General Counsel – Legal Opinions and Advice Records

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

An Inventory of Governor Rick Perry General Counsel Legal Opinions and Advice Records at the Texas State Archives, 2000-2014, bulk 2001-2003

Note that these records are restricted. See the restrictions statement below for information on accessing the records.

Arrangement History Scope and Contents Restrictions Related Materials Inventory

Overview

govPerrylogoCreator: Texas. Governor (2000-2015 : Perry)
Title: Governor Rick Perry General Counsel legal opinion and advice records
Dates: 2000-2014
Dates: bulk 2001-2003
Abstract: The Office of the General Counsel in the Texas Office of the Governor was responsible for providing legal advice to Governor Rick Perry. These records of legal opinions and advice consist of correspondence and memoranda maintained by the Office of the General Counsel during Governor Rick Perry’s tenure, dating 2000-2014, bulk 2001-2003. The memos contain analysis, opinions, or advice on a variety of issues handled by the governor’s office, including contracts, deeds, patents, warranties, easements, litigation, settlements, bond issuance, resignations and appointments, legislative matters, extradition, and policy matters.
Quantity: 2.5 cubic ft. and 34.42 MB (42 files)
Language: These materials are written predominately in English with scattered Spanish throughout.
Repository: Texas State Archives


Other Finding Aids

A description of non-electronic records referenced in this finding aid is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/50123/tsl-50123.html.


Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged as received from the Governor’s Office.

  • Legal opinions and advice records, 1985-1989, 2000-2014, bulk 2001-2003, 2.5 cubic ft. and 34.42 MB (42 files) (RESTRICTED)

Click here to see a full inventory of the General Counsel Legal opinions and advice records.


Agency History

The General Counsel position within the Texas Office of the Governor was created in October 1973 when the Executive Director of the Governor’s Criminal Justice Division appointed an individual as General Counsel, to assist him in providing statute interpretations and in other matters relating to policies and procedures. Today the Office of the General Counsel is a separate division in the Governor’s Office.

Duties of the General Counsel include providing statute interpretations; tracking inmates on death row as their cases move through the judicial process including all appeals to the governor for commutations or stays of execution; handling pardon requests sent to the governor; reviewing proposed settlements, land patents, grant requests, contracts, easements, and deeds for the governor; analyzing proposed legislation and regulations for validity and legal effect; assisting appointments staff in determining eligibility and other legal issues related to proposed appointments; handling extradition and requisition matters; coordinating ethics guidelines and training for the governor’s office; advising the governor on federal programs administered by the state; coordinating the governor’s criminal justice policy with the governor’s Policy Director; and providing legal advice and handling litigation filed against the governor or the Governor’s Office, in conjunction with actions of the Attorney General on the governor’s behalf.

(Sources include: Guide to Texas State Agencies, 11th edition (2001); Office of the Governor, accessed on February 26, 2016; the contents of the records; and the Texas Governor’s Office website during Governor Perry’s term, accessed via the Internet Archive Wayback Machine on February 29, 2016.)


Scope and Content of the Records

The Office of the General Counsel in the Texas Office of the Governor was responsible for providing legal advice to Governor Rick Perry. These records of legal opinions and advice consist of correspondence and memoranda maintained by the Office of the General Counsel during Governor Rick Perry’s tenure, dating 1985-1989, 2000-2014, bulk 2001-2003. The memos contain analysis, opinions, or advice on a variety of issues handled by the governor’s office, including contracts, deeds, patents, warranties, easements, litigation, settlements, bond issuance, resignations and appointments, legislative matters, extradition, and policy matters. The majority of the records are from the General Counsel or Deputy General Counsel to the governor and his executive assistants; staff in other divisions of the office, such as Economic Development and Tourism and Office of the First Lady; other agencies, such as Comptroller of Public Accounts, Attorney General’s Office, and Secretary of State; and private legal firms. Staff names appearing frequently are Bill Jones, David M. Medina and Brian Newby, who each served as Governor Perry’s General Counsel during Perry’s term as governor.

Some memos have attachments, including correspondence (usually with state or other governmental bodies), copies of laws and statutes, printouts of the results of online legal research, legal documents (largely deeds, easements, land patents, and some contracts), bonds, certifications, and resolutions.

Some memos to the governor require his approval or denial and his signature, such as settlements, bonds, and deeds. Memos with more detail on settlement offers as well as supporting documentation can be found in the series General Counsel Litigation files. Contract information includes outside counsel, book royalties, and an internal contract log for general counsel staff.

Formats of the original electronic files include word processing or plain text files (.doc, .txt, .pdf), spreadsheets (.xls), and emails (.msg). Digital files presented for public use will generally be PDF for text documents or spreadsheets. Files in their original format are available on request; restrictions may apply.

To prepare this inventory, the described materials were cursorily reviewed to delineate series, to confirm the accuracy of contents lists, to provide an estimate of dates covered, and to determine record types.


Restrictions and Requirements

Restrictions on Access
Because of the possibility that portions of these records fall under Public Information Act exceptions including, but not limited to: common law privacy (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101), attorney-client privilege (Texas Government Code, Section 552.107), agency memoranda (Texas Government Code, Section 552.111), email addresses (Texas Government Code, Section 552.137), social security numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147), and information about inmates incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice received from the Board of Pardons and Paroles (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101 (information confidential by law, Texas Government Code, Section 508.313)) an archivist must review these records before they can be accessed for research. The records may be requested for research under the provisions of the Public Information Act (Texas Government Code, Chapter 552).

