Frequently Asked Questions

1. I have received a subpoena for my work as a university employee. What should I do now?

All subpoenas for records of the Johns Hopkins University should be directed to the Office of General Counsel (OGC). Please scan and email the subpoena you received to, and our office will reach out to the sender.

2. How can I serve a subpoena on Johns Hopkins University?

All subpoenas for records of the Johns Hopkins University should be directed to its Resident Agent, Paul Pineau, at 3400 N. Charles St, Garland Hall 113, Baltimore, MD 21218.

3. I received a communication from your office directing me to hold all records related to a matter. What is a litigation hold?

Often, the Johns Hopkins University is required to provide documents related to its operations, which may include the records of its employees. A litigation hold is what the university uses to comply with legal mandates for preserving and providing documents in certain matters. If you have received a litigation hold, there will be instructions on what to do and whom to contact with further questions.

4. I have a patient complaint or a question related to Johns Hopkins Hospital. Can you help me?

Issues related to the Johns Hopkins Health System or a Johns Hopkins hospital should be directed to the Johns Hopkins Health System legal department at 410-955-2273. Patient complaints can be registered through this site: Patient Complaints Website.

5. Do you provide notary services for JHU or personal needs?

Our office provides in-person notary services for official JHU needs, and to members of the JHU community as a helpful resource.

6. My department needs legal advice on a matter. What should I do?

Please contact the Office of General Counsel to discuss the matter. If the matter involves university business, we will you assist you and your department in meeting your needs. Please note that outside lawyers or law firms, including all foreign counsel hired to support sponsored research and other projects abroad, can be hired only through the Office of General Counsel.

7. Are my communications with attorneys in the OGC confidential?

It depends. OGC is legal counsel to the university. Attorneys in OGC may have an obligation to share information with other offices within the university (e.g., OIE, Internal Audit, etc.). When you contact OGC to seek legal advice in connection with your official capacity and duties, your communications with OGC may be protected by the attorney-client privilege, and the university may keep those communications confidential. The attorney-client privilege may apply to all forms of communication between an attorney and the client (e.g., email, verbal, text message, etc.). The attorney-client privilege does not apply to all communications with OGC attorneys but only in those cases where legal advice is sought or provided directly by or to the client. If you are seeking personal legal advice, please note that the OGC cannot advise you; see Question 15.

8. How can I report unethical or illegal behavior?

You may report any unethical, illegal, or other concerning behavior to your supervisor, Human Resources, your Dean’s Office, or to the university’s compliance hotline. The compliance hotline, which is called Speak2Us, allows for the option of anonymous reporting, and reports can be made by telephone at 1-844-SPEAK2US (844-773-2528) or through the online reporting form.

The university prohibits retaliation against individuals who report compliance or ethical concerns in good faith.

9. What should I do if I am contacted by law enforcement?

Immediately contact the Office of General Counsel if you are contacted by law enforcement representatives about a Johns Hopkins University matter or if they are seeking information or documents belonging or related to Johns Hopkins University.

10. What happens if I am named in a lawsuit related to my work at Johns Hopkins? Will the Office of General Counsel represent me?

Johns Hopkins University has a policy on Employee Indemnification and Defense (Policy GOV015) that outlines the process to request indemnification and defense if you are named personally in a legal matter for actions taken in your Johns Hopkins University role.

11. If I am a victim of, or become aware of, potential discrimination, harassment, or sexual misconduct, whom should I contact?

Contact the Office of Institutional Equity via telephone (410-516-8075) or email ( You may also submit a complaint form online, or via fax (410-367-2665) or U.S. mail (Wyman Park Building, Suite 515, 3400 North Charles Street, Baltimore, MD 21218). Please also note that “responsible employees” have an obligation to report discrimination, harassment, and sexual misconduct to OIE; for more information, visit the OIE Policies and Laws webpage.

12. I am seeking to obtain student records. Whom do I contact?

If you are a student and wish to access your own educational records, you may have a right to do so under the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). In order to review your student record, you may contact the Registrar’s Office in your school or complete a Request to Inspect and Review Education Records form online. You must sign, date, and specify the information that you desire to obtain in the completed form, as well as the department from which you are seeking to obtain a record.

13. I have been given a contract that needs to be signed by the university. Who can sign it?

Any agreement signed on behalf of the university, or on behalf of a school within the university can only be signed by an authorized signatory. A list of university authorized signatories can may be found in the Signature Authority Policy.

14. Can I engage in political activities using JHU resources?

As a tax-exempt organization, the university cannot be involved in any political campaign activity on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. The university encourages members of the JHU community to be engaged civically and to participate in the electoral process; however, it is important for affiliates to keep such activities separate from their JHU work and status. The Office of Government and Community Affairs has guidelines here on campaign and lobbying activities.

15. I need an attorney for my personal matter. Can you help me?

The Johns Hopkins University Office of General Counsel provides legal services on behalf of the university. We are unable to assist in personal legal matters; however, you can contact the following resources for help:

Baltimore City Lawyer Referral – 410-539-1212
Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service (MVLS) – 410-547-6537
Maryland Legal Aid Bureau –- 410-951-7777
Baltimore Neighborhoods –- 410-243-6007 (housing questions)

** Our referral of these services is in no way an endorsement of any of these organizations.**

Please visit our Contact Us page for any questions not answered above.