Polydoroff v. I.C.C., No. 84-1183

CourtUnited States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
Writing for the CourtMIKVA
Citation773 F.2d 372
PartiesTheodore POLYDOROFF and Timothy C. Miller, Petitioners, v. INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION and United States of America, Respondents.
Decision Date24 September 1985
Docket NumberNo. 84-1183

Page 372

773 F.2d 372
249 U.S.App.D.C. 109
Theodore POLYDOROFF and Timothy C. Miller, Petitioners,
v.
INTERSTATE COMMERCE COMMISSION and United States of America,
Respondents.
No. 84-1183.
United States Court of Appeals,
District of Columbia Circuit.
Argued March 28, 1985.
Decided Sept. 24, 1985.

Page 373

Petition for Review of an Order of the Interstate Commerce commission.

Joseph G. Dail, Jr., McLean Va., for petitioners.

Dennis J. Starks, Atty., I.C.C., Washington D.C., with whom J. Paul McGrath, Asst. Atty. Gen., Dept. of Justice, Robert S. Burk, Acting Gen. Counsel, Lawrence H. Richmond, Deputy Associate Gen. Counsel, I.C.C., Catherine O'Sullivan and Andrea Limmer, Attys., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., were on the brief, for respondents. John Broadley and Kathleen V. Gunning, Attys., I.C.C. and Barry Grossman, Atty., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D.C., also entered appearances for respondents.

Before TAMM *, MIKVA and STARR, Circuit Judges.

Opinion for the Court filed by Circuit Judge MIKVA.

MIKVA, Circuit Judge:

Petitioners, two trucking company attorneys, seek review of and relief from disciplinary sanctions imposed on them by the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC or Commission). The ICC suspended them from practicing before the Commission for six months. We affirm the Commission.

The Facts

Theodore Polydoroff is a long-time practitioner before the ICC. In 1971 Polydoroff began to represent Gardner Trucking (GT or Gardner), securing on GT's behalf motor contract carrier authority to transport for Chemetron Corporation. Polydoroff obtained additions and modifications to this authority over the years. In 1975, Polydoroff started to represent Gardner's then-partner, Julian Martin, Inc. (JMI or Martin) in noncompetitive authority applications before the ICC. Gardner and Martin subsequently ended their partnership acrimoniously. At this point Martin asked Polydoroff to represent JMI in seeking authority before the ICC that would in fact enable him to compete with Gardner in shipping Chemetron goods. Recognizing that Gardner would object to such dual and conflicting representation, and not wanting to lose Gardner as a client, Polydoroff turned the Martin matter over to a free-lance lawyer of his acquaintance, co-petitioner Timothy Miller. Although Miller filed Martin's various petitions, there is no dispute that they were produced under Polydoroff's control, and Polydoroff received compensation for them. In one of his applications filed in 1979, Martin alleged service deficiencies by Gardner as a basis for seeking competing authority.

All of Polydoroff's involvement in the Martin applications occurred without Gardner's knowledge. Indeed, on three separate occasions, Gardner asked Polydoroff to file protests of Martin's competing activities with the ICC. Polydoroff refused each of these requests. Finally, in June of 1979, Gardner discovered Miller working in Polydoroff's office and learned of his attorney's involvement with his arch-rival Martin. Gardner promptly found new attorneys.

Among the early activities of Gardner's new lawyers was a lawsuit in Maryland district court against Polydoroff for $138 million in damages. This case was dismissed in 1984. In addition, a complaint seeking sanctions against Polydoroff was filed with the Virginia state bar authorities. The Virginia proceedings were dismissed on the ground that the evidence available could not support any allegation of misconduct under a "clear and convincing" evidentiary standard. The instant ICC proceedings, after a preliminary investigation, resulted in seven days of hearings before an administrative law judge (ALJ). On July 14, 1983, the ALJ ruled in favor of Polydoroff, holding that since there had been no retainer agreement with Gardner, Polydoroff was free to represent Martin simultaneously and not under any duty to disclose the dual representation to Gardner. Gardner appealed...

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13 practice notes
  • Practice and procedure: Patent and trademark cases rules of practice; representation of others before Patent and Trademark Office,
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...500, did not limit the inherent power of agencies to discipline professionals who appear or practice before them. See Polydoroff v. ICC, 773 F.2d 372 (D.C. Cir. 1985); Touche Ross & Co. v. SEC, 609 F.2d 570 (2d Cir. A practitioner may be potentially subject to more than one set of rules......
  • Part II
    • United States
    • Federal Register December 12, 2003
    • December 12, 2003
    ...500, did not limit the inherent power of agencies to discipline professionals who appear or practice before them. See Polydoroff v. ICC, 773 F.2d 372 (D.C. Cir. 1985); Touche Ross & Co. v. SEC, 609 F.2d 570 (2d Cir. A practitioner may be potentially subject to more than one set of rules......
  • Part II
    • United States
    • Federal Register May 22, 2008
    • May 22, 2008
    ...agency may police the behavior of attorneys and other professionals practicing before it. See Polydoroff v. Interstate Commerce Comm'n, 773 F.2d 372, 374 (D.C. Cir. Moreover, the combination of investigative and adjudicative functions in a single entity to regulate the conduct of profession......
  • HTH Corp. v. Nat'l Labor Relations Bd., Nos. 14–1222
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 20, 2016
    ...See, e.g., Ivy Sports Med., LLC v. Burwell, 767 F.3d 81, 86 (D.C.Cir.2014) (power to reconsider prior decisions); Polydoroff v. ICC, 773 F.2d 372, 374 (D.C.Cir.1985) (power to police the behavior of practitioners); Howard Sober, Inc. v. ICC, 628 F.2d 36, 41 (D.C.Cir.1980) (power to correct ......
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9 cases
  • HTH Corp. v. Nat'l Labor Relations Bd., Nos. 14–1222
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (District of Columbia)
    • May 20, 2016
    ...See, e.g., Ivy Sports Med., LLC v. Burwell, 767 F.3d 81, 86 (D.C.Cir.2014) (power to reconsider prior decisions); Polydoroff v. ICC, 773 F.2d 372, 374 (D.C.Cir.1985) (power to police the behavior of practitioners); Howard Sober, Inc. v. ICC, 628 F.2d 36, 41 (D.C.Cir.1980) (power to correct ......
  • Checkosky v. S.E.C., Nos. 92-1396
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — District of Columbia Circuit
    • May 20, 1994
    ...in which lawyers or other professionals participate, has authority to police the behavior of practitioners before it." Polydoroff v. ICC, 773 F.2d 372, 374 Importantly, the court in Touche clearly distinguished the Commission's authority to discipline professionals from its substantive enfo......
  • Levine v. Saul, C.A. No. 19-569WES
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. United States District Courts. 1st Circuit. District of Rhode Island
    • September 3, 2020
    ...their own supplemental admission requirements for duly admitted members of a state bar[.]" Polydoroff v. Interstate Commerce Comm'n, 773 F.2d 372, 374 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (emphasis added). Section 500(b)'s plain, clear and unambiguous language establishes the admission requirements in order to......
  • Jewell v. Herke, Case No. 20-CV-1427 (PJS/DTS)
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 8th Circuit. United States District Court of Minnesota
    • March 9, 2021
    ...of federal proceedings even though the Board does not have procedures for admitting counsel to practice before it."); Polydoroff v. ICC , 773 F.2d 372, 374 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (although 5 U.S.C. § 500 "prohibits agencies from erecting their own supplemental admission requirements for duly admi......
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