Litigation and Dispute Resolution
The Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice area provides legal counsel in general and tort litigation matters. General litigation matters include employment, student, construction, and contract claims and disputes. Tort litigation includes motor vehicle and premises liability and medical negligence claims. This practice area represents the System in pre- and post-litigation investigations and pre-litigation negotiations and dispute resolution.
Once a pleading or compliant has been filed in state or federal court, the System is represented by the office of the Attorney General of Texas. The Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice attorneys are responsible for interfacing with assigned assistant attorney generals on system cases.
Attorneys of the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice area represent the System and its members in both external and internal administrative proceedings. Examples of external proceedings are Department of Education mediations of discrimination claims, on-site investigations by federal agencies, vendor dispute (Chapter 2260) hearings, and unemployment or workers’ compensation hearings. Internal proceedings include faculty nonrenewal and termination appeals, faculty and nonfaculty complaint hearings, student disciplinary hearings, nonfaculty disciplinary appeals, and research misconduct investigations, among others.
General employment matters also fall within this practice area. This work includes coordinating with System and member human resource and employee relations staff, investigating claims made to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, ensuring compliance with System employment policies and procedures as well as federal regulations like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Attorneys and Staff Members
Jorge Canales is the Lead Counsel for the Litigation and Dispute Resolution practice area. Mr. Canales is assisted by attorneys Brian Bricker, David Halpern and Karen Royal.
The attorneys are assisted by Legal Assistants Barbara Winckler and Pam Eldridge and Legal Secretaries Dana Sweet and Sheila Hughes.
Litigation (or even anticipated litigation in some cases) may trigger a duty to preserve information and things that relate to the dispute. The System Office of General Counsel has developed model litigation hold procedures for use by System members to assist with preserving and collecting information in such situations.
NOTE: These sample procedures are not mandatory or comprehensive but merely illustrate procedures that COULD be used for litigation holds. System members should consult with OGC prior to implementing actual litigation hold procedures. These procedures DO NOT apply to requests for information under the Texas Public Information Act.