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.
A resource for education leaders looking for workable solutions and experienced attorneys with an unmatched knowledge base and a broad array of competences.
As the single largest legal group in Ohio dedicated specifically to education, Bricker & Eckler represents a wide range of educational entities, including well over 200 public school districts and numerous educational service centers across the state. Our proven array of cost-effective legal services is designed to provide our clients with personalized, responsive assistance in meeting their goals.
Types of clients we represent:
- Pre-K to 12 schools
- Career/technical schools
- Colleges and universities
- Community schools
- Education service centers
- Information technology centers
Specific areas in which our attorneys provide on-going service to our education clients:
- Collective bargaining
- Employee misconduct
- Technology and intellectual property issues
- Board policy
- Contract nonrenewals/termination
- Discrimination claims
- Alternate energy projects
- Attendance, Custody and Tuition
- Student discipline
- Special education
- Family & Medical Leave Act
- Employee contracts/benefits
- School finance
- Bonds and levies
- Tax issues
- School facilities
- Real estate, including eminent domain
- Transportation issues
- District-sponsored community schools
- Public records/sunshine law
- Ohio High School Athletics compliance
- Collaborative agreements between entities
- Workers' compensation issues
Related Industries & Practices
Our education law team advises educators on the ever-changing social, technological and legal environment in which student-related issues arise. These include student suspension/expulsion, student policies and handbooks, bullying, transportation, open enrollment, student privacy, discrimination, religious speech/activities, school fees and extracurricular activities, to name a few. Our attorneys also practice in every aspect of special education and disability law.
Our attorneys advise administrators on the daily complexities of public employment law relating to contracts, nonrenewal/suspension/termination, licensure, misconduct, compensation, benefits, retirement, workers' compensation claims and more, and we vigorously defend employers in all phases of employment discrimination claims. We also have extensive skill in collective bargaining matters and have helped hundreds of public sector entities conclude contract negotiations positively, cooperatively and efficiently.
Compliance with sunshine laws and ethics laws help Board members, administrators, and other employees of public entities to maintain the trust of their public constituents. We counsel clients regularly on resolutions, policy language, and ethical compliance, and can provide training to help prevent problems before they arise.
A school district’s success often depends on its ability to obtain funding and manage its resources carefully. Bricker’s Education group uses a collaborative approach to protect school funding and solve a variety of school finance issues, including tax levy planning, the protection of assessed property valuation, and tax abatement and exemption. For more than a decade, we have had first-hand involvement in DeRolph vs. State contributing to our deep understanding of taxation and school funding. Likewise, our attorneys help schools address the legal and practical implications of acquiring or disposing of real estate and personal property and the financing and construction of new school facilities.
To meet the needs of their communities, school districts may wish to pursue alternative educational delivery options, including the creation of community (charter) schools or STEM schools, entering into collaborative agreements with other entities, or implementing other innovative programs. We take a holistic approach in advising clients on the options available to them to help them reach their goals.
Civil rights laws protect individuals from discrimination or harassment on the basis of certain traits, such as age, sex, race or disability. Having the proper policies and procedures in place can help schools address allegations of discrimination and harassment quickly and effectively, and we regularly draft policies to help clients do just that. When a dispute does arise, we represent schools before the Office for Civil Rights, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and in court in cases involving civil rights laws such as Title IX, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII, and other state and federal laws.
Regulating discrimination and misconduct in education programs and activities is an ongoing hot topic in schools and on campuses nationwide. The Department of Education’s recent spotlight on the Clery Act pursuant to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and Title IX makes this a quickly evolving area of law. Administrators of education services need to protect their employees and students in the areas of sexual harassment, pregnancy discrimination, athletic discrimination and more. A number of Bricker & Eckler Education Law attorneys specialize in Title IX and sexual misconduct proceedings, working with educational institutions to prevent violations and to handle these cases when they arise. Visit our Title IX Resource Center.
Bricker & Eckler represents state universities, independent colleges and universities, community colleges, and non-traditional education providers, handling the special legal challenges faced by institutions of higher education. Our higher education attorneys offer a broad range of services to colleges and universities throughout the United States, providing guidance in areas such as institutional governance obligations, student rights, employee rights, tax exemption, real estate and construction, environmental sustainability, government advocacy, intellectual property protection and courtroom representation. Visit our Colleges & Universities industry page.
Successfully resolved claims of failure to accommodate a student in university programming.
Obtained a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court of Ohio in a case involving a challenge by a non-teaching school employee who claimed the Board of Education violated the Open Meetings Act by deliberating about the decision to terminate his employment in executive session. The Court rejected the appellant’s argument that an employee’s “Loudermill” hearing rights could serve as a basis to demand that deliberations about his employment occur in public. This decision sets favorable precedent for districts and public bodies across the State of Ohio.
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.
Negotiated a settlement among school district parties to an annexation agreement regarding billing issues.
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.
Revised student handbooks, athletic handbooks, extracurricular policies and drug testing policies for numerous school districts.
Successfully defended a school district’s termination of an employee, obtaining a grievance arbitration award upholding the termination and dismissal of an EEOC charge alleging race and national origin discrimination.
Successfully defended the nonrenewal of an employee’s contract by a county board of developmental disabilities, obtaining dismissals of the employee’s appeals to the State Personnel Board of Review, the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas and the Tenth District Court of Appeals.
Obtained hearing officer decision recommending termination of school superintendent based on falsification of student attendance data.
Successfully represented a school district in federal court against claims of bullying, disability discrimination under ADA and Section 504, and sexual harassment under Title IX.
Advised school districts regarding Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) issues relating to employee fitness for duty.
Successfully defended a school district in a teacher non-renewal appeal that involved the waiver of evaluation rights.
Represented a public school district accused of disparate student discipline on the basis of race and resolved the matter with no finding against the client.
Successfully represented a public school district accused of maintaining unequal sports facilities for male and female athletes.
Negotiated a successful resolution in a special education due process request and suspension appeal relating to drug possession on school grounds.
Represented a school district in connection with the formation of multiple non-teaching bargaining units, including handling a State Employment Relations Board (SERB) hearing on petition for representation, advising on union campaign issues and negotiating initial contracts.
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.
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 a gender and disability discrimination and wrongful discharge suit. Achieved successful result, including jury award for fraud in counterclaim.
Served as a member of the trial team that prosecuted four successful constitutional challenges to Ohio's system of funding public schools on behalf of over 500 school districts, resulting in total funding for school facilities in excess of $12 billion.
Prepared school board resolutions and contracts related to shared services for school district clients.
This landmark case, which took place from 1991 to 2003, plays a critical role in the way schools are funded. Because Bricker & Eckler represented the plaintiff's in this case, a detailed timeline and related information is available, describing this important decision. For more information, please visit our DeRolph v. State of Ohio Resource Center.
A collection of documentation related to Title IX issues on college campuses and education environments. For more information, please visit our Title IX Resource Center.
Baccalaureate ceremonies: Celebration that may lead to litigation
An onerous task: Administration of family and medical leave
Post-election unrest: Balancing the rights of all students
The Bricker & Eckler Education Law team brings special education issues to life through informative, entertaining and memorable training videos. Each video depicts a special education team meeting involving challenging legal issues and common compliance blunders. Through the expert leadership of the district representative and the narrator comments, the videos illustrate effective — and not so effective — techniques and provide practical tips and guidance on how to avoid common legal mistakes.