Questions About Legal Representation

Can I hire a private attorney to handle UO business?

No. The university can only be represented by the attorneys in the Office of General Counsel or attorneys retained by the general counsel's office, unless express permission has been granted by the general counsel. In some circumstances, the general counsel's office may authorize independent counsel to advise units or employees if there is a potential conflict of interest or other needs.

Can I share confidential information with UO attorneys? 

Information you convey to the general counsel's office in connection with seeking legal advice is privileged and will be treated as confidential. It is important to note that the “client” is the university, not any individual university official. Therefore, privileged information may be shared with university officials on a need to know basis, and the privilege may be waived by the university.

Will I be defended if I am sued?

The university will defend and indemnify you against any claim that arises out of an alleged act or omission occurring in the course and scope of your employment, except in cases of malfeasance in office or willful or wanton neglect of duty. The university reserves the right to select the counsel to represent you (and will provide counsel independent of the university in situations of a conflict). When defending you, the university reserves the right to defend against the claim and settle the claim. The university will consult with the employee regarding any term of a settlement agreement that affects the legal rights of the employee. The university may choose to defend an employee under a reservation of rights. Any employee of the university to whom the university is providing a defense must cooperate fully with the university in the defense of the claim. If the university determines that the employee has not cooperated or has otherwise acted to prejudice the defense of the claim, the university may at any time terminate its defense and indemnity or proceed under a reservation of rights.