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We have included this section on our website to provide University faculty and staff with general information only. This information does not substitute for real legal advice that can be obtained from talking to one of the attorneys in our office. If you are involved in any of the situations described in the FAQ section, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

In relation to University business, attorney-client privilege would be applicable generally to faculty and staff who serve in a supervisory or administrative role. In short, what a supervisor or administrator tells us is privileged as to third parties, but not as to other University officials. Information shared with us by a supervisor or administrator will be disclosed within the University only on a need-to-know basis. However, we will try to keep any information shared by a supervisor or administrator confidential to the extent we can.

  1. Who does the Office of Legal Affairs represent?

    The Office of Legal Affairs provides legal advice and representation to John Carroll University. John Carroll and all of its schools and departments are one legal entity. In that capacity, OLA attorneys advise the University directors, 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 directors, have final authority.

  2. What type of legal services does the OLA provide?

    The Office of Legal Affairs is responsible for providing a full range of legal services to the University. OLA attorneys work in a variety of practice areas on campus. Some areas in which OLA attorneys can provide legal advice are: labor and employment, business matters, contract review, litigation, copyright, student and faculty issues, among others.

  3. How can I contact the Office of Legal Affairs?

    The Office of Legal Affairs is located in Rodman Hall, Room 115. We can be reached by phone at (216) 397-1590 or by fax at (216) 397-4901. You also can email us at

  4. Where should process servers be directed to serve the University, University Schools, centers and the like with subpoenas, summonses, etc.?

    Office of Legal Affairs
    Rodman Hall, Room 115
    1 John Carroll Blvd., University Heights, OH 44118

  5. Can I retain outside counsel for a University matter?

    No. Only the Office of Legal Affairs can retain outside counsel on behalf of the University. The OLA has a small group of outside counsel who have the relevant expertise in the legal problems we usually face. Only the OLA can submit legal bills to the Business Office for payment by the University. If you believe outside counsel is needed for a University matter, you should contact an attorney in the OLA who will determine whether outside counsel is necessary and appropriate; if so, the OLA attorney will retain an outside attorney that OLA believes is appropriate for the matter.

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

    The President, Provost, Vice Presidents and certain other senior officers are authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the University. Generally, this authority is limited to a specific area of responsibility. To determine who is authorized to approve and sign an agreement, the University has adopted a Contract Approval and Signatory Policy to govern contract review and approval, and a Signature Delegations list that identifies signatories for contracts by name. If you are still uncertain who has the authority to sign a particular document you need executed, the OLA can help determine the appropriate signatory.

  7. Can the OLA represent or give legal advice to individual faculty members or students on non-University matters?

    No. The OLA represents the University, and the OLA works only on University-related matters.

  8. Which lawyer at the OLA do I contact for my particular legal issue?

    You may contact the OLA at (216) 397-1590, or at, and we will determine which OLA attorney to assign to the matter.

  9. Is what I tell you confidential?

    The attorney-client privilege protects the confidentiality of communications between attorneys and their clients. With certain limited exceptions, the courts cannot require a party to disclose communications that are protected by the attorney-client privilege. The purpose of the privilege is to encourage individuals and organizations to seek legal advice and to ensure that they communicate forthrightly with their attorneys. The attorney-client privilege applies to any communication that is:

    1. between an attorney and client;
    2. for the purpose of soliciting or receiving legal advice; and
    3. made in confidence and kept confidential.
  10. Am I indemnified if I am sued in relation to duties performed on behalf of the University?

    Generally, yes, as long as you are acting in good faith, in the best interest of the University, and acting within the scope of your job while performing the duties.

  11. 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.

  12. Does the University ever consider using Alternate Dispute Resolution (mediation or arbitration) instead of going to court?

    In certain cases, mediation or arbitration may be appropriate. But, unless the contract stipulates that disputes will be resolved by mediation or arbitration, we would not be able to go to arbitration or mediation unless both sides agree. Arbitration or mediation may be considered in matters involving one or more of the following criteria: the need for a relatively speedy and binding decision, where confidentiality is important, commercially-related disputes, and where the dispute could best be resolved by an expert.

  13. What do I do if I receive a Notice of Garnishment?

    A Notice of Garnishment is a notice that an Ohio court has required John Carroll University to withhold a certain amount of an employee's wages, to be paid toward a debt owed by the employee - often, child support. Such notices are mainly handled by the University’s Business Office.

  14. Who can give me permission to use the University name and logo?

    The University’s Integrated Marketing and Communications departmentor the Office of Legal Affairs can assist you in using the University name and logo.