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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Who does Legal Services represent?

    Legal Services represents and serves the interests of one client: the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT).

  • Can the Legal Services team represent or provide legal advice to individual faculty members, staff or students?

    No. Legal Services is only authorized to provide legal advice and representation to the University.  Faculty and staff employed by UOIT and acting in the scope of their employment may seek legal advice to the extent that it relates directly to the business, activities and obligations of the University. 

    To learn more about retaining a legal professional for your personal legal matters, please visit the Law Society of Upper Canada webpage.

    Students are invited to contact the Student Association at Durham College & UOIT to understand more about their rights and advocacy.

  • When should Legal Services be consulted?

    Legal Services is required to conduct a mandatory or discretionary legal review of university contracts, as the case may be, pursuant to the Legal Review of Contracts Procedures.  Legal Services may also be consulted for advice and support relating to any other legal matter concerning the business, activities and obligations of the University. 

    Legal Services routinely advises on appeals, disputes, litigation, compliance, procurement, real property, intellectual property, legal risks/liabilities, risk mitigation strategies, and labour and employment matters and provide other services as required by the University community.


  • Can I retain external legal counsel for a University matter?

    No. With limited exceptions, only Legal Services can retain external counsel on behalf of the University.  Please contact Legal Services if you have questions regarding external counsel.

  • Who can sign contracts or other agreements relating to the business of the University?

    Signing authority has been delegated to various University administrators depending on the type and/or value of the contract.  Please refer to the Signing Authority Registry and Approval Procedures to determine the appropriate signatory.

  • Where can I find current contract templates and/or forms?

    Please contact legal@uoit.ca to request contract templates or forms and/or to confirm that you are using the most current version.

  • Can Legal Services assist with the commissioning of an affidavit or notarizing documents?

    Legal Services will commission and notarize documents for University faculty, staff and students at no cost, if it relates to University business.  Some examples include:

    • Taking declarations to support immigration/visa or passport applications to enable faculty, staff and students to travel abroad in connection with their employment, studies or research at the University;
    • Witnessing signatures on agreements related to University business;
    • Certifying or verifying copies of documents related to University business;
    • Affixing the University seal on documents related to University business
  • What should I do if notified of a legal demand or claim against the University?

    Legal documents often have important timelines.  If you receive correspondence or a legal document indicating a claim against you for matters relating to your employment and/or employment activities, take the following approach:

    • Stop – all communications with the third party;
    • Drop – Legal Services a line at your earliest opportunity; and
    • Send – all documentation and correspondence to the Office of the University Secretary and General Counsel related to the matter.

    Failure to take action and follow the above advice may result in serious consequences for the University. 

  • What happens if I am named in a lawsuit arising from my work at the University?
    If you have been named as a defendant or a respondent in a lawsuit, Human Rights complaint, or other legal proceeding, UOIT will likely manage your defence (and pay for your legal costs) provided that you: (1) you acted reasonably, responsibly, and in good faith; and (2) you acted within the course and scope of your employment with the University.
  • What steps should be taken if a third party has breached a contract with the University or has indicated a lawsuit may be pending?

    Legal Services should be engaged at the earliest opportunity.  Legal Services will actively support all contract disputes, suits, claims and other anticipated proceedings.  Legal Services will:

    • Evaluate the merit of the case and offer litigation strategies;
    • Facilitate the collection and preservation of evidence;
    • Issue and/or defend claims and file all related legal documents within the statute of limitations;
    • Communicate with counsel representing the adverse party to prevent inculpatory statements or admissions of liability;
    • Ensure the University mitigates its damages to the fullest extent under the law;
    • Negotiate settlements and resolutions that are in the best interests of the University;
    • Prepare for hearings and court proceedings; and
    • Determine when it is appropriate to retain external counsel for any of the foregoing purposes. 
  • What is a “Litigation Hold”?

    A litigation hold is a notice, oral or written, from an authorized department (typically the Office of the University Secretary and General Counsel) that a lawsuit has been filed or is reasonably anticipated in the future, that directs departments and/or employees to identify and locate records pertaining to the matter described, and to suspend the routine destruction of such records.  The purpose of a litigation hold is to systematically preserve records that may be relevant to the pending or anticipated legal proceedings.  A litigation hold shall remain in place until such time as it is formally lifted by the issuing department.  The University may face legal consequences as a result of failing to preserve records relating to a legal matter.

  • What is “Solicitor-Client Privilege" and when does it apply?

    Solicitor-Client is communications, oral and written, which are privileged (protected) when:

    1. made in confidence to a lawyer; and
    2. for the purpose of seeking legal advice.

    Please note Solicitor-Client privilege may be lost if the communication is disclosed to or shared with a third party for whom the advice was not intended.  Ask Legal Services before sharing any such advice to ensure that privilege is not lost.

  • Where should individuals be directed when serving the University with legal process documents, such as claims against the University?

    All claims served on the University should be directed to the Office of the University Secretary and General Counsel, 3rd Floor, 61 Charles Street, Oshawa, ON.