Frequently Asked Questions

Learn more about the Office of General Counsel, its functions and operations, and how members of the Butler community can become informed of legal matters in their role as faculty, staff member, or student.

The Office of General Counsel provides legal advice and representation to Butler University. The Office advises the Board of Trustees, University officers, faculty, staff, and administrators on legal issues which impact the University and its entities.

Only the General Counsel and Assistant General Counsel may retain outside counsel. If you believe your department or office requires legal advice or guidance, please contact the Office of General Counsel.

Refuse to accept the papers and direct the individual to the Office of General Counsel. Please call the office or email us to alert us.

If an employee is named as a defendant in a lawsuit related to Butler University, the employee should notify the Office of General Counsel immediately. If determined that the employee was working within his or her scope of employment, and in compliance with applicable laws and university policy, legal representation may be provided. Butler University will not provide legal representation for lawsuits not applicable to an employee’s scope of work.

As the Office of General Counsel represents the University, we cannot provide advice and/or counsel on non-University-related matters. It cannot provide legal services to employees or students for personal matters.

Attorney-client privilege refers to a legal privilege between an attorney and his or her client which protects communications if they are made for the purpose of seeking or providing legal advice on behalf of the University. Communications may be privileged regardless of whether they are written, electronic, or oral, but communications must be kept confidential for the privilege to apply. Communications by an individual employee to the General Counsel may be disclosed to other administrators our outside counsel on a need to know basis.

The following documents must be reviewed by the Office of General Counsel:

  • Contracts involving the use of the University’s facilities
  • Intellectual property, including trademarks and logos
  • Contracts that require the University to provide indemnification or insurance to an outside party
  • Contracts involving the purchase or lease of real estate
  • Contracts in which members of the University or third parties are engaged in high-risk activities
  • Contracts in which the University provides a service, such as off-campus education programs
  • Contracts and financial commitments over the amount of X

Butler University has an intellectual property policy which establishes general guidelines for the determination of the ownership of patent, trademark, and copyright rights created or developed by employees (both faculty and staff) of Butler University (the “University”) within the scope of their employment and created or developed by students of the University while engaged in certain activities with the University. The ownership of the various rights is dependent upon the specific type of intellectual property. Since the University has fiduciary responsibility for the appropriate use of University funds, unless otherwise provided for under this policy, all intellectual property rights associated with copyrightable works and patentable inventions that make “substantial use” of University resources belong to the University.

Depending on the nature of your complaint and the nature of your employment, you should follow the appropriate reporting procedure. Normally, employee concerns at Butler may be made directly to your supervisor, department head, dean, or vice president. You can find the faculty and staff handbooks online at Butler’s Human Resources website.

The Office of the President and the Office of General Counsel offer notary service as available. Please call the office at 317-940-9900 to determine availability.