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Capabilities

In Brief: A Digest of Educational Institutions Projects

 

Related Industry:

Education
 
Client Results
  • Represented dozens of school districts in all stages of school desegregation litigation.
  • Handled numerous Office of Civil Rights investigations involving alleged discrimination on the basis of race, national origin, disability, sex, sexual orientation and gender identity.
  • Conducted Title IX training for school administrators.
  • Currently defending numerous educational institutions from claims their websites are not accessible under the ADA and Section 504.
  • Conducted internal sexual harassment investigations on behalf of school boards.
  • Helped school districts develop appropriate civil rights policies and develop and conduct appropriate training programs.
  • Advised school districts on litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • Handled numerous school district appeals in federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Prepared amicus briefs for educational associations in IDEA, desegregation, English language learners (ELL) and employment cases in federal appellate courts and the Supreme Court of the United States.
  • Represented former superintendent and principal of school district in case involving $1 million negligence claim brought by injured student. Obtained summary judgment in favor of clients in groundbreaking application of the Paul D. Coverdell Teacher Protection Act. Successfully defended case on appeal before the Missouri Supreme Court.
  • Advised school districts on the intersection of the Perkins Act and IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA in career and technical education centers.
  • Counseled a school district interested in expanding pre-K education programs on available federal grants and related compliance issues.
  • Represented a school district against civil rights and open records claims brought by a former student arising out of bullying within a school district athletic program.
  • Defended a school district and administrators accused of violating Title IX and state tort law in case involving bullying and student suicide.
  • Regularly advise boards of education, trustees and administrators on matters involving employee hiring, evaluation, remediation and termination, student rights and discipline, civil rights, school zoning, voting rights, contracts, the Sunshine Law, church/state issues and other constitutional matters.
  • Defended school district in a class action suit brought by parents seeking systemic changes in the delivery of special education services and received a favorable outcome for client.
  • Handled more than 150 faculty and teacher termination cases in the past five years, including due process hearings and appeals.
  • Represented a school district in all phases of a $500 million capital improvements plan, including bond financing, condemnation, acquisition of property, asbestos abatement, contracts with various contractors and architects, and resolution of construction claims.
  • Negotiated and drafted multiple superintendent contracts for a major metropolitan school district, including contracts for interim employment. All of these cases have involved negotiations with the prospective superintendent, his counsel and the board.
  • Represented school district in administrative proceedings against regulations implemented by the State Department of Education with a favorable outcome for the client.

Compliance Strategy

  • Provided numerous colleges and universities with privileged compliance audits, identifying challenges and creating remedial plans to meet them in areas such as overall policy requirement, the Clery Act, disruptive students, Title IX athletics, contracting and Title IX sexual misconduct;
  • Created model and customized policies to simplify the maze of rapidly- evolving law and guidance.
  • Provided guidance to colleges and universities in developing systems to increase compliance and decrease potential liability in areas including Title IX sexual misconduct, travel procedures, behavior intervention teams, annual reporting and disclosures, student event management, and policy development;

Alternative Dispute Resolution Litigation

  • Arbitrated or mediated over 35 cases in the last three years;
  • Obtained a defense verdict in the five-week jury trial of fraud claims brought in state court by five former private-sector institution students relating to the enrollment process and placement statistics.
  • Obtained a defense verdict in the trial of a race discrimination lawsuit brought in federal court by a non-renewed probationary teacher against a school district that suspended the teacher;
  • Defended a college in a two-week trial in federal court in a case brought by 19 graduates who alleged breach of contract, fraud, and misrepresentation, resulting in a verdict of only $1.00 for each plaintiff;
  • Defended board members in four lawsuits in which plaintiffs alleged violation of the open meetings law, obtaining a favorable outcome for clients;
  • Defended judgments on appeal in both the Eighth and Tenth Circuits and received favorable outcomes;
  • Obtained summary judgment on behalf of institutions in over 50 other lawsuits involving discrimination claims by former employees, students’ personal injury claims, and sexual harassment claims by employees and students.

Student Employment Matters

  • Investigated numerous claims of discrimination brought by or against students, faculty staff and administrators;
  • Handled more than 150 faculty and teacher termination cases in the past five years, including due process hearings and appeals;
  • Drafted and/or negotiated over 50 severance agreements over the last five years;
  • Handled more than 30 student disciplinary investigations and proceedings in the last three years;
  • Drafted or revised bylaws for over 10 colleges in universities in the past two years;
  • Drafted and negotiated several contracts with fundraising foundations;
  • Represented a school district in all phases of a $500 million capital improvements plan, including bond financing, condemnation, acquisition of property, asbestos abatement, contracts with various contractors and architects, and resolution of construction claims;
  • Drafted and/or reviewed over 100 construction contracts and arbitration agreements in the last 10 years;
  • Drafted and/or reviewed over 100 goods or services contracts in the last five years.
  • Represented college in U.S. Department of Education emergency action threatening to revoke Title IV Federal Student Aid eligibility while responding to concerns of state department of education and accrediting bodies;
  • Responded to U.S. Department of Education Office of Civil Rights (OCR) audit and oversight of a college’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies, creating a comprehensive system for addressing such harassment and discrimination complaints that received OCR approval and ended OCR oversight;
  • Assisted several nursing schools in responding to changes in accreditation standards, including developing plans for separate incorporation for compliance purposes;
  • Partnered with numerous colleges and universities to prepare for accreditation site visits;
  • Prepared responses to IRS proposed penalty notices to universities concerning Tuition Statement (1099-T) deficiencies;
  • Serve as outside general counsel to 25 colleges and universities, providing day-to-day guidance.