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The Legal Department serves the legal needs of Pima Community College District. This is accomplished by:

Advising and educating the Governing Board and College employees about the legal implications of policy and other decisions; Supporting College functions through the delivery of legal services; Representing the interests of the College in any administrative or legal proceedings involving the College; Retaining and managing outside legal service providers.

This department provides for the legal needs of the institution. It cannot advise or represent individuals on personal matters, including issues that are adverse to the College or are unrelated to the College.

FAQs including political activities and others:

Who does the Legal Department represent?
The Legal Department provides legal advice and representation to Pima Community College. In that capacity, attorneys advise the Governing Board members, Chancellor, Administrators, and other staff all in their official capacities, on various legal issues impacting the College.

Can I obtain personal legal advice and services from this department?
No. This department provides legal services related to College business only. You can consult with an attorney regarding legal matters related to carrying out your official duties as an employee or representative of the College; however, you are responsible for hiring your own attorney to handle personal legal matters.

If you need legal advice or representation of a personal nature (divorce, child custody, wills, etc.), the following organizations may be able to help you:

Are there College policies regarding “conflicts of interest”?
College employees are subject to a number of policies relating to conflicts that can arise in the course of employment. These include conflicts between work duties and obligations for a non-work matter (outside employment or service to other organization) and financial or personal considerations that could influence a decision you are supposed to make for the College (relation to a vendor or co-worker). Generally, participating in a decision about a matter in which you have a conflict is either prohibited or subject to disclosure and/or approval.

Additional Information:

May I engage in political activity as an employee of Pima Community College?
Arizona law prohibits the use of College personnel (while on duty), equipment, materials, facilities, or other resources for the purpose of influencing the outcomes of elections. Political activities should be conducted on an employee’s own personal time, outside the classroom or other instructional setting, using the employee’s own or other private resources.

Additional Information:
Are there any restrictions on lobbying?
Yes. There are restrictions on certain lobbying methods. Lobbying is defined, in part, as any attempt to influence the passage or defeat of any local or state law, ordinance, resolution, or regulation. This includes, but not limited to, presentment of any gratuity, special discount, favor, service, economic opportunity, loan or other benefit not provided to members of the public.

Except in limited circumstances, elected and appointed officials are prohibited from receiving any such benefit in exchange for a favorable decision or other act done in an official capacity. Consequently, College employees should not engage in any activity that may give the appearance of prohibited lobbying methods.

Employees who have questions regarding the parameters of appropriate versus inappropriate interactions with elected or appointed state and local officials should contact the Legal Department.

Additional Information:
I am being asked to accept a subpoena – what do I do now?
Subpoena for records: If a process server or other person attempts to give you or a member of your staff a subpoena for records, do not accept the subpoena. Instruct the process server to take the subpoena directly to the Legal Department, District Office, Room C-232.

Subpoena for personal appearance: If the subpoena is for your personal appearance in a deposition or a trial in a matter related to College, you may accept the subpoena and should then immediately contact legal (520-206-4940). However, this office will not be able to assist you if the subpoena involves a personal matter unrelated to your College employment.

You should not accept a subpoena for personal appearance on behalf of anyone else.

I am being asked to accept service of a lawsuit (summons and complaint) against the College – what do I do now?
Do not accept service of the lawsuit. Refer the process server to the Legal Department, District Office, Room C-232.

I have been personally named as a defendant in a lawsuit but in my capacity as a College employee. Will the Legal Department defend me? If I lose, will I have to pay damages?
The College will provide legal defense to the College employees sued in their official capacity. In most cases, the College’s liability insurance provider will defend claims and will pay any judgments for claims arising out of the employee’s negligence and omissions while acting in an authorized capacity in the scope of employment. If you are personally named as a defendant, you should contact legal (520-206-4940) immediately in order to review the facts and circumstances to determine if representation is appropriate.

My department has received a bankruptcy notice from a vendor or individual we do business with. What should I do?
Contact the Legal Department (520-206-4940) immediately. By law, the College and other creditors are restricted in the actions they may take after being notified of a bankruptcy. Therefore, it is imperative that you notify Legal as soon as you receive the notice so we can review the matter with you and respond in an appropriate manner.
Can I make a tax-deductible gift for the College’s benefit?
Yes. Gifts to the College are generally deductible for federal tax purposes under Section 170 of the Internal Revenue Code. All gifts must be processed through the Pima Community College Foundation.

Additional Information:
Can I, as an employee of the College, receive a gift from a student or an outside vendor?
Arizona law and College policies prohibit College employees from receiving gifts, including things and benefits of value, from any person who is or seeks to be a party to any contract with the College.

Additionally, it is unethical for a member of the College Faculty to accept gratuity, gift, or favor that might impair or influence the Faculty member’s professional decision or action.

Additional Information:

Contact Us

Pima Community College
Office of the College General Counsel
4905 E Broadway Blvd.
Tucson, AZ  85709-1005

Phone: (520) 206-4940
Email: [email protected]

Jeffrey Silvyn
General Counsel and Vice Chancellor for Legal Affairs
Phone: (520) 206-4678
Email: [email protected]

R. Seth Shippee
Deputy General Counsel
Phone: (520) 206-4650
Email: [email protected]

Angie Wesson
Coordinator for Legal Affairs
Phone: (520) 206-4794
Email: [email protected]

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