We encourage a proactive and preventative approach to promoting and maintaining a safe, productive and efficient environment for educating students and serving the school community. We offer a blend of expertise and practical advice resulting from years of hands-on business and operational management experience. We analyze and work to resolve a diverse array of unique and routine challenges confronted by Boards of Education and administrators.
We foster a collaborative relationship and approach our representation from the perspective of our clients’ goals. We take great pride in providing timely responses to our clients’ legal issues. We are cognizant of our clients’ desire to maintain both a positive public image and judicious use of district funds in avoiding or managing litigation (whether in court or in other administrative proceedings).
We provide individualized client guidance as well as client-centered training events, briefings, monthly newsletters and legal alerts to assist our clients with navigating the many complex statutes and administrative regulations impacting school operations and administration.
Our attorneys have the experience to provide not only legal advice consistent with a statute or a court opinion, but also to offer practical “real world” advice about issues that Boards of Education and administrators face daily–or even once in their career. Our attorneys have the knowledge base necessary to timely respond to Board inquiries/ concerns and will attend Board of Education meetings as desired.
The firm offers assistance with the development and maintenance of Board of Education policies and policy manuals. Remember: formally adopted board policies are technically the “law of your school district.” Violations of these laws can have legal and political implications for Board members, administrators and the school district as a whole.
We are extensively involved in special education law matters. Our firm focuses on preventive counseling to assist clients with their federal and state law compliance efforts pertaining to the education of students with disabilities.
We work with our clients on advice and counsel regarding the recruitment, appointment, duties, responsibilities and termination of instructional and non-instructional employees.
We offer comprehensive services related to labor relations, collective bargaining, contract administration and administrative proceedings. Our attorneys serve as chief negotiators as well as advisors for school officials who assume that role for themselves.
We work with our clients on all matters related to capital projects, from RFPs for professional services to the bidding process, contract awards, construction advisements and dispute resolution through project closeout.
Our attorneys routinely provide counsel and representation to school districts and BOCES regarding constitutional questions involving student and employee free speech, the separation of Church and State, use of facilities, the availability of materials to students in school libraries and in the classroom, and other First Amendment questions. We also provide regular counsel with respect to Fourth Amendment search and seizure issues and due process requirements.
We strive to position our clients to avoid litigation through proactive counseling, comprehensive training programs, and frequent legal updates and alerts. We believe this approach enhances our clients’ ability to focus on their core mission. When informal efforts to resolve disputes fail, we provide focused and efficient representation in all types of alternative dispute resolution, including mediation and arbitration.
Our firm has extensive experience defending schools in tax certiorari proceedings. We guide schools through all phases of the tax certiorari process, including evaluating whether to intervene in a proceeding, filing pleadings to intervene when appropriate, obtaining an independent appraisal valuing the property, settling the case on terms favorable to the school and/or defending the school at trial. Our experience defending tax certiorari proceedings across the state has allowed us to develop a network of effective appraisers, spot trends in property valuations, and develop effective and efficient methods of minimizing school refunds and protecting schools’ tax bases.
We provide guidance to assist schools with implementing best practices to comply with competitive bidding requirements, including help developing bid packages, complying with bid advertising requirements, awarding the bid and contracting with the successful bidder.
We regularly provide counsel and representation relative to student disciplinary proceedings.
Our firm provides day-to-day business advice to public school clients including contract review, bidding and requests for proposals. Our firm regularly works with clients on a variety of matters that can maintain and/or enhance their revenue base.
We provide advice, consultation and opinions with respect to issues relating to the Open Meetings Law and Freedom of Information Law.
One of the ways the firm helps clients comply with federal and state law is by providing customized and timely in-service presentations/workshops for Boards, administrators and staff on a myriad of topics focusing on sound preventive practices and legal responsibilities.
When educational law news breaks, we provide our clients with timely email alerts and guidance. Each month you will also receive our newsletter that covers matters relevant to school districts and BOCES. We also offer periodic complimentary “School Law Briefings” for clients on a wide variety of topics.