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Office of General Counsel

The Office of General Counsel represents the Department of Public Safety in all legal matters. We are committed to excellence. We work collaboratively to render advice in an atmosphere of trust and respect.

The Office of General Counsel is responsible for serving the legal needs of the Public Safety Commission and its Department divisions. Phillip Adkins, General Counsel, supervises and directs the activities of an in-house staff of attorneys and support staff.

The Office of General Counsel cannot provide legal advice or representation to employees or the public about legal issues of a personal nature, such as divorce, wills and landlord tenant issues. In addition, the OGC does not provide advice in matters unrelated to Department business or to individuals whose interests are or may be adverse to the Department. If you need personal legal advice or representation, you may be able to obtain information and assistance from the resource listed below:

The State Bar of Texas maintains a Lawyer Referral Information Service, which is described on the State Bar web site. In addition, many county bar associations offer lawyer referral services.

Photo of Phillip Adkins
Phillip Adkins,
General Counsel

Phillip Adkins came to the Department of Public Safety in 1999. Before being named General Counsel in 2011, he served as an Assistant General Counsel. He was promoted to Deputy Chief of Legal Operations in 2009. Following his graduation from law school in 1987, Adkins served a one year judicial clerkship for the Court of Appeals, Fifth District of Texas at Dallas. From 1990-99 he was in private practice focusing upon representation of law enforcement officers throughout Texas. Adkins is a 1984 graduate of the University of North Texas and a 1987 graduate of the University of Texas School of Law.

Photo of Duncan Fox
Duncan R. Fox,
Deputy General Counsel

Deputy General Counsel Duncan Fox has served as a deputy general counsel for the Department since 1998. He came to the Department in 1995. Fox is a 1989 graduate of Baylor School of Law and a 1986 graduate of the University of North Texas.

Photo of Valerie Brown
Valerie Brown,
Deputy General Counsel

Valerie Brown is currently employed by the Texas Department of Public Safety as Deputy General Counsel. She received her law degree from the University of Texas School of Law in May 1993, was licensed to practice law in November 1993, and has been employed by the Department since November 1994. During her tenure with the Department, she has also held the following positions:

Senior Hearings Examiner/Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel (11/1994 - 6/1996)

Senior Assistant General Counsel, Office of General Counsel (7/1996 - 11/1999)

Manager, Crime Records Legal Staff, Crime Records Service (12/1999 - 11/2000)

Deputy Administrator, Crime Records Service (12/2000 - 1/2004)

Assistant Chief, Regulatory Licensing Service (2/2004 - 8/2008)

Chief/Assistant Director, Administration Division (9/2008 - 12/2011)

Legal information provided by the Office of General Counsel is intended ONLY as general legal information to the Department of Public Safety, their Public Safety Commission, public safety officers, and employees. The information contained in this site, and related links, is not a substitute for professional legal counsel. Any discrepancy between information in this site and Department of Public Safety policy is not intended to alter or amend official Department of Public Safety policy. Inclusion of any link or reference to any entity, public or private, is not intended to be a warranty or endorsement of the completeness or quality of information contained therein, or of any sponsor of such information.