The researcher may request an interview with an archivist or submit a request by mail (Texas State Library and Archives Commission, P. O. Box 12927, Austin, TX 78711), fax (512-463-5436), email (director.librarian@tsl.texas.gov), or see our web page (https://www.tsl.texas.gov/agency/customer/pia.html). Include enough description and detail about the information requested to enable the archivist to accurately identify and locate the information. If our review reveals information that may be excepted by the Public Information Act, we are obligated to seek an open records decision from the Attorney General on whether the records can be released. The Public Information Act allows the Archives ten working days after receiving a request to make this determination. The Attorney General has 45 working days to render a decision. Alternately, the Archives can inform you of the nature of the potentially excepted information and if you agree, that information can be redacted or removed and you can access the remainder of the records.

Restrictions on Use
Most records created by Texas state agencies are not copyrighted. State records also include materials received by, not created by, state agencies. Copyright remains with the creator. The researcher is responsible for complying with U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17 U.S.C.).


The following materials are offered as possible sources of further information on the agencies and subjects covered by the records. The listing is not exhaustive.

Texas State Archives
Texas Governor George W. Bush General Counsel legal opinions and advice, 1892, 1918, 1921, 1925, 1932, 1942-1944, 1948, 1954, 1956, 1963, 1965, 1968-1969, 1972-2000, 14 cubic ft.
Texas Governor George W. Bush General Counsel litigation files, 1859, 1880s, 1896, 1905, 1924, 1940s, 1955, 1968-2000, bulk 1995-2000, 20.7 cubic ft., 2 videotapes, 6 audiocassette tapes, 153 maps
Texas Governor Mark White records, 1947, 1962-1987, undated, bulk 1983-1986, 424.75 cubic ft. (see the series General Counsel files, 1947, 1962-1986, 4.3 cubic ft.)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Texas Governor Rick Perry General Counsel legal opinions and advice records. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession numbers: 2015/067, 2015/117

Paper records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Governor on December 19, 2014 through March 2015. Electronic records were transferred to the Archives and Information Services Division of the Texas State Library and Archives Commission by the Office of the Governor on January 29, 2015.

Processing Information
Processed by Halley Grogan, December 2015.


Inventory

Inventory of the Legal opinions and advice records

2015/067-2926
2015/067-3008
2015/067-2925
Texas Digital Archive

Box Return to Inventory
2015/067-2926 Attorney General, opinion request, 2003 [3 folders]
Adjutant General’s Department, 2001
AG (Attorney General)’s opinion on civil forfeiture, correspondence, 2002
Attorney General’s opinion request, 2004
Bonds, Water Development Board bonds, 2001
Financial disclosure statement, 2001
Jurisdiction of Governor in International Water, 2002
Legal research:
[Official memos stating positions and collected research.]
Acceptance of gifts, 2001
Governor powers, emergency matters, 2001
Injunctions, 2001-2002
Registration, 2001
Robin Hood, 2003
Texas grant, 2001
TxDOT (Texas Department of Transportation) authority to accept and place paid advertising, 2004
SB (Senate Bill) 536, wrongful incarceration statute, 2001
Box Return to Inventory
2015/067-3008 Memberships of Rick Perry, 2000-2001
Pease Mansion, 2001-2002
Secretary of State, 2001-2002
Texas Commission on Private Security, 2000-2001
Texas Council on Workforce & Economic Competitiveness (TCWEC), 2001
Public Information Act (PIA), 2001
Texas Department of Criminal Justice, 2001
Texas Department of Transportation, SB (Senate Bill) 725 claims, 2004
Texas Government Code, 2001
Texas Mutual Insurance Board, 2001
TRANs (Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes), 2001
Lucas, Henry Lee, 1985-1989 [2 folders]
[Regarding extradition to Florida.]
Red River Depot, 2003, 2009, 2012-2013
Department of Information (DIR), 2002, 2006-2007
Allen, Ray, resignation, 2006
Baxter, Todd, resignation, 2005-2006
DeLay, Tom, resignation, 2006
Juneteenth Commission, 2004-2005
(University of) Malta (delegation), 2007
Tax and Revenue Anticipation Notes (TRANs), series 2005 signature package, 2005, 2009
Texas Tech Board of Regents, Gary Paterson, 2004-2005
Settlements, 2015 [wallet]
National Parks, 2006-2007, 2010, 2013 [wallet]
Deeds, patents, warranties and easements, 2014 [wallet]
Deeds, 2011-2013 [wallet]
Box Return to Inventory
2015/067-2925 Texas Medical Board, informal AG opinion request, 2007 [wallet]
Governor’s Authority and the State Lottery, 2007
HB (House Bill) 3540 Floor Amendment, 2005
Bonds, 2001 [wallet]
Bonds, 2002 [wallet]
Bonds, 2003 [wallet]
Texas-Digital-Archive Return to Inventory
E2015/117 Contracts and MOUs (Memorandum of understanding), 2005-2009, 2014 [2.11 MB (34 files)]
Ike Bonds, 2008-2009 [421 KB (8 files)]