Frequently Asked Questions

How to Handle Service of Process

An OGC attorney may accept service, properly made on behalf of the University. If a process server asks you to accept any of these documents on behalf of the University, you should decline and direct the process server to the OGC's Office at 2400 Sixth Street N.W., Suite 321. Do not accept any document the process server tries to hand you. If the process server does not comply, call OGC immediately at (202) 806-2650 and ask for an attorney to speak the with process server. The OGC attorney will determine whether or not you may accept service.

In general, there are three types of documents that might be delivered by a process server:

  • Subpoena: A subpoena requires a person or institution to provide testimony and/or documents as part of a legal proceeding, such as a deposition, trial, or investigation.
  • Summons and Complaint: A summons and complaint serve as notice that a lawsuit has been filed against a person or institution.
  • Wage Garnishment or Attachment: A wage garnishment or attachment requires an employer to withhold some portion of an employee┬╣s wages so that the funds can be applied to a monetary obligation, such as child support.

If you mistakenly accept such documents from a process server, you should contact the OGC immediately (202-806-2650). If you receive any of these documents in the mail, note the date and time of receipt of the envelope, keep the envelope and certified mail receipt (if applicable), and contact OGC immediately at (202) 806-2650. Please bear in mind that a delay in responding to these documents can have serious legal consequences. On occasion, a process server may come to your workplace to deliver a legal document directly to a University employee involved in a personal legal matter. If this occurs, you should consult privately with the employee to determine if he or she wishes to accept delivery of the document while at work.  

How to handle requests for information from attorneys, government agents, or law enforcement officials

Politely refer the attorney, agent, or law enforcement official immediately to the OGC's office at 2400 Sixth Street N.W., Suite 321.

What to do if you have questions about the University's contracting process

Please visit for information on the University's contracting process.

What to do if you have an invention or copyrightable product

Please visit for information on the University's Intellectual Property Policy, patenting process, and technology commercialization program.

Additionally, the United States Copyright Office has a guide targeted to academia:

Copyright Circular #21: Reproduction of Copyrighted Works by Educators and Librarians



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