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Office of General Counsel
Texas Tech University System 

System Administration Building
1508 Knoxville Ave. Ste. 309
Box 42021
Lubbock, TX 79409-2021

Office: 806.742.2155

8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Central, Monday - Friday

Areas of Practice

Overseen by Vice Chancellor Eric Bentley and the Office of General Counsel Executive Leadership Team of Deputy General Counsel Victor Mellinger, Senior Managing Attorney Joanna Harkey, Managing Attorney Frank Gonzales, and Managing Attorney Vicki Dorris, the services provided by the Office of General Counsel cover a broad spectrum of issues affecting the entire organization and its students and employees. A team of attorneys and professionals offer the below areas of practice for the entire TTU System, which is a $2.1 Billion enterprise with approximately 20,000 employees and more than 53,000 students across Texas Tech University, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso, and Angelo State University. 

Athletic Issues Medical Malpractice Litigation
Constitutional Law Issues Open Meeting Issues
Contracting Outside Counsel
Correctional Managed Health Care Patient Care
Employee Matters and Grievances Procurement Contracting
Ethics and Conflict of Interest Public Information Act Requests
General Litigation Regulations and Compliance
Graduate Medical Education Title IX
Healthcare Regulations and Compliance
University Regulations
Institutional Advancement  

Athletic Issues

The Office of General Counsel  actively supports and assists the Department of Intercollegiate Athletics at Texas Tech University and Angelo State University in assuring compliance with NCAA and Conference Regulations and other legal matters. In addition, OGC maintains expertise in, and actively supports, athletic contracting with respect to broadcast and promotion opportunities, trademark/trade dress protection and employment contracts. For more information,  contact Eric Bentley or Victor Mellinger.

Constitutional Law Issues

The Office of General Counsel assists and advises on constitutional law issues, including protests and expressive activity under the First Amendment, as well as due process concerns related to student misconduct, academic dishonesty, and faculty misconduct. For more information, please contact Eric BentleyVictor MellingerRenee Posey, or Frank Gonzales

Contracting

Procurement:

The Office of Genearl Counsel assists and advises the Offices of Procurement Services at each component institution and campus of the Texas Tech University System in connection with Procurement Policies, and upon request, specific Procurement Contracts. For more information, contact Frank Gonzales, Vicki Dorris, John Shelton, or Blake Billings.

Health Care:

The Office of General Counsel maintains expertise in preparation and negotiation of a wide variety of academic and medical industry contracts including highly specialized contracts for medical affiliation, practice organization, and payment regulation. For more information, contact  Frank Gonzales, Vicki Dorris, Linda SamplesNathan Christopher, Kristyn Sorensen, or Blake Billings

Other Transactions:

The Office of General Counsel maintains expertise in preparation and negotiation of a wide variety of contracts involving the Texas Tech University System or any of its components. In addition to general transactions, the Office of General Counsel maintains expertise in specialized contracts including real estate, intellectual property and construction. For more information, contact Frank Gonzales, Vicki Dorris, John SheltonLinda Samples, Blake Billings, Nathan Christopher, or Kristyn Sorensen.

Correctional Managed Health Care 

The Office of General Counsel provides guidance and legal support for Correctional Managed Health Care matters. Such support and legal guidance includes employment matters, peer review issues, as well as the relationship between Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The OGC also manages all litigation and assists with the defense of all claims and suits. For more information, contact Vicki Dorris or Nathan Christopher.

Employment Matters and Grievances

The OGC advises Employee, Faculty and Medical Resident Grievance Committees regarding required procedures for determination of employee, faculty and medical resident grievances. The Office of General Counsel also advises on faculty and staff personnel matters and claims, including proposed terminations and other disciplinary actions, workplace investigations, staff and faculty grievances, discrimination and harassment claims, worker’s compensation claims, and unemployment claims. For more information, contact Eric Bentley, Victor MellingerRenee PoseyFrank Gonzales, Vicki Dorris or Nathan Christopher.

Ethics & Conflict of Interest

The OGC cooperates and works with other University and System divisions to assure prompt response to ethics issues. Specifically, the OGC supports the Office of Audit Services, when requested, in responding to reports to the ethics and compliance hotline.

The OGC reviews and participates in analysis of conflicts of interest in accordance with the Regents’ Rules. For more information, contact Eric Bentley, Victor Mellinger, Vicki Dorris, or Frank Gonzales.

