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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 25, 2020

Title 32Subtitle AChapter VISubchapter GPart 776Subpart C → §776.80


Title 32: National Defense
PART 776—PROFESSIONAL CONDUCT OF ATTORNEYS PRACTICING UNDER THE COGNIZANCE AND SUPERVISION OF THE JUDGE ADVOCATE GENERAL
Subpart C—Complaint Processing Procedures


§776.80   Initial screening.

(a) Complaints involving conduct of a Navy or Marine Corps trial or appellate judge shall be forwarded to OJAG (Code 05). All other complaints shall be forwarded to OJAG (Code 13) or, in cases involving Marine Corps judge advocates or civil service and contracted civilian attorneys who perform legal services under the cognizance and supervision of the SJA to CMC, to JAR. In cases involving Marine judge advocates, including trial and appellate judges, where the SJA to CMC is not the Rules Counsel, the cognizant Rules Counsel will notify the SJA to CMC when a complaint is received.

(b) OJAG (Code 05), OJAG (Code 13), and JAR shall log all formal complaints received and will ensure a copy of the complaint and allied papers is provided to the covered attorney who is the subject of the complaint. Service of the formal complaint and other materials on the covered attorney must be accomplished through personal service or registered/certified mail sent to the covered attorney's last known address reflected in official Navy and Marine Corps records or in the records of the state bar(s) that licensed the attorney to practice law. The covered attorney's supervisory attorney must also be provided notice of the complaint.

(c) The covered attorney concerned may elect to provide an initial statement, normally within ten calendar days from receipt, regarding the complaint for the Rules Counsel's consideration. The covered attorney will promptly inform OJAG (Code 05), OJAG (Code 13), or JAR if he or she intends to submit any such statement. At this screening stage, forwarding of the complaint to the Rules Counsel will not be unduly delayed to await the covered attorney's submission.

(d) The cognizant Rules Counsel shall initially review the complaint, and any statement submitted by the covered attorney complained of, to determine whether it complies with the requirements set forth in paragraph (4) of this section. The Rules Counsel is not required to delay the initial review of the complaint awaiting the covered attorney's submission.

(1) Complaints that do not comply with the requirements may be returned to the complainant for correction or completion, and resubmission to OJAG (Code 05), OJAG (Code 13), or JAR. If the complaint is not corrected or completed and resubmitted within 30 days of the date of its return, the Rules Counsel may close the file without further action. OJAG (Code 05), OJAG (Code 13), and JAR will maintain copies of all correspondence relating to the return and resubmission of a complaint, and shall notify the covered attorney concerned, as well as the supervisory attorney, if and when the Rules Counsel takes action to close the file.

(2) Complaints that comply with the requirements shall be further reviewed by the cognizant Rules Counsel to determine whether the complaint establishes probable cause to believe that a violation of subpart B of this part or Code of Judicial Conduct has occurred.

(e) The cognizant Rules Counsel shall close the file without further action if the complaint does not establish probable cause to believe a violation has occurred. The Rules Counsel shall notify the complainant, the covered attorney concerned, and the supervisory attorney, that the file has been closed. OJAG (Code 05), OJAG (Code 13), and JAR will maintain copies of all correspondence related to the closing of the file.

(f) The cognizant Rules Counsel may close the file if there is a determination that the complaint establishes probable cause but the violation is of a minor or technical nature appropriately addressed through corrective counseling. The Rules Counsel shall report any such decision, to include a brief summary of the case, to the JAG. (In cases relating to Marine judge advocates, including trial and appellate judges, in which the SJA to CMC is not the cognizant Rules Counsel, an information copy shall be forwarded to the SJA to CMC.) The Rules Counsel shall ensure the covered attorney concerned receives appropriate counseling and shall notify the complainant, the covered attorney concerned, and the supervisory attorney that the file has been closed. OJAG (Code 05), OJAG (Code 13), and JAR will maintain copies of all correspondence related to the closing of the file. The covered attorney concerned is responsible, under these circumstances, to determine if his or her Federal, state, or local licensing authority requires reporting of such action.

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