Washington State University
BUSINESS POLICIES AND PROCEDURES MANUAL
Lawsuits Against WSU Personnel
As a consequence of performing official WSU duties, an individual
WSU officer or employee may be named as a defendant in a lawsuit. If that
occurs, the officer or employee may request legal defense by the Attorney
General's Office (AGO).
Summons and Complaint
Upon receipt of a lawsuit Summons and Complaint, the individual
records the date, time, and method of service of the lawsuit document.
Request for Defense by AGO
To request legal defense by the AGO, the individual contacts
the WSU Division of the State Attorney General's Office (WSU AGO); telephone
335-2636. The office is located in the French Administration Building, Room
332, Pullman, Washington.
INITIATING A REQUEST FOR LEGAL DEFENSE
An officer or employee requesting assistance is to cooperate fully with
the Attorney General's Office at all times.
To initiate a request for legal defense by the AGO, the individual
obtains and completes a Request for Individual Defense by the Attorney General
Contact the WSU AGO to obtain a copy of the form.
To complete the Request for Individual Defense by the Attorney
- Read the Information Sheet Regarding Defense of Tort Lawsuits Against
State Employees attached to the Request for Individual Defense by the Attorney
Remove the information sheet before submitting the completed
form to the WSU AGO.
- Complete the top portion of the form. See the PDF version of page
10.15.3 for example.
Fill in all requested information.
- Refer to the Summons and Complaint to obtain the case name, court
name, and case number.
- Place a check mark next to either "I Do..." or "Do
Not want to have the Attorney General defend me in this action."
- Sign and date the form.
Retain a copy of the form and the information sheet.
Return the original form and a copy of the Summons and Complaint to the
The WSU AGO routes the Request for Individual Defense to the
Board of Regents
The President approves the request if she or he determines that the officer
or employee was acting within the scope of his/her official WSU duties in
the situation that created the lawsuit.
If the President approves the Request for Individual Defense,
the WSU AGO asks the University to place the request on the agenda for the
next Board of Regents meeting.
Attorney General's Office
If the Board finds that the individual was acting within the scope of his
or her official WSU duties in the situation that created the lawsuit, the
Board approves the request by adopting and signing a resolution. The Board
sends a copy of the resolution to the WSU AGO.
Assistant Attorney General Representing WSU
The WSU AGO Division Chief endorses the Request for Individual
Defense if he or she finds that the individual was acting within the scope
of his or her official WSU duties in the situation that created the lawsuit.
Attorney General in Olympia
If the WSU AGO receives all of the above approvals, the WSU
AGO forwards the request to the Attorney General in Olympia for review.
If the Attorney General approves the Request for Individual Defense, the
AGO defends the individual at no cost to the defendant and pays for any
costs of verdicts entered against him or her.
Individuals may select and hire their own attorneys to represent
them. If individuals select their own attorneys, such individuals are personally
responsible for any and all resulting costs and fees, including all costs
of verdicts entered against them.
PAYMENT OF CLAIMS
See Executive Policy EP6.