General Counsel FAQs
1. What should I do if a deputy, constable, process server, or an individual from a law firm comes to my office/department requesting me to accept legal papers (citation or subpoena) on behalf of the university or chancellor?
Do not sign any documents or acceptance of documents. Direct individual to Office of General Counsel at 3100 Main, 12th Floor, Houston TX 77002. Immediately contact the Office of General Counsel at 713-718-7514 to notify the office that you have directed individual our way. If you receive a “summons” or “subpoena” by fax or mail contact our office immediately with such documents. These documents are time sensitive and serious legal consequences could result if our office is not notified promptly.
2. Who can accept process (notice of lawsuit) on behalf of HCC?
An attorney in the Office of General Counsel can accept Service of process provided service is proper. However, if the service is for an HCC employee or student on a personal matter (i.e., divorce, personal injury matter, etc.), the service is rejected as it should be directed to the individual given it is a personal matter.
3. What should I do if a government investigator contacts me seeking information about an HCC individual?
Public information requests shall be addressed to the Public Information Officer. Public information requests may be sent by any one of the following methods:
MAIL- HCC c/o Public Information Officer P.O. Box 667517, MC 1144 Houston, TX 77266
IN PERSON- HCC Administration Building, 3100 Main, 12th Floor, Houston, Texas 77002
FACSIMILE- c/o Public Information Officer (713) 718-7585
ELECTRONIC MAIL- email@example.com
Requests that are sent by facsimile and/or electronic mail must be sent by the above means in order to be considered a valid request for information under the Texas Public Information Act.
4. What should I do if an attorney contacts me regarding a claim against me (as an agent for HCC), HCC or my department?
Immediately deliver, email or fax all legal correspondence to the Office of General Counsel at 3100 Main, 12th Floor, Houston, TX 77002, Fax: 713-718-7585.
5. May I hire outside counsel for an HCC matter?
Only the Chancellor and General Counsel may retain outside counsel for legal services pertaining to HCC matters.
6. What is considered a contract?
A contract can be called many things: agreement, Purchase Order, Memorandum of Understanding, Memorandum of Agreement, Terms and Conditions, Letter of Intent, License, Ticket, etc. It is formed when two or more parties agree in writing to exchange goods, money or services with one another.
7. How do I get a contract approved?
All HCC contracts must be submitted to the Office of General Counsel for review and approval. Confirm your contract has been pre-approved by Procurement and/or the Grants Department prior to submission for legal review. Email contracts to firstname.lastname@example.org
Please allow ample time for the review process noting that the complexity of the contract and/or its requirements (i.e., contract requires board approval or contract is submitted on non-HCC standard template) could result in longer processing time. At minimum, your contract should be submitted 10 business days in advance of your event or start of services. As you plan your timeline, keep in mind that most contracts require the Chancellor’s (or designee) signature therefore provide ample time.