Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What do I do if I receive an inquiry from a government agency?
Whenever the University receives requests for information or site visits from government regulatory and investigative agencies it is important that the Office of the General Counsel be notified immediately. The OGC will determine whether the request or visit is legally valid, coordinate the University’s response, and notify appropriate senior officers. Refer all attorneys representing regulatory authorities or the government to the Office of the General Counsel.
Q. What do I do if someone tries to serve a summons, subpoena, or other legal notice?
Whenever official legal documents are mailed to the University they should be forwarded immediately to the OGC. Examples include subpoenas requiring the University to produce copies of records in court proceedings, summonses notifying the University that a lawsuit has been commenced against it, notices of bankruptcy, and notices informing the University of its right to participate in consumer class action suits.
Whenever a "process server" attempts to hand-deliver an official legal document to a University employee, you should inform the process server that you do not have authority to accept service of the document, and that the document should be taken instead to the OGC, which will determine whether it can be accepted by the University.
Q. What do I do if I am contacted by an outside attorney?
All dealings with outside attorneys should be conducted through the OGC. If you are contacted by an attorney other than from the OGC, please refer the attorney to the OGC.
Q. What do I do if I receive a request for educational or health records?
Federal law requires that special procedures be followed when the University receives a subpoena or other request for educational records concerning individual students. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA") provides that, with certain exceptions, educational records may not be disclosed to persons outside the University other than the student. Likewise, there are state and federal laws limiting when an individual’s health records can be disclosed.
Whenever a subpoena or request for educational or health records is received, the subpoena or request should be immediately forwarded to the OGC. No records should be produced until approval is given by the OGC.
Q. What do I do if I need to have a contract reviewed or prepared?
The OGC drafts, reviews, and approves as to legal sufficiency the terms and conditions of many of the agreements entered into by the University. The other two offices responsible for some contracts are Purchasing and the Office of Sponsored Research. Please refer to our Contract Review and Approval page for additional information.