Office of University Counsel

MSC05 3440
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001

Physical Location:
Scholes Hall
Room 208

Phone: (505) 277-5035
Fax: (505) 277-4154

FAQ

The information presented on this site is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or establish an attorney-client relationship.

  1. What should I do if someone asks me to accept legal papers (i.e. a Summons or Subpoena) on behalf of UNM?
  2. Who can accept Service of Process for UNM?
  3. Can my department hire outside counsel?
  4. Can I request legal services from the OUC?
  5. What should I do if I receive correspondence from an attorney asserting a claim against me (in my professional capacity), my department, or UNM?
  6. What should I do if I receive a request for a student's educational records?
  7. What should I do if I receive a request for public records?
  8. How do I get permission to use UNM trademarks or logos?
  9. How do I get permission to film or photograph on campus?
  10. What should I do if a company asks me to sign a confidentiality agreement?
  11. How can I get assistance with contract review?
  12. Who can sign a contract on behalf of UNM?
  13. How can I get assistance with personal legal problems?
  14. How can I get a document notarized?
What should I do if someone asks me to accept legal papers (i.e. a Summons or Subpoena) on behalf of UNM?

You should refuse to accept these documents.  Send the person serving such documents to the OUC in Scholes Hall, Room 208. Please call the OUC at 505-277-5035 to alert us that someone is coming over with legal documents. If you receive a Summons or Subpoena in the mail, or mistakenly accept one from a process server, please contact the OUC immediately.  Any delay in responding to these documents could have serious legal consequences for UNM.

Who can accept Service of Process for UNM?

An attorney in the OUC may accept properly made service of process on behalf of the Regents of the University of New Mexico.  However, if a member of the UNM community is being sued in his/her personal capacity, typically that individual must be served personally and the OUC does not accept service on behalf of that individual. 

Can my department hire outside counsel?

Not directly.  The retention of outside counsel must be processed through the OUC in accordance with Regents' Policy Section 2.16.  No component of the University may retain or employ outside counsel except with the prior approval of the University President or, in the case of Health Sciences Center legal matters, the Chancellor for Health Sciences.  Please refer to and complete the Request for Outside Counsel Approval Form and submit for approval.  Attorneys specifically approved by the OUC for immigration matters and listed on this website may be contacted directly by the UNM department seeking immigration assistance. 

Can I request legal services from the OUC?

Only the Regents, President, Provost, Vice Presidents, Deans, and Directors of the University of New Mexico are authorized to seek legal service directly from the Office of University Counsel. Other members of the University community, including faculty, staff, and students, seeking legal advice concerning University business, should have their request reviewed by the appropriate supervisor and forwarded to the Office of University Counsel by one of the officers identified above.  For UNM Hospital matters, the Chief Executive Officer for UNM Hospital is authorized to seek legal service directly from the Office of University Counsel.  For UNM Health System matters, the Health Systems Chief Operations Officer, Chief Clinical Affairs Officer, Chief Administrative Officers, and Compliance Officers are authorized to seek legal service directly from the Office of University Counsel.    

What should I do if I receive correspondence from an attorney asserting a claim against me (in my professional capacity), my department, or UNM?

You should immediately call the OUC at 277-5035 and fax all such legal correspondence to the OUC at 277-4134.  The original document can be picked up by an OUC staff member.  Correspondence aserting a claim against the UNM Hospital or Health Sciences Center should be delivered immediately to the HSC OUC office.  Please contact the HSC OUC at 272-2377 and fax all such correspondence to 272-1938.

What should I do if I receive a request for a student's educational records?

Federal law and UNM policy govern the confidentiality of student records. Do not respond to any request for student records without speaking first to an attorney in the OUC or to the UNM Office of the Registrar.
See FERPA laws here.

What should I do if I receive a request for public records?

The process for responding to a New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) request is outlined at http://publicrecords.unm.edu/ and http://publicrecords.unm.edu/faq.html#section-1-item-4.  Please contact the Custodian of Public Records, John Rodriguez, at 277-2440 or unmipra@salud.unm.edu upon receipt of any IPRA request. 

How do I get permission to use UNM trademarks or logos?

You should direct all questions regarding licensing of UNM's trademarks for use on goods to UNM Communication & Marketing at ucam.unm.edu.

How do I get permission to film or photograph on campus?

You should direct all questions regarding commercial filming activities (filming or photo shoots) to the University Event Coordinator with the University Conference and Events Office (UCEO) at 505-277-5706.   UCEO screens and processes all requests to film on campus and coordinates with all campus units. News photography does not require a permit but should be coordinated through University Communication and Marketing (UCAM), HSC Public Affairs or the UNM Sports Information Director. Details can be found on the UCAM website

What should I do if a company asks me to sign a confidentiality agreement?

Who to contact if you have been asked to sign a nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement ("NDA") depends upon the nature of the relationship with the company presenting the NDA. If the NDA is requested in connection with your review of equipment or software before making a purchase on behalf of UNM, please contact the OUC.  If the NDA is requested pursuant to UNM research, contact your Contract Administrator in the Office of Sponsored Research.  If the NDA relates to a UNM invention, contact STC.UNM.  Finally, if the NDA is pursuant to your personal consulting work and not affiliated with UNM, you will need to speak to an attorney of your choosing because the OUC does not provide legal advice or representation to UNM community members in connection with personal legal issues. 

How can I get assistance with contract review?

Each contract between UNM and a third party must be carefully reviewed by the University employee initiating the contract and a University contract review officer. The OUC can assist as to legal matters. If the contract is reviewed by an attorney in the Office of University Counsel, it still requires review by a contract review officer.  Please refer to University Business Policies and Procedures Manual (UBPPM) Policy 2010.  Please complete a contract review form, a copy of which is attached as Exhibit C to UBPPM Policy 2010.

Who can sign a contract on behalf of UNM?

Please refer to University Business Policies and Procedures Manual (UBPPM) Policy 2010 referenced immediately above for information on who is designated authority to sign contracts on behalf of UNM.  Signature authority depends upon the nature of contract. Please contact UNM’s Procurement Office if you are buying equipment, software, consulting services, or any other type of purchase on UNM’s behalf; the Office of Sponsored Research if the contract relates to a research program, proposed research collaboration, or the acquisition of biological or other materials needed for your research (for example, a material transfer agreement); or STC.UNM if the contract relates to the license of UNM’s intellectual property. If it is unclear whom to contact, the OUC would be happy to assist you.  Contracts may be signed on behalf of the University only by:

  • A person in a position specifically authorized by the University Board of Regents.
  • The Chancellor for Health Sciences, an executive vice president, Provost, or vice president to whom the President has delegated the authority delegated to the President by the Board of Regents, as specified herein.
  • The Chief Procurement Officer and Vice President for Human Resources, as specified herein.
  • A person who has received a sub-delegation in accordance with this policy.

Before you pass the contract on to the appropriate office for review, you need to read the contract carefully to identify any terms you think may be inconsistent with your goals.  

How can I get assistance with personal legal problems?

The OUC can only provide legal services and counseling on behalf of the University.  Please consult the Resources page for legal assistance options for personal legal matters.

How can I get a document notarized?

There are a number of notaries within the OUC. Please contact either office in advance to make an appointment to have your document notarized and to ensure you have all necessary documents, all requiredi individuals present and all forms of identification in hand.  For notaries on the main campus, please call 277.5035.  For North Campus notaries call 272.2377.  Walk-ins are welcome, but an appointment will ensure a notary is available.