Within thirty (30) days from receipt of notice of an adverse determination by the Certifying Board that a paralegal violated the certification program policies and/or rules as defined in the disciplinary policy, the paralegal may submit to the Certifying Board in writing a request for an appeal.
Upon receipt of a request for appeal, the Chair of the Certifying Board establishes a Disciplinary Appeal Committee consisting of at least three, but not more than five, individuals. This Disciplinary Appeal Committee may review one or more appeals, upon request of the Chair. No current members of the Certifying Board may serve on the Disciplinary Appeal Committee; further, no one with any personal involvement or conflict of interest may serve on the Disciplinary Appeal Committee. Members of the Disciplinary Appeal Committee may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in connection with the activities of the Committee.
The Appeal Committee may only review whether the determination by the Certifying Board of a violation was inappropriate because of:
- material errors of fact, or
- failure of the Certifying Board to conform to published criteria, policies, or procedures.
Only facts and conditions up to and including the time of the Certifying Board’s determination as represented by facts known to the Certifying Board are considered during an appeal. The appeal shall not include a hearing or any similar trial-type proceeding. Legal counsel is not expected to participate in the appeal process. The paralegal may consult legal counsel at the paralegal’s expense. The Certifying Board and Disciplinary Appeal Committee may consult legal counsel.
The Disciplinary Appeal Committee conducts and completes the appeal within 90 days after receipt of the request for an appeal. Written appellate submissions and any reply submissions may be made by authorized representatives of the paralegal and of the Certifying Board. Submissions are made according to whatever schedule is reasonably established by the Disciplinary Appeal Committee. The decision of the Disciplinary Appeal Committee either affirms or overrules the determination of the Certifying Board. The decision of the Disciplinary Appeal Committee, including a statement of the reasons for the decision, is reported to the Certifying Board.
The Disciplinary Appeal Committee decision is binding upon the Certifying Board and the Certified Paralegal who is subject to the disciplinary action, and all other persons.
If a Certified Paralegal who is the subject of a complaint voluntarily surrenders his or her certification at any time during the pendency of a complaint under these Procedures, the complaint is dismissed without any further action by the Certifying Board or an Appeal Committee established after an appeal. The entire record is sealed.
Except as otherwise set forth here, the appeal committee will not disclose to anyone the identity of the Certified Paralegal, the charge, the results of the investigation, or the discipline imposed.