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Frequently Asked Questions

We have included this section in our web page to provide CBU faculty and staff with general information only. This information is not a substitute for legal advice.

Who does the university’s General Counsel represent?

The University’s General Counsel provides legal advice and representation to CBU. CBU and all of its schools and departments are one legal entity. In that capacity, the General Counsel advises the University’s trustees, officers, faculty, and staff, all in their official capacities, on various issues impacting the university. To the extent different areas of the University have different viewpoints on any issue, the President, or if the situation requires, the University's Board of Trustees have final authority.

What type of legal services does the General Counsel provide?

The General Counsel is responsible for providing a full range of legal services to the University and works in a variety of practice areas on campus. Some areas in which General Counsel can provide legal advice are: labor and employment, business matters, contract review, litigation, environmental, copyright, property acquisitions, student and faculty issues, entity tax, among others.

How can I contact the General Counsel?

The Office of the General Counsel is located 8432 Magnolia Avenue, Yeager Building.  We can be reached by phone at 951.343.4286.  You can also email us at aburton@calbaptist.edu.

Where should process servers be directed to serve the university with subpoenas, summonses, etc.?

8432 Magnolia Avenue, Yeager Building

Can I retain outside counsel for a university matter?

No. Only the General Counsel can retain outside counsel. The General Counsel has a small group of outside counsel who have relevant expertise in the legal matters we usually face. If you believe outside counsel is needed for a University issue, you should contact the General Counsel to determine whether outside counsel is necessary and appropriate; if so, the General Counsel will retain an outside attorney.

I need to have something signed by the University? Who has authority to sign?

Only the President and Vice President for Finance and Administration are authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the University. 

Can the Office of General Counsel represent or give legal advice to individual faculty members or students on non-university matters?

No.  The Office of General Counsel represents the University, and the General Counsel works only on University-related matters.

Is what I tell you confidential?

It is privileged as to third parties, but not as to other University officials. However, we will try to keep it confidential to the extent we can.

Am I indemnified if I am sued in connection with University business?

Generally, yes as long as you are acting in good faith and in the scope of your job.

I have been contacted by a third party and been asked to forward to them a copy of a student’s transcript and student file. Do I have the authority to access these files and forward them to a third party?

Normally, no. While a school official, including a member of the faculty, may have access to and obtain a copy of a student's education record for a legitimate educational interest, ordinarily the student's education record is confidential and cannot be viewed, accessed, or released without the student's explicit permission. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974, (FERPA), is a Federal law that limits the disclosure of a student's education record in order to safeguard the privacy of such information.