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Texas Tech University System 
115 Administration Building
Box 42021
Lubbock, TX 79409-2021

Office: 806.742.2155

Fax: 806.742.2330 

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

Areas of Practice

Overseen by Vice Chancellor John Huffaker, 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 following areas of practice:

Athletic Regulations Medical Malpractice Litigation
Correctional Managed Health Care Patient Care
Employee, Faculty and Medical Resident Grievance Process Procurement Contracting
Ethics and Conflict of Interest Public Information Requests and Open Meetings Regulations
General Litigation Student Grievance Process
Graduate Medical Education Regulations and Compliance
Healthcare Contracting Transactional Contracting
Healthcare Regulations and Compliance University Regulations

Athletic Regulations

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. In addition, OGC maintains expertise in, and actively supports, athletic contracting with respect to broadcast and promotion opportunities, trademark/trade dress protection and employee contracts. For more information, contact Victor Mellinger.

Correctional Managed Health Care (CMHC)

The Office of General Counsel provides guidance and legal support for the CMHC division of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center upon request. Such support and legal guidance includes employment matters, peer review issues, public information requests, subpoenas from attorneys and licensing agencies as well as the relationship between Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Texas Department of Criminal Justice. The Office of General Counsel also manages all litigation and assists with the defense of all claims and suits. For more information, contact Kevin Williams.

Employee, Faculty & Medical Resident Grievance Process

Upon request, the Office of General Counsel is available to advise Employee, Faculty and Medical Resident Grievance Committees regarding required procedures for determination of employee, faculty and medical resident grievances. For more information, contact Victor Mellinger or Glenda Helfrich.

Ethics & Conflict of Interest

The Office of General Counsel 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. For more information, contact John Huffaker, Victor Mellinger or Glenda Helfrich.

The Office of General Counsel reviews and participates in analysis of conflicts of interest in accordance with the Regents’ Rules. For more information, contact John Huffaker.

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 Office of General Counsel 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, the Office of General Counsel will manage such litigation as requested. For more information, contact John Huffaker, Victor Mellinger, Glenda Helfrich or Frank Gonzales.

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, resident disputes and grievances, National Resident Matching Program, regulatory and compliance issues and investigations. For more information, contact Glenda Helfrich or Frank Gonzales.

Healthcare Contracting

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 agreements, practice organization and agreements, indigent care and payment regulation. For more information, contact Glenda Helfrich, Rebecca Hellbaum or Frank Gonzales

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 Glenda HelfrichRebecca HellbaumKevin Williams or Frank Gonzales

Medical Malpractice 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 Texas Tech Health Sciences Center claims prevention efforts and programs. When claims do become lawsuits, the OGC 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 or Billy Webster.

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 Billy Webster.

Procurement Contracting

The Office of General Counsel assists and advises the Office of Procurement Services in connection with Procurement Policies, and upon request, specific Procurement Contracts. For more information, contact Sheila Kidwell.

The Office of General Counsel also works directly with the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Purchasing and Contracting offices. For more information, contact Rebecca Hellbaum.

Public Information Requests & Open Meetings Regulations

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 the University Components or the 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 Ronny Wall or Kevin Williams.

The Office of General Counsel also advises the Board of Regents and the 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 John Huffaker.

Student Grievance Process

Upon request, the Office of General Counsel 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 Mellinger or Kevin Williams.

Regulations & 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 John Huffaker, Victor Mellinger, Sheila Kidwell or Ronny Wall.

Transactional Contracting

The Office of General Counsel maintains expertise in preparation and negotiation of a wide variety of contracts involving the TTU System or any of its components. In addition to general transactions, the OGC maintains expertise in a wide variety of specialized contracts including intellectual property transactions and construction projects. For more information, contact Sheila Kidwell, Rebecca Hellbaum or Frank Gonzales.

University Regulations

The Office of General Counsel regularly participates in review of university regulations in the form of Regents’ Rules and Operating Policies and Procedures. For more information, contact Glenda Helfrich, Sheila Kidwell or Ronny Wall.

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