Whether public school or private school, pre-K thru 12, career and technical, community school, or educational service center — our team of lawyers provides a wide variety of effective legal services for clients in education law. We have represented schools and school districts in all facets of their legal rights and responsibilities, including, but not limited to:
Employment and Labor
Staying focused on the interests of effectively delivering education requires a sensitive balance among the interests of students, teachers, administrators, support staff and the board. Striking that balance is never easy, but our lawyers can effectively help. Building and maintaining a positive workplace environment requires patience and insight. Whether representing a district in collective bargaining; or hiring, evaluating, disciplining, non-renewing, or terminating employees; or representing the district in grievance arbitration or litigation resulting from these relationships — the lawyers on our team are experienced and effective.
Once a district has negotiated a collective bargaining agreement, it is imperative that all parties abide by it. Whether assisting staff to understand the nature of the terms and conditions of the bargained agreement, or assisting staff in defending against a grievance or an unfair labor practice charge, our staff is adept at providing insight and direction for successful outcomes.
The intersection of law and education has never been more demanding for governing boards. Our team is experienced and effective in providing guidance on such issues as public records and public meetings, guiding boards through the maze of conducting student suspension/expulsion hearings and teacher non-renewal/termination hearings, together with the challenges of litigation that may ensue from any of these areas.
Board Property and Finance
Property acquisition and disposal, whether real property or personal property, requires attention to strict statutory requirements, as do challenges to a district where a territorial transfer may be petitioned. The co-existence of school districts with community schools, and the impact and operation of financial planning and supervision commissions or academic distress commissions, are areas that require special attention and experience, all of which our team of lawyers possesses.
- Practiced by:
- James E. “Ted” Roberts
- Joseph C. Bishara
- Elizabeth H. Farbman
- Stanley J. Okusewsky, III
Though resolving disputes through constructive settlement can be mutually effective and efficient to provide some degree of certainty in a world of risk, there are occasions when disputes cannot be resolved without litigation. For school districts, that often involves defending challenges to an appeal of a student’s suspension or expulsion, or the appeal of a teacher’s non-renewal or termination, and our team has achieved proven and effective results in these areas over many years. Other litigation has included representing districts as a plaintiff or defendant in contract matters, injunctive relief matters, property damage issues, and challenging laws applicable to districts where appropriate. Similarly, defending or challenging an arbitration award resulting from a grievance process is an area that does not often arise, but is not foreign to our lawyers. We also have proven success in preserving the geographic territory of a school district when challenged by petitioners, from the administrative hearing at the department of education through the Ohio Supreme Court.