Served as bond counsel for the issuance of two series aggregating $630 million in General Receipts Bonds of The Ohio State University issued as the first installment in a billion dollar borrowing program. The program is the first of its kind “shelf style” bond issuance for a public university. Responsibilities included drafting documents to reflect the understanding of the parties, as well as the tax analysis necessary with respect to the use of proceeds. As bond counsel, we rendered our approving opinion as to the authorization and valid issuance of the bonds.
Colleges & Universities
Giving campus leaders the legal tools they need to build and sustain thriving colleges and universities.
The landscape of higher education is evolving rapidly. While colleges and universities are still known as centers for education and research, they have also become major employers, the economic drivers of many communities, sports and entertainment hubs and more. Global competition for the best and brightest students increases with each incoming class. And emerging technologies, shifting social norms, and regulatory and economic changes intensify legal considerations campus-wide.
Because no two institutions are alike, each needs personalized attention. Bricker & Eckler has assembled a skilled team of lawyers who effectively handle both the common and unique legal challenges today’s colleges and universities face. Over the years, we’ve built lasting partnerships with numerous higher education clients, giving them specialized solutions that allow them to focus on their educational missions.
Institutional governance, non-profit exempt status, educational services, Title IX, and campus preservation and expansion are just a few of the areas in which we can offer assistance.
Types of clients we represent:
- State universities
- Independent colleges and universities
- Community colleges
- Non-traditional education providers
- Career/technical schools
Related Industries & Practices
Colleges and universities must constantly adjust to new statutes and constitutional challenges. Our attorneys frequently deal with issues such as access to student records, student discipline, student civil rights and discrimination. We partner with higher education administrators to help them understand and comply with a variety of federal and state laws related to civil rights, disabilities, collective bargaining, Title IX, campus safety and more. Visit our Education Law practice.
Sexual misconduct is an ongoing hot topic on today’s campuses. The U.S. Department of Education’s recent spotlight on Title IX and the Clery Act pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) makes this a quickly evolving area of law. With a number of attorneys who are experienced with Title IX and sexual misconduct proceedings, we help colleges and universities understand these requirements, put proactive measures in place, and address allegations quickly and effectively by applying experience-based guidance to real-life, rapidly changing situations. Visit our Title IX Resource Center.
The attorneys in our Government Relations group frequently help institutions realize their educational mission by advocating legal changes on their behalf. We constantly monitor legislative activity for issues impacting higher education and help our college and university clients take advantage of legislative and regulatory opportunities. Visit our Government Relations practice.
Faculty and staff are the lifeblood of a thriving campus. In order to maintain a happy and healthy work environment, colleges and universities must try to minimize employment-related issues and be prepared to handle problems that do arise. From providing guidance on executive and faculty compensation to assisting with union negotiations, our Employment & Labor attorneys collaborate with our Education Law specialists to build proactive plans and creative solutions for administrators. Visit our Employment & Labor practice.
A campus’s success often depends on its ability to obtain funding and manage its resources carefully. Bricker attorneys explore all the legal possibilities, giving higher education leaders viable options for their institution’s development. Over the years, we have served as bond counsel in numerous higher education financings for large public universities, private colleges and universities, and community colleges, including tax-exempt bond financings, taxable financings for private-use facilities, post-issuance compliance, bank financing and construction loans. Visit our Public Finance practice.
To keep up with the active pace of campus life, colleges and universities are constantly engaged in renovation and building projects – many of which are state-of-the-art. Bricker attorneys have represented a number of public and private higher education institutions on all aspects of their construction projects from the preparation of contract documents through litigation, when necessary. Our experience includes multiple prime contractor, general contractor, construction manager at-risk and design/build delivery models that are now available to public as well as private higher education institutions. Visit our Construction Law practice.
As experienced trial lawyers, we know how to prepare to win in the courtroom. We also know that this may not always be the best method to resolve our clients’ cases. Whether the solution is an aggressive motion practice, mediation, arbitration or trial by jury, our goal is to deliver results while preserving precious resources and protecting the important relationships that allow institutions to carry out their educational missions. Some of the areas in which we have experience include discrimination issues, harassment, date-rape, wrongful expulsion, toxic mold liability and ERISA. Visit our Litigation practice.
