, Reserve, or retired judge advocate), and specify their relationship to any of the military services:

c. Identify the nature of your affiliation with the organization with which you intend to be associated (staff attorney, partner, associate, space-sharing, rental arrangement, other):

d. Provide a brief description of the type of legal practice engaged in by the organization with which you intend to affiliate, including a general description of the practice, as well as the clientele:

e. Describe the clientele who are military personnel or their dependents, and the number and type of cases handled:

f. Describe whether your affiliates will refer clients to you, and the anticipated frequency of referral:

g. Describe

(1) Whether your associates will assist or represent clients with interests adverse to the United States or in matters in which the United States has an interest:

(2) Those clients, matters, and interests in detail:

(3) What support will you provide in such cases:

(4) What compensation, in any form, you will receive related to such cases:

4. Desired Date of Commencement of Outside Practice

a. Identify if this is your first request or an annual submission for re-approval:

b. If this is an annual submission, indicate when your outside practice began:

c. If this is your first request, indicate when you wish to begin your practice:

5. Conflicts of Interest and Professional Conduct (Include the following statement in your request)

“I certify that I have read and understand my obligations under enclosure (3) to JAGINST 5803.1 (series), DOD 5500.7-R, Joint Ethics Regulation, JAGMAN Chapter VII, the Legal Assistance Manual, and Title 18, U.S.C. 203, 205, and 209. I certify that no apparent or actual conflict of interests or professional improprieties are presented by my proposed initiation/continuation of an outside law practice. I also certify that if an apparent conflict of interest or impropriety arises during such outside practice, I will report the circumstances to my supervisory attorney immediately.”

6. Privacy Act Statement. I understand that the preceding information is gathered per the Privacy Act as follows:

Authority: Information is solicited per Executive Order 12731 and DOD 5500.7-R.

Primary purpose: To determine whether outside employment presents conflicts of interest with official duties.

Routine use: Information will be treated as sensitive and used to determine propriety of outside employment.

Disclosure: Disclosure is voluntary. Failure to provide the requested information will preclude the Judge Advocate General from approving your outside practice of law request.


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