Legal Brief: Interaction With Attorneys Regarding University-related Legal Matters

“Legal Briefs” appears in e-Inside to keep faculty and staff informed of legal issues and their implications. An archive of past Legal Briefs is available online.

What should you do if you are contacted or confronted by an attorney representing a person or entity in a matter involving the university? The Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit lawyers from communicating with a person whom the lawyer knows is represented by another lawyer in the matter, unless the lawyer has the consent of the other lawyer or is authorized to do so by law or a court order.[1]

In other words, if you are contacted by or confronted with an attorney representing another party regarding a university-related matter, do not engage in discourse of any kind with the attorney and immediately refer the matter to the Office of General Counsel. The lawyer is required to cease all communications with you, and the Office of General Counsel will handle all communications with the attorney. 

Relatedly, if you receive a subpoena in any matter involving the university, immediately forward the subpoena to the Office of General Counsel. Delays in getting the subpoena to our office can detrimentally affect our ability to properly respond to the subpoena. 

If you have questions regarding attorney communications, subpoenas or any other legal matters involving the university, please contact our office at 330-672-2982 or


[1] Ohio Rules of Professional Conduct, Rule 4.2 (2016)