Colleges and universities must actively seek to both preserve and expand their campuses and surrounding areas. Simultaneously, institutions are under tremendous pressure to modernize and update their facilities. At Bricker & Eckler, we understand these conflicting pressures, and our team of real estate specialists assists our educational clients to obtain bank financing and construction loans, acquire real estate, zoning variances and conservation easements, and handle eminent domain and appropriation actions. Visit our Real Estate practice.
Intellectual property is a primary asset to colleges and universities. In order to maximize and preserve value, our attorneys work with institutions to protect trademark, copyright, internet, domain name, unfair competition, joint venture and corporate intellectual property rights. We can also help institutions acquire and license proprietary assets and technology. Visit our Intellectual Property practice.
Served as the sole presenter at training workshops for Title IX investigators at the college and K-12 levels, helping administrators to become trauma-informed and approach cases involving sexual assault and intimate partner violence in an appropriate and equitable manner.
Served as bond counsel on Ohio’s first voted bond issue for a community college district.
Successfully resolved claims of failure to accommodate a student in university programming.
Won motion for summary judgment on a claim brought by a student disciplinary respondent against a college in a case involving allegations of sexual assault.
Assisted a college with various aspects of environmental regulation, including advanced energy and energy efficiency developments, power purchase agreements and leasing arrangements, in order to help them take full advantage of various financing opportunities.
Drafted College Credit Plus agreements on behalf of both school districts and colleges to establish advanced standing programs.
Prepared and revised Title IX policies and procedures to comply with changing guidance.
Assisted an elite college in the formation of a “green” cemetery nonprofit corporation to be used primarily by alumni, former faculty and staff. Rendered federal tax opinions regarding unrelated business income and tax exemption issues.
Assisted a public university in the resolution of multiple issues in dispute within affiliated private nonprofit fundraising foundation.
Worked with college to craft an appropriate notification to alumni whose social security and other private student records may have been hacked.
Assisted an elite private college in the incorporation of a subsidiary that operates as a world class contemporary art museum.
Successfully handled a U.S. Department of Justice Investigation of alleged tuition price fixing in an alleged violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act.
Obtained a favorable jury verdict on behalf of a college, defending against an allegation that the college had defrauded a local farmer and tortuously interfered with his interest in a family farm as a result of an Ohio Agricultural Easement Protection Program operation.
Served as bond counsel to The Ohio State University on its $500,000,000 “Century Bond” offering, the first-ever 100-year maturity for a public university, issued to fund projects on the main campus.
Obtained a $1.1 million verdict including award of prejudgment interest and award of attorney fees after bringing suit against a college employee who stole and sold items from the library's special collection. Case was the subject of the book, "Disappearing Ink: The Insider, the FBI and the Looting of the Kenyon College Library.
Represented a college after parents of a deceased student threatened litigation, claiming that the college should have done more to prevent the alcohol-related death of the student.
Successfully defended a college in federal lawsuits filed by both the complainant and the respondent in a Title IX disciplinary case.
Successfully defended against allegations made by a parent who claimed that the professor's grade for his child were based on favoritism and that the poor grade prevented the student from being considered for a scholarship.
Represented a college in two related but inconsistent lawsuits regarding the expulsion of a student accused of rape. One of the lawsuits, which claimed that the college had violated Title IX, was voluntarily dismissed after a judge sustained a Motion for Summary Judgment in the other.
Won a motion for summary judgment and a motion for frivolous litigation regarding a claim that a house and driveway owned by a college was improperly on the property of the adjacent landowner.
Assisted a college in avoiding a lawsuit after alumni fraternity members threatened litigation regarding revocation of preference to fraternity housing in dorms.
Won summary judgment in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio in a gender and age discrimination case filed by an ex-employee of a college bookstore. The United States District Court determined that portions of the employee's claims constituted frivolous litigation regarding the defendant’s claim for the award of damages against the plaintiff for frivolous litigation.
On behalf of a college, assisted an independent contractor who sold materials in the college's bookstore in defending copyright violation claims.
As counsel to a college, encouraged an insurance company settlement through mediation prior to filing a lawsuit. The case involved the accidental death of a student athlete traveling in a college-owned van.
Represented a college in a gender and disability discrimination and wrongful discharge suit. Achieved successful result, including jury award for fraud in counterclaim.
Discriminating on the basis of gender-identity violates Title IX: The U.S. Departments of Education and Justice Dear Colleague Letter on the civil rights of transgender students
Colleges and universities are prime cyber attack targets