Services

Our education attorneys are backed by the comprehensive resources of a national firm with 950 attorneys. We offer a variety of services to all education clients:

Academic Freedom & First Amendment

  • Academic freedom issues (faculty and students)
  • First Amendment issues and claims (e.g., First Amendment retaliation claims, speech codes litigation, funding of religious organizations issues)
  • Libel and invasion of privacy claims and counseling

Bond Finance/Traditional Financing

  • Issuance of bonds
    • Local counsel/solicitor
    • Underwriter counsel
    • Bond counsel
  • Swaps, swaptions and other derivatives
  • Advice on investment policies for funds raised by bond issues
  • Tax increment financing
  • Application of state law restricting investments of bond proceeds
  • Litigation
    • Violations of state and federal securities laws
    • Representation of school districts in investigations by the SEC and Pennsylvania Securities Commission
    • Against investment advisors, securities brokers, financial advisors, accountants and attorneys
    • Bankruptcy

Construction

  • Clerk of the Works or construction management agreements
  • Negotiation and preparation of architect's agreement
  • Development of change order approval policies and methodologies
  • Assist in the preparation of RFPs for professional services for construction management, architectural services and assistance in the specifications for the project
  • Advice and preparation of construction contracts
  • Construction litigation claims
  • Environmental regulations and claims
  • Zoning and land development

Employee Benefits

  • School obligations pursuant to HIPAA
  • School obligations with respect to 403(b) plans
  • Impact of Section 409A regulations on certain salary or compensation plans
  • Development and/or advice relating to Section 125 plans and other constructive receipt and Internal Revenue Code issues
  • Development of appropriate benefit structures for employee handbook
  • Tax implications of employee benefits

Employment

  • Development and/or maintenance of employee handbook
  • Advice with respect to Americans with Disabilities Act, Family and Medical Leave Act and workers' compensation
  • Employment discrimination and harassment claims
  • Tenure/promotion decisions and related claims
  • Termination of employees and related claims
  • Employment practices training
  • Subpoena of administrators in custody and other legal proceedings
  • Tuition remission policies
  • Negligent hiring issues and claims
  • Union awareness and assistance on union recognition campaigns
  • Collective bargaining
  • Grievance handling
  • Employment litigation
  • Outsourcing/subcontracting
  • Immigration compliance
  • Fair Labor Standards Act
  • Whistleblower claims
  • Superintendent/Board contracts and Motions to Elect
  • Representation on Act 93 Compensation Plans and tax implications of same

Governance

  • Development and review of school bylaws
    • Review of board member liabilities
    • Review of school policies
    • Superintendent/Board relationships
  • Acquisition and/or disposition of real estate
  • Bond finance/traditional financing
  • Legal implications of nonprofit institutions
  • Litigation involving boards and governing bodies
  • Risk management counseling

Immigration

  • Labor certification for faculty, staff or researchers
  • Waiver of J-1 home residency

Intellectual Property & Information Technology

  • Copyright issues (including evaluate fair use for education employees; ownership of work by employee v. work for hire; pre-publication review)
  • Trademark issues (including defense of claims; fair use evaluations; protection and enforcement of rights; pre-publication review)
  • Technology and acceptable use policies
  • Technology transfer issues
  • Electronic and records destruction policies
  • Cyberprivacy and privacy
  • Cybersecurity and security
  • e-Business (electronic payments, digital certificates, electronic contracting and other online and digital transaction issues)
  • Technology agreements (including but not limited to, open source and proprietary software, connectivity, service, hardware, web sites, web activity and information/data)
  • Technology policies (in addition to the AUP, online and off-line copyright, data breach (also incidence prevention and incidence response plans), vendor access and web site)
  • Second life presence legal issues

Non-Immigrant Employees

  • H-1B – specialty occupation
  • O-1 – extraordinary ability
  • J-1 – exchange visitor, visiting faculty, medical residency students
  • F1 – academic students
  • J-l – exchange visitor
  • Practical training

Special Education/Section 504 Issues

  • Assist clients in the development of IEPs and Section 504 plans
  • Litigate special education matters from the Hearing level through Federal court
  • Advise Districts on the requirements surrounding the discipline of disabled students
  • Address access issues that are investigated by the Office for Civil Rights
  • Provide proactive guidance to clients through Lunch and Learns and ongoing staff meetings
  • Provide proactive advice on due process claims and handle due process claims
  • Deal with specific Section 504 issues and disability claims
  • Deal with student bullying and threats in the context of special education issues

Student/Parent Issues

  • Confidentiality/privacy issues (e.g., FERPA, HIPAA)
  • Enrollment agreement
  • Student disciplinary code development and discipline issues
  • Expulsion of students
  • Campus security issues
  • Title IX issues – athletics and harassment
  • Transgender/cisgender issues in light of the Doe v. Boyertown Area School District decision
  • Social media policies

Tax Assessment/Exemption

  • Assist school districts in identifying and evaluating properties for the filing of tax appeals, consistent with current judicial decisions regarding same
  • Coordinate and directing defense and/or settlement of taxpayer value appeals before both the Board of Assessment Appeals and Court of Common Pleas, and in the appellate courts if necessary
  • Significant experience in defense of exemption request by taxpayers, both at the County and Commonwealth Court level
  • Significant contacts with appraisers experienced in tax assessment appeals throughout Pennsylvania