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Legal & Compliance

Legal & Compliance Menu


300 Jay Street
Namm Hall, Room N-325
Brooklyn, NY 11201

Phone: 718-260-4983

Fax: 718-260-4931


What is electronic discovery?
Once a lawsuit is filed, the parties engage in a process called "discovery" wherein they exchange information. Though a Complaint initiates the lawsuit, there is a period of time prior to the filing of a Complaint in which the parties anticipate litigation. Once litigation is anticipated, each party is responsible for preserving all potentially relevant evidence within its custody or control. The College is prohibited from altering, deleting or otherwise modifying any such information or data. This requirement necessarily includes both paper documents and information created and preserved electronically. In order to comply with the court imposed rules, a "litigation hold" is sent by the Office of General Counsel to all persons who might have relevant paper and electronic data.

What information does the litigation hold give me?
Upon receipt of a litigation hold notice from the Office of General Counsel, you will be advised as to who is making a claim against the College, the nature of the claim and what information may be relevant that you will need to preserve. You will be asked to preserve any hard copies of documents under your control and to identify all relevant paper files.

Where will I need to look for electronic information?
The College's computer systems include all workstations, laptops, network servers, removable media (memory stick, CD Rom, floppy disks, and other similar devices), handheld devices (Smartphones & other similar devices), voicemail and back up tapes. If you use your home computer or any of these devices in any way for work purposes, such as checking e-mail or keeping back up information on that computer, the "litigation hold" will apply to that computer as well. Therefore, in order to make certain that the College has preserved ALL relevant data, you will be provided questionnaire asking you to list information such as where you store information, what backup procedures you take and whether your assistants or aides might also have information relevant to the litigation.

What will I have to do with my electronic information?
To comply with the electronic discovery rules, you will be asked to retain all relevant files stored on the computer systems described above and all relevant e-mail (contained in your Groupwise mailbox and Folders or any other e-mail format). The information must be preserved in its original electronic form, so that all information contained within it, whether visible or not, is also available for inspection - i.e., it is not sufficient to make a hard copy of electronic communications. To ensure that no electronic information is inadvertently deleted, you will be asked to suspend deletion, overwriting, or any other destruction of electronic information that is under your control. Any e-mail "housekeeping" functions, such as automatic deletion of email after a certain number of days, must be disabled. With every litigation hold, OCIS representatives and your local system administrators will be given notice and will be available to assist with the suspension of deletion of electronic information. Additionally, OCIS will gather electronically held information and assist in making regular backups of data.

What happens next?
After all information is gathered, the College attorneys will then make a determination, based upon the information requested by opposing counsel, as to what is relevant and non-privileged and what will be produced to the court and opposing counsel.

Whenever official legal documents are mailed to the College they should be forwarded immediately to the Special Counsel. Examples include subpoenas requiring City Tech to produce copies of records in court proceedings, summonses notifying the College that a lawsuit has been commenced against it, notices of bankruptcy, and notices informing the College of its right to participate in consumer class action suits.

Whenever a "process server" attempts to hand-deliver an official legal document to a College employee, you should inform the process server that you do not have authority to accept service of the document on behalf of the College, and that the document should be taken instead to the Legal & Compliance, Namm Hall 325 (N-325), which will determine whether it can be accepted by City Tech.

All dealings with outside attorneys should be conducted through Legal & Compliance. If you are contacted by an attorney other than from CUNY's Office of the General Counsel, please refer the attorney to the City Tech Special Counsel.

Federal law requires that special procedures be followed when the College receives a subpoena or other request for educational records concerning individual students. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA") provides that, with certain exceptions, educational records may not be disclosed to persons outside the College other than the student. Likewise, there are state and federal laws limiting when an individual's health records can be disclosed.

Whenever a subpoena or request for educational or health records is received, the subpoena or request should be immediately forwarded to Legal & Compliance, Namm Hall 325 (N-325). No records should be produced until approval is given by Legal & Compliance.

The President, Provost, Vice Presidents and certain other senior officers are authorized to sign contracts on behalf of the College. Generally, this authority is limited to a specific area of responsibility. Note that even if the contract does not have a financial component, you still may not have the authority to bind City Tech to obligations. If you have not specifically been delegated authority to sign contracts for the College, please check with the Special Counsel.

For more information, see memo here: Contract Signing Authority

The College may need to discuss your concern and/or the issue with certain individuals on a need-to-know basis and therefore is unable to guarantee confidentiality. We will make every effort to respect information you share with us and use it in a thoughtful process.

Generally, yes as long as you are acting in good faith and in the scope of your job.

A Notice of Garnishment is a notice that a New York court has required City Tech to withhold certain sums from an employee's wages, to be paid toward a debt owed by the employee. Any employee in receipt of such a notice should direct it to the Business Office and an attorney will work with HR and Payroll to ensure that City Tech complies with the order and that the employee is notified.

