The General Law Division provides oral advice and written legal opinions concerning the administration and management of the Department, areas which, in general, are governed by statutes and regulations of Government- and Department-wide applicability. The General Law Division is responsible for providing legal services in all areas of administrative law not specifically assigned to other divisions within the Office of the General Counsel.
The General Law Division staff is available to provide training on all topics listed below. Please send training requests to GeneralLaw@doc.gov. Your request(s) and/or question(s) should include bureau/line office, phone number, and description of training and/or information your are requesting. You may also send General Law related questions to this email address.
Agreements – Whenever you hold yourself out to the public as doing something jointly with another party, or transfer funds between parties, you need to have a Memorandum of Agreement to document the relationship. Click here for more information on the agreement process [pdf] and the types of MOAs available to you. Current Model Agreements. Click here for MOU FAQs.
Appropriations Law – We advise on all aspects of spending and accepting funds including: time purpose and amount restrictions on the use of appropriated funds, interpretation of appropriation act language, and applicability of legislative restrictions and Comptroller General opinions to appropriated fund activities; use of the Department’s Working Capital Fund; use of the gift and bequest fund; acceptance of user fees. There are limitations on the use of appropriated funds for trinkets and food. Guide for expending funds on food; Guide for expending funds on trinkets.
Conferences – Planning a conference? Conferences present many legal issues such as: payment, partners, fees, sponsorships, food, travel, honoraria, logos and trinkets/giveaways. Please follow the links to find out more information about each of these or click here for conferences FAQs.
Government Property – We provide advice on GSA’s personal property regulations. For more information see OFEQ Property and Transportation Management Page.
Intellectual Property – We are also responsible for providing Departmental offices and agencies with intellectual property advice in the areas of Internet law, trademark, copyright and domain name practice. This may include performing trademark and domain name searches, licensing DOC marks and other Departmental branding activities; responding to unauthorized use and infringement of Departmental marks, addressing questions on the use of copyrighted materials, reviewing requests to sign releases and other matters. Click here for template IP agreements.
Symbols - As part of our IP portfolio, we provide legal guidance on the creation of new seals, emblems, insignia, and logos (collectively “symbols”), approval for new symbols, and legal guidance on how symbols may generally be used. See DAO 201-1 which prescribes the policies and procedures for the creation of new symbols, including licensing their use to outside parties.
Official Travel – We provide advice on GSA’s Federal Travel Regulations.
The Division also is responsible for providing advice and preparing opinions in a number of other areas, including: Department directives and delegations of authority; the classification and protection of records classified for national security reasons; printing; publishing and advertising.
Operating Unit Team Assignments
Elise Anderson - (202) 482-8220
Robert BenEzra - (202) 482-3786
Britt Carlson - (202) 482-8155
Alvin Chua - (202) 482-5023
Lydia Grunstra - (202) 482-6113
Blake Jones - (202) 482-5493
Andrew Larsen - (202) 482-3820
Helen Lee - (202) 482-3116
Danielle Miranda - (202) 482-2499
Vanessa Onguti - (202) 482-1783
Malcolm Orr - (202) 482-2138
Sarah Schwartz - (202) 482-8038
George Weber - (202) 482-1582
Dana Banks - (202) 482-6465
Kim Savoy - (202) 482-5391