3.6 Board / General Counsel Relationship

The General Counsel is employed by the Maricopa County Community College District in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes §15-1448. As such, he or she is vested by law with the powers of and the duties otherwise performed by the Maricopa County Attorney pursuant to Arizona Revised Statutes §11-532 (A) (11), as amended. In exercising these powers and providing legal services, the General Counsel is expected by the District to conform to the generally accepted standards of the legal profession, including the Rules of Professional Conduct (ARPC) promulgated by the Arizona Supreme Court. These professional standards include, without limitation, standards of integrity, competence, diligence, and communication.

  1. The General Counsel reports to and is supervised by the Chancellor, and is primarily responsible for providing professional legal services to the district’s officers and employees who are acting in his/her official capacity in performance of his/her duties. Whenever the General Counsel is providing legal services to the district including the Chancellor and the Board, professional standards require that his or her legal advice and services be based upon independent professional judgment that is not subject to the client’s direction and control.
  2. Regardless which individual or group represents the district as the General Counsel’s client for purposes of any particular communication or representation, the district as a whole entity remains the General Counsel’s sole client. He or she owes professional responsibilities to the organization as a whole, including the Governing Board as an entity.
  3. To meet the expectations stated above, the General Counsel must have direct and independent access to the Governing Board when necessary in his or her professional judgment (e.g,. when obliged by the above professional standards to disclose information received from constituent members of the organization to the highest authority within the organization, and to provide advice to the highest authority.)
  4. Accordingly, the General Counsel shall have direct access to the Board and the authority to use independent professional judgment in providing professional services as an attorney, notwithstanding the Chancellor’s otherwise exclusive role in connecting governance and management.
  5. The General Counsel will provide timely legal opinions on proposed regulations, contracts, and documents and also contemplated actions when requested by the Chancellor and other district executives, as well as upon a request of the Board, by motion duly made, seconded, and approved.
  6. In addition to the foregoing, the Chancellor may in his or her sole discretion assign the General Counsel supervision of district risk management, insurance, training, and compliance programs. If so, the General Counsel will take reasonable care to clarify when he or she is exercising such administrative responsibility. When the General Counsel is performing such administrative duties, he or she will be subject to the direct and exclusive supervision of the Chancellor.

TECHNICAL CHANGES APPROVED June 27, 2023 Governing Board Meeting
AMENDED February 22, 2011, Motion No. 9781, 9782