Approved by Extension Governing Board 9/22/08
It is Extension's position that it should be neutral in litigation among its clientele and therefore, Extension personnel should not serve as expert witnesses in Nevada. Additionally, providing expert witness service in Nevada is a conflict of interest for Extension employees (see Extension's Conflict of Interest Policy). If an Extension employee is contacted by an attorney and asked to be an expert witness in Nevada, the individual should respond by saying, "Extension policy states that employees cannot serve as expert witnesses."
For out-of-state expert witness service that does not impact Nevadans, the employee may testify on personal time by taking annual leave and with approval of the employee's supervisor and the Director of Extension (following Extension's Conflict of Interest Policy).
When a valid subpoena is served, compliance is required. If an employee receives, either through mail or personal service, a subpoena, summons, lawsuit, or other legal document related to their employment, they should follow the procedure outlined in University Administrative Manual, Section 37 and also notify their supervisor, Area Director and the Director of Extension. The preferred method of transmitting documents is by hand delivery or by fax. If necessary, the employee may scan the documents and send as an email attachment. However, the employee should refrain from discussing the details of the case in the body of the email. This is better handled by phone call. Email documents are considered part of the permanent record and are subject to release.
In some cases, an employee may be contacted by an attorney either by phone or by email. As soon as the employee becomes aware that the request relates to a legal matter, they should refer the individual to the University's Office of the General Counsel. The employee may answer basic questions or provide printed materials that are available to the public.
When giving testimony, the employee is advised to refrain from engaging in speculation or stating personal opinions.