The Division of General Counsel is committed to serving the Jackson State University community by governing fairly and equally amongst all bodies of the university. The legal affairs function of a business or organization is typically responsible for providing legal advice and support to the organization, as well as managing and resolving legal issues that may arise. The following information seeks to provide answers to a number of frequently asked questions received by General Counsel.
Attorneys in the Division of the General Counsel represent the University as an institution. Members of the Division of the General Counsel advise and represent University employees acting within the course and scope of their employment in matters concerning University business; however, they do not advise or represent employees in their individual capacities.
If any person attempts to serve you with notice of a lawsuit or other legal matter involving the University, please direct them to the DGC. The DGC will not accept service of process for individuals, and University personnel should not assist with the service of process with University personnel.
While this is determined on a case by case basis, if you have been sued in connection with your official duties as a University employee and you have acted lawfully and in good faith, you will likely be indemnified and defended by the University. “Official duties” include those duties and responsibilities that are part of the employee’s job description and authority.
You could be, but the State may provide an employee with legal representation if he or she is sued for matters arising within the course and scope of University employment.
Generally speaking, your conversations with us on matters involving University business will be privileged as to outside third parties, but may not be confidential as to other University officials.
No. The DGC does not represent employees for personal matters that do not affect the University’s legal rights.
If the matter involves your official duties or activities at the University, contact the DGC as soon as possible. If the case involves a personal matter that is unrelated to University business, contact your personal attorney.
Do not turn over any documents. Contact the DGC immediately for assistance. We will work with you to determine the appropriate response.
Immediately forward the request to the DGC so that a necessary response can be made in a timely manner.
Yes. By written request to the University, an employee may review his or her personnel file. Questions and requests regarding personnel files should be directed to the Division of Human Resources.
Yes, the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (“FERPA”) protects personally identifiable educational records from certain disclosures. Although exceptions apply, educational records are generally not disclosed to any third parties without the student’s consent.
To enter a contract on behalf of the University, you must have signatory authority in the amount of the contract and you must also comply with JSU’s Contract Policy and state procurement laws, as well as obtain IHL approval for certain contracts. The majority of University contracts require DGC approval of the legal terms in the agreement.