General Litigation

The Office of General Counsel manages all litigation affecting the Texas Tech University System. In matters in which claims are asserted against a University Component and in matters asserted against University employees arising out of performance of their duties, the OGC manages and assists in the defense of the claim. In such cases, the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas provides lead trial counsel. In matters in which a University Component has need to pursue claims as a plaintiff, the Office of General Counsel will manage such litigation as requested. For more information, contact Eric BentleyVictor Mellinger,  Frank Gonzales, or Nathan Christopher.

Graduate Medical Education

The Office of General Counsel advises all campuses in matters related to Graduate Medical Education (approximately 600 residents), ranging from House Staff Policies and Procedures, contracts, international medical graduates, eligibility issues related to the Texas Medical Board, the National Resident Matching Program, resident disputes and grievances, regulatory and compliance issues and investigations. For more information, contact Frank GonzalesJoanna Harkey, Vicki Dorris or Nathan Christopher.

Healthcare Regulations and Compliance

The Office of General Counsel maintains specific expertise in medical regulations affecting a wide variety of subjects including privacy, payment regulations, practice regulations, patients’ rights and student experience and accreditation. For more information, contact Joanna Harkey, Vicki Dorris, Renee Posey, Nathan Christopher, Kristyn SorensenFrank Gonzales, Billy Webster, or Linda Samples.

Institutional Advancement

The Office of General Counsel provides guidance to  Office of the Vice Chancellor for Institutional Advancement regarding donor relations, gift agreements and endowment compliance. For more information, contact Mikela Bryant.

Medical Malpractice Claims and Litigation

The Office of General Counsel maintains a staff of attorneys and assistants specifically assigned to the analysis and management of medical liability claims. The office reviews and evaluates potential claims that are reported to office attorneys and acts proactively before litigation is filed in some reported cases. The General Counsel’s office also actively participates in claims prevention efforts and programs. When claims do become lawsuits, the Office of General Counsel actively manages and assists in defense of the case working with the Office of the Attorney General of the State of Texas which provides lead trial counsel. For more information, contact Joanna Harkey, William Webster or Renee Posey.

Open Meetings Issues

The Office of General Counsel also advises the Board of Regents, Texas Tech University System and university community regarding the requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Questions regarding whether specific matters are subject to the Open Meetings Act should be addressed to the OGC. For more information, contact Eric Bentley.

Outside Counsel

The Office of General Counsel oversees and approves the use of outside counsel which includes matters such as immigration, intellectual property including trademark and copyright issues, bond work, investment issues, and international law.  For more information, contact Eric Bentley.

Patient Care

The Office of General Counsel advises medical care providers on patient care issues including consent issues, termination of care, confidentiality, end-of-life care, emergency detentions, patient complaints and medical records documentation. For more information, contact Joanna Harkey or William Webster.

Public Information Act Requests

The Office of General Counsel is responsible for preparation of all responses to Public Information Requests under state or federal open records laws. Such requests are directed, by outside parties, to any department or division of any of the university components or the Texas Tech University System. In the event of receipt of such a request, the recipient should immediately forward the request to the Office of General Counsel. For more information, contact Eric BentleyRonny Wall, Nathan Christopher or Frank Gonzales.

The Office of General Counsel also advises the Board of Regents, Texas Tech University System and university community regarding the requirements of the Texas Open Meetings Act. Questions regarding whether specific matters are subject to the Open Meetings Act should be addressed to the Office of General Counsel. For more information, contact Eric Bentley.

Regulations and Compliance

The Office of General Counsel responds to questions and requests for information and research on the myriad rules and regulations affecting the diverse activities of the Texas Tech University System. These include general statutes and regulations, as well as specific technical rules. The office works with departments and divisions to answer questions and assist in compliance. For more information, contact Eric BentleyVictor Mellinger, Joanna Harkey, Frank Gonzales, or Vicki Dorris.

 Student Issues and Grievances

The Office of General Counsel advises on student affairs issues, including student handbook and student disciplinary matters. The OGC advises Student Grievance Committees regarding required procedures for processing of student grievances. Student grievance procedures are generally described in The Student Handbooks of the respective TTU System component institutions. For more information, contact Victor MellingerRenee Posey or Frank Gonzales.

Title IX

The Office of General Counsel maintains expertise in the various aspects of Title IX and, provides advice to university personnel. For more information, contact Eric Bentley, Victor Mellinger, Frank Gonzales, or Renee Posey.

University Regulations

The Office of General Counsel regularly participates in review of university policies and regulations in the form of Regents’ Rules and Operating Policies and Procedures. For more information, contact Eric Bentley, Victor Mellinger, Frank Gonzales, Vicki Dorris, Ronny Wall or John Shelton.

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