City Tech faculty and staff should feel free to call on the Special Counsel for help with a question. The Special Counsel may assist you and/or reach out to an OGC attorney knowledgeable about the appropriate area of the law.

The Attorney/Client Privilege is a legal doctrine that protects confidential communications between the attorney and the client (City Tech) that are for the purpose of obtaining legal advice. All such communications between the attorney and the client must be kept confidential. This privilege facilitates candid communication between the attorney and the client in order to facilitate legal advice and representation. Since the College is the client, the privilege applies only to communications between attorneys for City Tech and individuals on City Tech-related matters, not personal matters. If you have a question about whether the privilege may apply in a given situation, please contact the Special Counsel.

If you have been asked to sign a nondisclosure or confidentiality agreement, you should contact the Office of Legal & Compliance. However, you should contact the Office of Sponsored Projects and Research Compliance if the nondisclosure agreement is in connection with CUNY research. For nondisclosure agreements relating to a City Tech invention, you should contact the Office of Technology Transfer. For nondisclosure agreements for personal matters unrelated to your College work, you should contact your personal attorney. One should be sure, however, that any such confidentiality agreements do not conflict with one's College's responsibilities.

Politely ask to examine the agent's credentials. Satisfy yourself that they are genuine. (You may wish to have the assistance of a co-worker or call the Special Counsel.) Write down the agent's name and phone number, or copy his or her badge or card.

Examine and copy the forms the agent should present, in which the prospective government employee has consented to City Tech's production of documents to the agent or to an interview. Make sure the consent form clearly identifies the individual, has been recently signed, and otherwise appears to be genuine.

With the exception of health-related information, if all seems to be in order you may answer the agent's questions and provide the agent copies of the requested documents. Make a note of the documents that you have provided the agent.

If the agent does not have a signed consent form, has requested health-related information, or is seeking information for any purpose other than a background check, please direct the agent to Legal & Compliance and call 718-260-4983 to alert us.

No. The Special Counsel provides legal services related to College business only.

Do not accept the subpoena, unless it is for you as an individual. If the subpoena is for records of City Tech, please direct the server to the Legal & Compliance.

A subpoena is a document directing an individual or an entity to provide testimony or documents in a pending lawsuit. The recipient of a subpoena is legally required to comply with the subpoena, unless a court orders otherwise.

City Tech staff are New York State employees and thus subject to New York Public Officers Law.
For more information, see:

Sexual Misconduct, Violence or Discrimination
Chief Diversity Officer, Title IX Coordinator
Patricia Cody
Office: Namm Hall 325 (N-325)
Phone: 718-260-4983

Emergency Issues
Department of Public Safety
Lionel Presume
Office: Namm Hall 109 (N-109)
Phone: 718-260-5550

Environmental Health and Safety
EHS Manager
Luis Venegas
Office: Namm Hall 308A (N-308A)
Phone: 718.260.5858

Loss or Theft of Confidential Information
Executive Director, Office of Computing Information Science
Rita Uddin
Phone: 718-260-5610
Special Counsel, Legal & Compliance
Gilen Chan
Office: Namm Hall 325 (N-325)
Phone: 718-260-4983

Research Misconduct by Faculty
Chair, Physics Department
Roman Kezerashvili
Office: Namm Hall 811 (N-811)
Phone: 718-260-5277

Academic Integrity
Associate Professor, Social Science
Peter Parides
Office: Namm Hall (N-626)
Phone: 718-260-5816

Workplace Violence
Workplace Violence Committee at City Tech

Department of Public Safety
Lieutenant Efren Maldonado
Lieutenant Genevieve Clark
Lieutenant Jairaj Ramrag

Office of Faculty and Staff Relations
Executive Director and Labor Designee
Sandra Gordon
Office: Namm Hall 305 (N-305)
Phone: 718-260-5353
Executive Director, Human Resources
Vera Amaral
Office: Howard Bld 1102 (HB-1102)
Phone: 718-473-8701

Theft, Fraud or Misuse of College Resources
Special Counsel, Legal & Compliance
Gilen Chan
Office: Namm Hall 325 (N-325)
Phone: 718-260-4983
Vice President, Finance & Administration
Miguel Cairol
Office: Namm Hall 310 (N-310)
Phone: 718-260-5600

Computer Use
Executive Director, Office of Computing Information Science
Rita Uddin
Phone: 718-260-5610

Any other violation of or noncompliance with a law or College Policy
Special Counsel, Legal & Compliance

If you prefer to speak to someone outside of City Tech:
CUNY Chief Compliance Officer
Rachel Nash
Phone: 646-664-9205