Office of the Legal Affairs
The Office of Legal Affairs performs the traditional in-house counsel role for the Agency. It provides, to the staff and management, legal advice on a wide range of legal issues. The Office of Legal Affairs represents the Agency in litigation in matters pending before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Merit Systems Protection Board, Veterans Law Court, Federal Labor Relations Board, Civilian Board of Contract Appeals, and Texas Workforce Commission. Agency lawyers also provide support to U.S. Department of Justice attorneys who represent the Agency in litigation in the United States District Courts, United States Court of Federal Claims, and United States Courts of Appeals. The Office of Legal Affairs participates in international negotiations with the Mexican Section of the International Boundary and Water Commission (IBWC) and provides international law advice and other legal support for the Agency during negotiations and discussions with the Mexican Section. Agency attorneys coordinate closely with U.S. Department of State lawyers regarding Treaties, Minutes, other international agreements, and issues regarding international law and policy. The Chief Legal Counsel performs duties as the "legal adviser" identified in Article 2 of the 1944 Water Treaty between the United States and Mexico, one of five USIBWC duty positions that has diplomatic immunity when the officer is in Mexico on IBWC business. The Chief Legal Counsel and the Assistant Legal Advisor serve as the Designated Agency Ethics Official and Alternate Designated Agency Ethics Official, respectively, and manage and implement the Agency's Ethics and Privacy Programs.
The Legal Advisor's office also responds to all FOIA requests.