The Health & Business Affairs (HBA) section of the Office of General Counsel (OGC) provides legal advice and counsel to The Texas A&M University System and its members in the areas of research; technology commercialization; healthcare; data, technology & privacy; education; and other commercial transactions & athletics, including drafting, reviewing, and negotiating contracts in these areas, guidance on intellectual property issues, healthcare regulatory compliance (e.g., HIPAA), guidance on privacy and information security matters (e.g., FERPA), guidance on bankruptcy and debt collection claims and review of write-off submissions, and management of outside counsel contracts.
The attorneys in the HBA section are responsible for reviewing certain contracts that must be approved for legal sufficiency as required by System Policy 25.07, System Regulation 17.01.03, and the OGC Contract Review Guidelines and Checklist, or where the nature of the transaction, or any issues related to the transaction, may be unusual or have the potential to raise legal issues Attorneys are assigned to review contracts in accordance with expertise in subject-matter areas. To expedite OGC review, we ask that the Contract Intake Form be completed and submitted, along with any additional documentation (preferably in Microsoft Word) as noted in the form. Before submitting a contract for OGC review, please also comply with member approval and other contract administration procedures.
Please visit our Outside Counsel webpage for information on outside counsel contracts.
The attorneys in this subsection provide guidance to the A&M System and its members in drafting and negotiating agreements involving research and other sponsored projects, and related issues.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY AND TECHNOLOGY COMMERCIALIZATION
The attorneys in this subsection advise and assist the A&M System and its members on a variety of matters involving patents, copyrights, trademarks, trade secrets, and other forms of intellectual property. These matters include intellectual property protection, licensing, enforcement, litigation, business ventures for the commercialization of A&M System intellectual property, and other technology transfer activities.
The attorneys in this subsection provide counsel to the A&M System and its members on the policies, procedures, notices, consents, and contracts needed for the provision of health care and protection of health information, including compliance with HIPAA and HB 300. These legal services include guidance on the legal and regulatory requirements that apply to healthcare research, clinical or educational programs and drafting and negotiating agreements relevant to healthcare, including affiliation or collaboration agreements, professional service agreements, research agreements (e.g., clinical trial agreements), business associate agreements, telehealth services agreements, and other operational agreements. This subsection also advises the A&M System’s group health plans and A&M System member clinics that provide medical or other healthcare services to students, faculty, staff, or the community.
DATA, TECHNOLOGY & PRIVACY
The attorneys in this subsection provide counsel to the A&M System and its members on privacy and security laws; developing privacy policies and procedures; responding to data breach and other cybersecurity incidents; developing consent forms and authorizations for the release of personal information; and advising on research initiatives and other collaborations or transactions involving personal information. This subsection also provides guidance in drafting and negotiating data use agreements, data processing agreements, software-as-a-service agreements, license or subscription agreements for software or information technology products or services, telecommunications agreements, and other contracts involving the use or disclosure of personal information. Additional legal services include guidance on complying with FERPA and protecting education records held by the A&M System members. This includes advising on FERPA consent requirements; permitted disclosures of personally identifiable information under FERPA; treatment records; FERPA notices and procedures; and contracts with education technology providers or other third parties requiring access to education records.
The attorneys in this subsection provide guidance to the A&M System and its members in drafting and negotiating agreements involving educational programs and related matters, including affiliation agreements, program agreements, articulation agreements, study abroad agreements, student exchange agreements, etc.
OTHER COMMERCIAL TRANSACTIONS/ATHLETICS
The attorneys in this subsection provide guidance to the A&M System and its members in drafting and negotiating agreements involving commercial transactions, athletics and related matters, including service agreements, acquisition or sale of goods, collection contracts, liability waivers, medial releases, coaches agreements, sponsorship agreements, etc. This includes assisting members with issues regarding state higher education purchasing guidelines.
This subsection also assists with monitoring bankruptcy filings by both individuals and businesses that impact A&M System and its members; advises on member’s collection efforts and provides legal sufficiency review of delinquent accounts write-offs as required by System Regulation 21.01.04. This includes advice on complying with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
Please visit our Collection of Accounts Contracts webpage for information on collection contracts.
SYSTEM POLICIES & REGULATIONS
- Conflicts of Interest, Dual Office Holding and Political Activities
- Research Agreements
- Sponsored Agreements – Research and Other
- Federal Procurement Integrity Act
- Financial Conflicts of Interest in Sponsored Research
- Intellectual Property Management and Commercialization
- Contract Administration
- Contract Administration, Delegations and Reporting
- Interagency and Intrasystem Transactions
- Vending Machines
- Extension of Credit, Delinquent Accounts, Collections and Write-offs
- Delegations of Authority
- Contract Management Handbook
- OGC Contract Review Guidelines and Checklist
- Office of the Attorney General
- Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts
- U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
- U.S. Copyright Office
- Texas A&M Technology Commercialization