The Catholic University of America

Archived March 12, 2012

I. Introduction
In the event that a legal proceeding is commenced against an employee of The Catholic University of America (the "university"), the General Counsel will evaluate the relevant facts associated with the legal proceeding and make a determination in consultation with the President as appropriate as to whether the university will offer the employee a legal defense and/or indemnification. Indemnification generally includes payment by the university of any fines, penalties, settlements and any other expenses actually and reasonably incurred in connection with an actual civil, criminal, administrative, or investigative action, claim or proceeding. The university will select the legal counsel except when it is determined that the employee's legal interests have substantially diverged from those of the university.

II. Conditions
The university will defend the employee (including former employees) for actions arising out of the employment relationship if:

a. the employee gives the university timely and appropriate notice of the lawsuit, or other legal proceeding or claim. The original copy of any summons, complaint, notice, demand, letter, or any other document or pleading must be given to the university's General Counsel as promptly as is reasonably possible. A delay in giving notice to the university's General Counsel can disqualify an employee from indemnification or other coverage by this policy;

b. the employee's alleged actions or omissions were within the scope of his or her university duties;

c. the employee's alleged actions or omissions were in good faith and in a manner reasonably believed by the employee to be lawful and in the best interests of the university;

d. the employee's alleged actions or omissions did not constitute dishonesty, gross negligence, recklessness, willful misconduct, or the intentional infliction of harm and the employee did not receive any financial profit or advantage to which he/she was not legally entitled; and

e. the employee cooperates continuously and fully with the university in the defense of the action.

III. Exclusions
This policy shall not extend to:

a. Consulting, private business activities, or nonprofit activities of the employee that were not associated with the university*;

b. an employee who brings a legal action against the university or its interests;

c. Any action to the extent that it may be indemnifiable under any insurance policy in place that covers the employee, whereupon the terms and conditions of that insurance policy shall govern;

d. Members of a collective bargaining unit at the university, except to the extent that indemnification rights have been incorporated into the collective bargaining agreement applicable to the employee;

e. Trustees of the university;**

f. Any employee who has a written contract of employment with the University and that contract covers indemnification, whereupon the terms and conditions of that employment contract shall apply; or

g. Any indemnification prohibited by law.

IV. Further Limitations

Any decision to offer a legal defense and/or indemnification to an employee in a specific situation is tentative. If developments in the action reveal that the acts or omissions of the employee would not have qualified for indemnification under this policy, then the university will terminate its participation and the employee shall indemnify or otherwise repay the university for all expenses it has incurred. To the extent that the interests of an employee who is being defended by the university diverge from the university's interests, the university will pay the costs of a separate legal defense for that employee to the extent required by District of Columbia law.


This policy is intended to serve only as a guide to the university's indemnification practices as regards university employees. Notwithstanding this policy or any provision herein to the contrary, (a) the university reserves the right to change or withdraw this policy at any time with or without notice, (b) the university reserves the right to make determinations as regards indemnification of employees that it believes are in the best interests of the university regardless of this policy, and (c) the university's interpretation of this policy and its determination as to indemnification in specific situations shall be final.


* See the External Consulting Policy

** Indemnification of Trustees is handled by the Board of Trustees.