Only the General Counsel may enter into settlement agreements with representatives
to resolve sanction cases. The General Counsel may settle a case even before filing
charges against a representative.
The parties may agree to any terms that are not in violation of Federal law or regulation.
If the parties sign a settlement agreement before the General Counsel asks OHO to
designate a hearing officer, the agreement becomes effective according to the terms
of the agreement. If the parties sign the settlement agreement after OHO designates
a hearing officer, the agreement becomes effective when the designated hearing officer
enters the agreement into the record, issues an order accepting the agreement, and
dismisses the General Counsel’s request for a hearing.
NOTE: Field Office (FO) or Processing Center (PC) staff cannot negotiate any type of settlement
with a representative regarding a sanction matter. However, in situations regarding
fee violations, the FO or the PC staff can close a case if the representative makes
a full refund of the disputed amount upon request before the FO or PC refers the case
to OGC. Refer any questions regarding this section to the appropriate OGC office electronically
at the addresses listed in GN 03970.070A.