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University Counsel

University Counsel

Frequently Asked Questions

What do I do if a process server delivers papers related to a lawsuit or complaint?

If a person is trying to serve legal process on the University or any division of the University, you should not accept service of the complaint. The Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs is the University’s “registered agent,” and as such is the only person authorized to accept service of legal papers against the University. You should therefore direct whoever is asking you to accept service of the legal papers to the Vice Chancellor for Business and Financial Affairs.

If you are named individually in the lawsuit and the lawsuit involves University business or any of your University duties, you may accept the service yourself. Upon accepting any papers of this type, contact the Office of the University Counsel immediately.

If a person is trying to serve legal process on you individually and the matter involved does not involve University business or your University duties, you should contact your own attorney for advice.

If you are unsure if you are being named individually when presented with a request to accept service, contact the Office of University Counsel.

What do I do if I receive a subpoena?

Subpoena to appear as a witness for a deposition or in court

If you received a subpoena to appear as a witness in a case, and and the matter for which you have been subpoenaed involves your duties or activities at the University, contact the Office of University Counsel for further instruction. If the matter is unrelated to the University, you should contact your personal attorney.

Subpoena for documents

If you received something called a "subpoena duces tecum" asking you to turn over University-related documents, you should not respond and should not turn over any documents to anyone. You should immediately contact the Office of University Counsel, which is responsible for and handles all subpoenas pertaining to University documents. The Office of University Counsel will work with you to gather responsive documents, make appropriate objections, and, in some cases, seek a protective
order to preserve the confidentiality of the documents requested.

What do I do if I receive an official document by mail (or other method of delivery)?

Should you receive a copy of a complaint and summons, a notice of class action settlement, a charge of discrimination, or any other document that appears to be from a court, administrative agency, or lawyer, contact the Office of University Counsel immediately upon receipt.

What do I do if I become aware of a potential litigation or investigation of the University?

Any employee who becomes aware of any litigation, threat of litigation, or other legal action or investigation by any court, agency or other governmental entity must immediately notify the Office of the University Counsel. You should also stop any possible destruction or purging of any records related to the matter until otherwise advised by the University Counsel.

I received a "Litigation Hold Notice" directed toward records in my department. What documents does this apply to?

"Litigation Hold Notice" applies to all records of any kind related to the matter described in the
notice. If you receive a Litigation Hold Notice, you should insure that all of the following records
are retained, regardless of whether or not any of the records are to be purged or destroyed pursuant
to any document retention policies:

  • Paper (hard copy) documents and printouts;
  • Photographs, drawings, diagrams;
  • Recordings, including videotapes, other magnetic tapes, and electronic sound files;
  • Material objects, exhibits, models;
  • Electronic data and documents including, but not limited to:
    • Electronic mail;
    • Word processing and other electronic documents (including metadata),
    • Calendars and To-Do lists;
    • Voice messages, whether saved on the University system or a world-wide web ("cloud") account (such as Google Voice or Skype Voice Mail), at an employee's home, or on an employee's mobile phone, computer, or personal world-wide web account;
    • Digital videos or photographs, including electronic files and files saved on cameras, mobile phones, or other devices; and backup files.

Remember that electronic data may be stored on:

  • Office computers, workstations, or laptops;
  • An employee's home or personal computers;
  • DU's network servers;
  • Networked printers or networked photocopiers;
  • Mobile phones; tablet devices, or personal digital assistants;
  • Jump drives, memory cards, CD's, DVD's, floppy disks, or other storage media;
  • Cloud based storage provides, such as DropBox, Google Docs, or Box.net; and
  • any other location where data may be stored.

Make sure  your email messages aren't automatically deleted or that the documents on the server are saved by contacting UTS to coordinate retaining those documents in email accounts or on servers.

The hold applies to new documents or records that my office creates about the subject of the litigation.  Above all, do not dispose of, destroy, recycle, delete, purge, or erase any of the documents. Contact the University Counsel's Office to discuss whether the documents should be copied, held, or processed in a different way.  A. You should retain all documents subject to a Litigation Hold Notice until notified by the Office of the University Counsel that the Litigation Hold has been lifted and the documents need no longer be retained.

Who does the University Counsel represent?

The University Counsel represents Colorado Seminary which owns and operates the University of Denver. In that capacity, the University Counsel advises the Board of Trustees, Executive Officers, Faculty, Staff, and sometimes Students, all in their official capacities, on various legal issues impacting the University.

Can I obtain personal legal advice and services from the University Counsel?

No. The University Counsel provides legal services related to University business only.

I am a student. Can I obtain legal services from the University Counsel?

Only if the matter is related to a University matter and is submitted by your staff adviser or faculty representative.

Can I have a raffle at my event?

The state of Colorado has specific laws that set forth the obligations that must be met in order to hold a raffle. The Secretary of State of Colorado has listed helpful information about obtaining a raffle license on their website. The University of Denver requires that a department, student organization, etc. obtain approval of the raffle before applying for a license.

To submit a FAQ to the Office of the University Counsel please email counsel@du.edu.