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Overview

With his guidance on real-time issues, Sean helps colleges and universities navigate the complex regulatory landscape and make strategic decisions to achieve their institutional goals.

Sean serves the multifaceted needs of public and private colleges and universities. He provides day-to-day outside general counsel services and represents higher education clients in federal court, state court and arbitration.

Like most sophisticated businesses, colleges and universities maintain large amounts of sensitive information about employees, students, research and other matters that is regulated by federal and state agencies. Sean helps clients on the front end with their data privacy and security programs, as well as on the back end with breach analysis and response.

Sean also advises clients on compliance and governance, third-party contracts, employee discipline, student grievances, university spending and enterprise risk management. He represents clients in internal grievance hearings, as well as in litigation on claims involving student and employee discrimination, breach of contract and administrative challenges.


Industry

Services

Recognition

  • Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers, Rising Star, 2012; Education, 2013-2017
  • Eagle Scout

Education

  • J.D., University of New Hampshire School of Law
    • cum laude
    • Pierce Law Review, Senior Editor
  • M.S., Kansas State University
  • B.S., Kansas State University

Admissions

  • Missouri
  • Kansas
  • U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • National Association of College and University Attorneys
  • International Association of Privacy Professionals
Experience

General Counseling

  • Served as interim general counsel for large regional public university.
  • Conducted detailed audit of public university's contracting protocol and worked with university officials to develop and implement policies to modify purchasing processes.
  • Served as counsel to private university that was defending its decision to deny faculty tenure.
  • Created early retirement incentive programs for multiple public and private institutions.
  • Developed comprehensive protocol/policy for faculty of private university to utilize when analyzing terms of externship agreements between university and medical facilities.

Data Privacy and Cybersecurity

  • Conducted detailed audits of multiple public and private institutions' data privacy and security policies, then worked closely with institutions to implement data privacy and security programs that comply with U.S. Department of Education guidelines.
  • Guided multiple institutions through data breach response, including restoring system integrity, notifying law enforcement, conducting forensic analysis, and issuing required notices to regulatory agencies and impacted individuals.
  • Trained colleges and universities on data privacy and security best practices.

Litigation

  • Defended private university in Northern District of Indiana against nursing student who alleged that university discriminated against her after being dismissed for failing to maintain minimum academic standards. Court entered summary judgment in favor of university on all counts.
  • Obtained precedent-setting order from Missouri federal court holding that former students of private-sector college lacked standing to assert claim under Missouri Merchandising Practices Act.
Outside the Office

Sean spends most of his free time with his wife, his two young children and friends.

He gets outdoors when possible to fly-fish in the West and hunt upland game with his dad. Sean also enjoys grilling and watching the Kansas City Chiefs with his family on Sundays.