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fice of General Couneel ‘Tue University of Texas Svstew ote ie FOURTEEN INSTITUTIONS, UNLIMITED POSSIBILITIES. ftocectate em sa-go-ena3 An General Coun el por & Publ foro Coon May 28, 2019 Justin Gordon Division Chiet ‘Open Records Division Price Daniel Building 209 W. 14th Stree, 6th Floor ‘Austin, Texas 78701 Re: Addendum to Public Information Request from Steve Miller to The University of ‘Texas System -- OGCH 189504 Dear Mr, Gordon: (On May 20,2019, The University of Texas System (“UT System”) requested an opinion from your office. At issue is a request for information from Steve Miller (“Requestor”). We now timely submit our final briefing on this matter, excluding March 27, 2019, when UT System was closed for the Memorial Day Holiday, ‘As noted in our May 20" leer, the Requestor seeks access to specified communications LUT System is releasing some information to the Requestor and asserts the remaining responsive information, a representative sample of which is submitted within TAB 4, is protected fom disclosure under sections 552.107 and 52.111 of the Texas Public Information Act (“Act”) Section 552.107 of the Texas Government Code LUT System asserts the information we have marked is protected under section 552.107 of the Act. ‘Section 552.107(1) of the Texas Government Code protects information from public disclosure if iis prohibited from diselosure by “a duty to the client under the Texas Rules of Evidence of the ‘Texas Disciplinary Rules of Professional Conduct” Tex. Gov’ Cove § $52.107(1). As diseussed ‘below, Attomey General open record decisions have specifically cited Rule 503 ofthe Texas Rules ‘of Evidence (‘Rule 503”) in regards to attomey-client privilege or Rule 192.5 of the Texas Rules ‘of Civil Procedure when corsidering core work product, See also TEX. DISCIPLINARY R.OF PROF'L, ‘CONDUCT § 1.05. These rules also extend tothe exception to disclosure under section 552.107 of the Texas Government Code Under Rule 503, the privilege extends to a “client” or any “representative ofa client.” TEX. R vib. § 503(b). A represenative ofa client is a “person having authority to obtain professional legal services, or to act on advice thereby rendered, on behalf of the client, or any other person who, for the purpose of e'fectuating legal representation for the client, makes or receives a confidential communication while acting in the scope of employment forthe client.” TEX. R. EVID. §§503()(2), Open Records Decision No. 676 examines the scope of section 552-1071) and holds, “information that is protected under Texas Rule of Evidence 503 is excepted from diselosure under Section $52.107(1).” Open Records Decision No. 676 (2002). ‘Open Records Decision No. 676 also states that “[a}n attomey for a governmental body has an independent duty of conficentiality for information subject to the attomey-client privilege as defined in Texas Rule of Evidence 503." Jd. Continuing, the decision states, “[a] governmental body has as much right as a private individual to consult with its altomey without risking the disclosure of communications protected by the attorney-client privilege.” Id Further, section '552.107(1) protects the contents of the entre document containing privileged communications and ‘ot just portions designated as legal analysis or recoramendations. Harlandale ISD v. Cornyn, 25 8.W.3d 328 (Tex. App-—Austin 2000, pet. denied). Tn the documents at issue, an attomey for UT System is providing legal counsel, is gathering information in order to provide legal counsel, or clients are Seeking legal advice from the attomney and include the necessary beekground information so that counsel will be able to render an opinion (on @ given situation, From the text of the communications, itis evident that an attorney for UT System was involved in providing legal counsel to employees and officials of UT System. Within ‘TAB 4 we have identified the attomey and all remsining partes to the communications are personne! of UT System andor are their representaives, and the issues of concern raised in these documents are within the course and scope of their employment and/or service to UT System. ‘Thus these individuals are elents with the authority to obtain legal advice and wet on such advice as provided by UT System attorneys in their capacity as legal counsel. In addition, the privilege ‘extends o the representativs of the atfomeys and clients. Finally, the information has been kept ‘confidential and these documents were maintained only by and between the persons identified and protected by the privilege. They were not intended to he, and have not been, disclosed to parties other than those encompassed by the protection of the attorney-client privilege. UT System has the burden of demonstrating how and why responsive information is excepted under the attomeycclient privilege and must show that the responsive documents include confidential communications “to, from, or between representatives of the client governmental body, made for the purpose of effectuating legal representation for it, and the subject matter must pertain tothe performance hy each client representative ofthe duties of his or her employment.” See Open Revords Decision No, 676. We believe we have provided your office with evidence sufficient to meet this burden. Section $52,111 of the Texas Government Code Addltionslly, UT System asserts some of the information in TAB 4, which we have marked, is protected from disclosure under section 552.111 and the deliberative privilege. This exception ‘applies because the infomation contained within these documents is inherently advice, recommendations, and opinion regatding policy matters. The marked documents contain the