General Counsel – Litigation Files, 1973-2015

Texas Governor Rick Perry:

An Inventory of Governor Rick Perry General Counsel Litigation Files at the Texas State Archives, 1973, 1987, 1990-2015

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

Overview

govPerrylogoCreator: Texas. Governor (2000-2015 : Perry)
Title: Governor Rick Perry General Counsel litigation files
Dates: 1973, 1987, 1990-2015
Abstract: The Texas governor’s general counsel provides legal advice and handles litigation filed against the governor or the Governor’s Office, in conjunction with actions of the Attorney General on the governor’s behalf. These records are litigation files maintained by the Texas Governor’s Office of the General Counsel for cases completed during Governor Rick Perry’s tenure. Types of materials include correspondence, memoranda, court filings (briefs, orders, motions, etc.), proposed and final settlement agreements, press releases, news clippings, attorney notes, affidavits, deposition transcripts, research materials, exhibits, reports, printed material, maps, analyses, floppy disks, computer discs and electronic records, dating 1973, 1987, 1990-2015. Subjects of the litigation files include wrongful termination, Medicaid and restrictions on funding for abortion, prisons and prison reform, gaming on Indian reservations in Texas, racial discrimination in drug arrests, defamation, and insurance premium prices.
Quantity: 34.5 cubic ft. and 4.58 MB (5 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 references in this finding aid is available at http://www.lib.utexas.edu/taro/tslac/50122/tsl-50122.html.


Arrangement of the Records

These records are arranged roughly alphabetically in several groups as received from the Governor’s Office.

  • Governor Rick Perry General Counsel litigation files, 1973, 1987, 1990-2015, 34.5 cubic ft. and 4.58 MB (5 files) (paper, digital) (RESTRICTED)

Click here to see a full inventory of the General Counsel litigation files.


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 November 10, 2015.)


Scope and Content of the Records

The Texas governor’s general counsel provides legal advice and handles litigation filed against the governor or the Governor’s Office, in conjunction with actions of the Attorney General on the governor’s behalf. These records are litigation files maintained by the Texas Governor’s Office of the General Counsel for cases completed during Governor Rick Perry’s tenure. Cases also include those from Governor Bush’s term as governor as well. Types of materials include correspondence, memoranda, court filings (briefs, orders, motions, etc.), proposed and final settlement agreements, press releases, news clippings, attorney notes, affidavits, deposition transcripts, research materials, exhibits, reports, maps, analyses, floppy disks, computer discs and electronic records, dating 1973, 1987, 1990-2015. Subjects of the litigation files include wrongful termination, Medicaid and restrictions on funding for abortion, prisons and prison reform, gaming on Indian reservations in Texas, racial discrimination in drug arrests, defamation, insurance premium prices and the Machete film. There are select records from state agencies, boards and commissions represented in the litigation files along with the Governor’s Office including Texas Secretary of State, Texas Public Utility Commission, Texas Health and Human Services Commission, Texas Funeral Services Commission, Texas State Board of Education, Texas Ethics Commission, Texas Workers Compensation Commission, Texas Department of Mental Health and Mental Retardation, Texas Department of Transportation, Texas Department of Criminal Justice, Texas Department of Agriculture, Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles, Texas Film Commission, and the Texas Lottery Commission. Located at the end of the inventory and separate from the individual case files are Attorney General’s settlement and litigation files. These memos detail settlement offers and were prepared for the governor’s review and approval.

The original electronic files are PDF files. Electronic records described in the finding aid that are part of the Texas Digital Archive are indicated as such in the inventory. Restrictions on access to the content of records are applicable to physical and electronic records.

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); audit working papers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.116); certain legislative documents (Texas Government Code, Section 552.106); home address, home phone number, social security number, and personal family information of a government employee (Texas Government Code, Section 552.117); home address, home phone number, social security number, and personal family information of a peace officer (Texas Government Code, Section 552.1175); drivers license numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.130); account numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.136); email addresses (Texas Government Code, Section 552.137); social security numbers (Texas Government Code, Section 552.147); names of juvenile offenders (Texas Family Code, Section 58.005 and/or Texas Government Code, Section 552.101); names of victims of sexual assaults (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101); criminal histories prepared by the Texas Department of Public Safety, information about inmates incarcerated by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice received from the Board of Pardons and Paroles, and information created by the Texas Department of Criminal Justice (Texas Government Code, Section 552.101 (information confidential by law, Texas Government Code, Section 508.313)); grand jury records (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 20.02); and juror information (Texas Code of Criminal Procedure, Article 35.29), 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.

Types of restricted information as listed above apply to paper and electronic records. Some electronic records will not be available through our portal due to such restrictions. Please see Archives staff for further information.

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.).

Technical Requirements
Researchers wishing to access floppy disks or computer discs must contact State Archives staff to obtain the necessary equipment.


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 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.)
Texas Governor Rick Perry General Counsel Public Information Request files, 1998-2015, bulk 2001-2014, 291 cubic ft. and 91.6 GB (159,122 files)

Administrative Information

Preferred Citation
(Identify the item), Texas Governor Rick Perry General Counsel litigation files. Archives and Information Services Division, Texas State Library and Archives Commission.

Accession Information
Accession numbers: 2015/067, 2015/117, 2016/170

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 and on June 9, 2016. 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, February 2016