Regents Policy 4000: Policy on University of California Legal Services

Approved February 18, 1993
Amended September 22, 2005

The provisions of this statement shall be subject to, and shall in no way modify, the provisions of Section 21.2 of the Bylaws of The Regents of the University of California.

Pursuant to Section 21.2, The General Counsel and Vice President, Legal Affairs (GC-VP) is the chief legal officer of the University of California. The GC-VP has a dual reporting relationship: the GC-VP is a Principal Officer of The Regents and reports directly to The Regents on matters governed by The Regents, and reports directly to the President as an Officer of the University. The GC-VP has responsibility for all legal affairs of the University and all legal proceedings affecting it and, subject to the direction of the President, oversees the provision of all legal services to the University.

The GC-VP is assisted by and directs the work of attorneys in the immediate office of the GC-VP and outside counsel as may be retained by the GC-VP from time to time. In addition, the GC-VP is assisted by and directs substantively the work of resident counsel.

The immediate office of the GC-VP is directly responsible for all services required by The Regents, the President, and Vice Presidents; all litigation and other legal proceedings affecting the University, including The Regents, the Office of the President, campuses, and laboratories; non-litigation services in specialized areas of practice where such expertise is established within the office; in collaboration with resident counsel, all other non-litigation services required by campuses and laboratories; and supervision of outside counsel.

Resident counsel positions at the campuses or laboratories may be established by the GC-VP and the Chancellor or Laboratory Director with the approval of the President. Resident counsel are members of the staff of the GC-VP, and report substantively to the GC-VP, and administratively to the appropriate administrative officer. Resident counsel functions are subject to delegations of authority from the GC-VP. Appointment and compensation actions require the concurrence of the GC-VP.

Each attorney for the University is charged to exercise independent and professional judgment on behalf of the client, the University of California. The University acts in some circumstances through the Board of Regents. In most, the University acts through the President, the Chancellors, the officers of the Academic Senate, or their authorized representatives. The GC-VP shall have full access to the Office of the President, the Chancellors, campus representatives, and the officers and members of the Senate for all purposes associated with the GC-VP carrying out the legal responsibilities of the office.

The Regents shall have full access to the GC-VP for legal advice and services as required. The GC-VP may initiate contact with The Regents when, in the judgment of the GC-VP, such communication is required in the best interests of the University. The GC-VP shall attend meetings of the Board and its committees. Reports and recommendations concerning litigation shall continue to be submitted to The Regents in accordance with current practice.

The budget for legal services required by the University shall be established by the President after consultation with the Regents, with the advice of the GC-VP. The GC-VP shall prepare and periodically revise a comprehensive plan, subject to the approval of the President, for the personnel and budgetary resources necessary for meeting the legal services requirements of the University in an efficient and cost-effective manner taking into account the roles of the immediate office of the GC-VP, resident counsel, and outside counsel. To the extent related to legal services required by The Regents, such plan and resulting budgetary allocations shall be reviewed by The Regents as appropriate.

Appointment and termination of the appointment of the GC-VP shall be by The Regents upon recommendation of or following consultation with the President.

Evaluation of the GC-VP and the provision of legal services to the University generally shall be the responsibility of The Regents and the President as they shall determine from time to time.

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