Santa Clara University

Office of the General Counsel

FAQ

Representation

Who does the Office of the General Counsel represent?

The Office of the General Counsel represents the University. The Office of the General Counsel provides legal advice and assistance to the President and Board of Trustees, senior administrative and academic officers, and employees acting within their scope of employment. This means that if you have a legal question or issue related to your department, school, or the University, the Office of the General Counsel can provide you legal assistance. The Office of the General Counsel does not represent employees in personal matters.

Will the Office of the General Counsel provide me assistance or advice on a personal legal matter?

No. The Office of the General Counsel can only provide you assistance and advice if the legal matter directly involves or affects the University. If you have a personal legal matter, you are encouraged to seek counsel from an independent attorney.

Contracts

Who needs to review a contract before it is signed?

The Office of the General Counsel needs to review all contracts before they are signed. Submit your contract to Bridget Colbert at bcolbert@scu.edu.

What do I need to do to submit my contract for review?

E-mail the contract to Bridget Colbert at bcolbert@scu.edu. If there is any background information that you feel will be helpful during the review process, please include that information in the e-mail. If the contract references or incorporates any documents (for example, terms and conditions that are located on a company’s website, attachments, or exhibits), please include those in your e-mail. The review process may be delayed if supporting documents are missing.

How long will it take for my contract to be reviewed?

The Office of the General Counsel strives to provide feedback on all contracts within 5 business days. You are encouraged to submit your contract for review as soon as possible to ensure that there is ample time for review.

What if I have a contract that must be signed in fewer than five business days?

E-mail your contract to Bridget Colbert at bcolbert@scu.edu as soon as possible and indicate in your e-mail the time constraint. You will be notified if the Office of the General Counsel will not be able complete the review within the amount of time requested. More often than not, strict timelines can be accommodated.

Receipt of Legal Documents

What do I do if someone serves me with a subpoena or other legal document that is directed at the University?

Do not accept service of a subpoena or other legal document that is directed at the University. Only General Counsel John Ottoboni is authorized to accept service of a subpoena or any other legal document on behalf of the University. If a process server attempts to serve you with a legal document that is directed at the University, send the process server to the Office of the General Counsel and explain that only the General Counsel is authorized to accept service on behalf of the University.

What do I do if my office receives a subpoena or other legal document in the mail that is directed at the University?

Forward the document to the Office of the General Counsel as soon as possible.

Other Legal Questions

What do I do if a lawyer calls my department or school and wants to speak to me about a legal matter involving the University?

If a lawyer other than an attorney for the University calls you to discuss a legal matter, instruct the lawyer to contact the Office of the General Counsel at (408) 554-5355. Do not discuss any pending or potential lawsuits or legal matters with outside attorneys.

Can I hire a lawyer to represent the University?

No. The Office of the General Counsel is charged with engaging outside counsel when necessary.