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UMB POLICY ON REQUESTS FOR ADVICE OF COUNSEL AND OFFICIAL OPINIONS FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Approved: Errol L. Reese, President
The Office of the Attorney General provides both advice of counsel and opinions of counsel in response to requests from University System of Maryland institutions and System administration. Advice of counsel is provided by assistants attorney general in the Educational Affairs Division of the Attorney General's Office. Advice of counsel sometimes is overturned by the advice or opinions of assistants attorney general in different divisions of the Attorney General's office or even opinions of the Attorney General's Office. Because of this possibility, major issues and politically sensitive issues sometimes are addressed through a formal opinion of the Attorney General rather than through a statement of advice of counsel.
University Counsel should be contacted in the event that officials on campus are interested in seeking advice of counsel from the Educational Affairs Division of the Office of the Attorney General on University-related matters. On new matters, contact with the Educational Affairs Division of the Attorney General's Office should be made through University Counsel except in emergency circumstances (e.g., receipt of court summonses with immediate responses due).
After initiation of a new matter involving the Educational Affairs Division staff, regular working contact on that matter between an assistant attorney general and a campus administrator will be established, but University Counsel will remain informed of work in progress. This permits University Counsel to monitor the total workload of the Educational Affairs Division staff on behalf of UMB and to ensure that repetitious requests for advice of the Educational Affairs Division do not unduly burden its staff.
Assistants attorney general who represent other State agencies should not be relied upon to give advice on UMB or University System matters.
Officials of UMB who are interested in obtaining official opinions from the Attorney General of the State of Maryland should contact University Counsel in the Office of the President to initiate a request. University Counsel, after consultation with the President, will determine what official opinion requests will be forwarded to System Administration for referral to the Office of the Attorney General. Only the Chancellor of the System can request a formal opinion from the Attorney General.