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§10.133 Conference between Director and practitioner; resignation.
General. The Director may confer with a practitioner concerning possible violations by the practitioner of a Disciplinary Rule whether or not a disciplinary proceeding has been instituted.
Resignation. Any practitioner who is the subject of an investigation under § 10.131 or against whom a complaint has been filed under § 10.134 may resign from practice before the Office only by submitting with the Director an affidavit stating his or her desire to resign.
If filed prior to the date set by the administrative law judge for a hearing, the affidavit shall state that:
The resignation is freely and voluntarily proffered;
The practitioner is not acting under duress or coercion from the Office;
The practitioner is fully aware of the implications of filing the resignation;
The practitioner is aware (i) of a pending investigation or (ii) of charges arising from the complaint alleging that he or she is guilty of a violation of the Patent and Trademark Office Code of Professional Responsibility, the nature of which shall be set forth by the practitioner to the satisfaction of the Director;
The practitioner acknowledges that, if and when he or she applies for reinstatement under § 10.160, the Director will conclusively presume, for the limited purpose of determining the application for reinstatement, that:
The facts upon which the complaint is based are true and
The practitioner could not have successfully defended himself or herself against (A) charges predicated on the violation under investigation or (B) charges set out in the complaint filed against the practitioner.
If filed on or after the date set by the administrative law judge for a hearing, the affidavit shall make the statements required by paragraphs (b)(1) through (4) of this section and shall state that:
The practitioner acknowledges the facts upon which the complaint is based are true; and
The resignation is being submitted because the practitioner could not successfully defend himself or herself against (i) charges predicated on the violation under investigation or (ii) charges set out in the complaint.
When an affidavit under paragraph (b) or (c) of this section is received while an investigation is pending, the Commissioner shall enter an order excluding the practitioner "on consent." When an affidavit under paragraph (b) or (c) of this section is received after a complaint under § 10.134 has been filed, the Director shall notify the administrative law judge. The administrative law judge shall enter an order transferring the disciplinary proceeding to the Commissioner and the Commissioner shall enter an order excluding the practitioner "on consent."
Any practitioner who resigns from practice before the Office under this section and who intends to reapply for admission to practice before the Office must comply with the provisions of § 10.158.
Settlement. Before or after a complaint is filed under § 10.134, a settlement conference may occur between the Director and a practitioner for the purpose of settling any disciplinary matter. If an offer of settlement is made by the Director or the practitioner and is not accepted by the other, no reference to the offer of settlement or its refusal shall be admissible in evidence in the disciplinary proceeding unless both the Director and the practitioner agree in writing.