- What is the role of the Office of Laboratory Counsel?
- Who does the OLC represent?
- Can I hire an outside attorney for a Laboratory matter?
- What happens if I am sued in connection with Laboratory business?
- What are punitive damages and what happens if they are sought against me?
- Will I be defended after I have terminated my Laboratory employment?
- What should I do if I am a supervisor and have a legal question relating to my supervisory role at the Lab?
- What should I do if I feel I am not being treated fairly in my job?
- What is a “certificate of insurance?”
What is the role of the Office of Laboratory Counsel?
The Office of Laboratory Counsel supports the operational and scientific mission needs of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory by providing proactive, timely, thoughtful and practical advice and counsel.
Who does the OLC represent?
Attorneys in the OLC represent The Regents of the University of California, as the manager and operator of the Lab. Members of the OLC advise and represent Lab management and employees acting within the course and scope of their employment in matters concerning Laboratory business.
OLC attorneys do not advise or represent employees in their individual capacities.
Employees eligible for Full, Mid-Level or Core Benefits packages are eligible to enroll in UC’s legal insurance plan to assist employees with their personal consultation, domestic, consumer and defensive legal services.
Can I hire an outside attorney for a Laboratory matter?
Not directly. Retentions of outside counsel related to Laboratory affairs are managed exclusively by the Office of the Laboratory Counsel.
What happens if I am sued in connection with Laboratory business?
Consistent with California law, the Laboratory will provide you with a defense in the event you are sued personally for acts and omissions arising out of, or performed during the course and scope of your employment with the Lab, and there was no actual fraud, actual malice or corruption. However, the Laboratory’s policy on punitive damages (described below) precludes the Laboratory’s responsibility for an award of punitive damages against an individual employee.
What are punitive damages and what happens if they are sought against me?
Punitive damages are designed to punish and serve as a warning to others, not to compensate an injured party. They are awarded only on a showing by “clear and convincing evidence” that the individual acted with oppression, fraud or malice. As a matter of law, The Regents of the University of California, managers and operators of the Laboratory, cannot be liable for an award of punitive damages, but there is no similar prohibition disallowing such awards against public employees. However, The Regents has adopted a policy that allows for the payment or reimbursement to individuals of punitive damages in certain circumstances. Laboratory-appointed attorneys will defend all aspects of a case, including any allegations against you relating to punitive damage exposure. If you have specific questions about punitive damages, please contact Alleen Zulkowski (510-701-9297; email@example.com).
Will I be defended after I have terminated my Laboratory employment?
Yes. The Lab’s defense and indemnification obligations turn on the time of the conduct giving rise to a claim, not on whether you are employed by the Lab at the time the claim is made.
What should I do if I am a supervisor and have a legal question relating to my supervisory role at the Lab?
In most instances, you should first discuss your questions with your HR Center Staff. If you decide to contact the OLC, you may do so via Deb Troxell (510-486-7026; firstname.lastname@example.org).
What should I do if I feel I am not being treated fairly in my job?
In most instances, you should first discuss your questions with your HR Center Staff, or the head of your unit or your supervisor. Together, you can determine whether the matter would benefit from legal input. If you decide to contact the OLC, you may do so via Deb Troxell (510-486-7026; email@example.com).
What is a “certificate of insurance?”
A certificate of insurance is a document demonstrating that the Laboratory has self-insurance coverage for specific Lab-related activities and events that might occur off of Lab premises. The OLC is also the Lab’s Office of Risk Management and is responsible for issuing all certificates of insurance. Requests for a certificate of insurance from the Lab should be made to Deb Troxell (510-486-7026; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Please also see our Terms & Conditions.
The Office of Laboratory Counsel provides legal guidance to Laboratory leadership, department heads, and employees in their official University of California capacity only. The information found on this website is for general informational purposes only and does not represent legal advice or legal opinion on specific facts or circumstances. Transmission and receipt of information contained on this website does not establish an attorney-client relationship. The portions of this website that are LDAP protected are for the exclusive use of Lab employees and guests.