The Office of University Counsel attorneys manage all litigation, including significant and high-profile matters, in which the University and University Related Organizations (UROs) are involved. These services may include the hiring and management of outside counsel with expertise in the area of law involved. The University Counsel has been delegated authority under the University Liability Self-Insurance Plan (SIP) adopted by the Board of Trustees to work with the Vice President/Comptroller toward resolution of claims and lawsuits. Various Office of University Counsel attorneys work with the University Administration (UA)/campus leadership and the University Office of Risk Management (which reports to the Vice President/Comptroller’s office) to manage those claims and lawsuits, including making appropriate recommendations related to trials, settlements, or other strategies. Other significant litigation, including employment-related matters, involves both the University Counsel and campus/UA administrators, particularly for matters whose resolution will ultimately require Board of Trustees approval. Prior to those meetings, memos are sent to the Board of Trustees with extensively detailed information on matters that will be discussed, as well as other significant matters affecting the University. The University Counsel also regularly briefs the Board of Trustees in Executive Sessions regarding pending cases and recommendations concerning trial and settlement.
While rare, there are also instances where the University finds itself in a position of being a claimant against another party. Office of University Counsel assists with coordination of any such claims, and prior to their initiation requests the approval of the President.