Office of the General Counsel

About the office

What we do

  • Provide general oversight and advice for all contracts, grants, MOUs, agreements, purchases, and orders.
  • Receive and investigate inquiries and complaints from WHOI faculty, administrators, employees and students, including, but not limited to, matters relating to tax law, labor law, insurance, risk management, patents and copyrights, delinquent fees, contracts and WHOI policies.
  • Legal review of labor, employment, and sexual harassment and complaint issues.
  • Coordinate activities and actions with outside counsel retained to represent WHOI.
  • Serve on WHOI committees to provide recommendations regarding applicable legal matters.

Our representation

The Office of Legal Affairs and General Counsel ("OGC") represents WHOI and may not represent individual students, faculty, or staff except when these individuals are named as defendants in litigation as a result of actions or omissions within the course and scope of their employment or institutional representation.

The OGC does not "approve" contracts, nor does it sign contracts on WHOI’s behalf.

Requests for legal assistance should be directed to Janet Moore, jmoore@whoi.edu  or ext 2348

Communications with OGC attorneys regarding WHOI legal matters are ordinarily protected by the attorney-client privilege. The attorney-client privilege protects the confidentiality of communications between attorneys and their clients about legal matters. The privilege is limited to confidential communications to or from OGC attorneys or outside counsel retained to represent WHOI for the purpose of seeking legal advice regarding WHOI legal matters, whether oral, written, or electronic, are protected from disclosure to parties outside WHOI. Communication between administrators concerning legal matters would typically not be privileged because, for the privilege to exist, the communications must be to, from, or with an attorney. In addition, the communication must be for the purpose of requesting or receiving legal advice. Because of professional rules of ethics, the OGC cannot provide legal advice to students or other WHOI community members in connection with personal legal affairs or questions. For personal legal advice, faculty, employees, students, and all others in WHOI community should consult a private attorney.

About Christopher Land

Mr. Land is an order of the coif graduate of Tulane Law School. He practiced for over 12 years at international law firms in New York and Boston. Most recently, was a Counsel in Goodwin Proctors' Energy Group and Products Liability Group before joining in-house with longtime client WHOI in 2014. Mr. Land formerly sat on the Editorial Board for The Journal of College and University Law.

Recent papers

Cited:  The Horde is Over the Gates and in the Tower: Defending Against a Discovered Zero-Day Cyber-Attack While Protecting Your Intellectual Property and Research and Academic IntegrityInformation Law Journal, p. 2-7 (Autumn 2017 Vol. 8 Issue 4) 

Mock Jury Exercises
Practical Law (February/March 2014)

Being Served: How to respond to subpoenas directed at academic works or scientific research
University Business Magazine (February 2014)

The Novel And Emerging Scholastic Privilege
Law360, New York (September 19, 2013)

Last updated: June 28, 2018