Worked with the Ohio Attorney General's Office to reduce a school district's liability for a common pleas court settlement to zero dollars. The school district paid nothing to have the case dismissed with prejudice and did not suffer any effect to its premiums as a result.
Education (Pre-K to 12)
Empowering educational institutions with smart, innovative and practical solutions throughout all stages of learning.
Balancing the needs of students, employees and the community at large is no easy task. In order to provide a safe, supportive learning environment, in addition to a healthy and enjoyable workplace, schools must have proactive plans in place and strategically solve issues when they occur.
From the first day of school to graduation and beyond, Bricker & Eckler’s Education attorneys are intimately familiar with the challenges facing today’s schools. Addressing everything from facility needs to student issues to employee relations, we have built valuable partnerships with Pre-K to 12 schools, career and technical schools, and colleges and universities throughout Ohio. We understand resource constraints and work diligently to optimally meet our clients’ goals – the most important of which is to create a place where learning can flourish.
Bricker & Eckler has the largest and most comprehensive education law practice in the state. Additionally, we are Ohio’s leader in public sector law. We represent a wide range of education clients, including well over 200 public school districts and numerous educational service centers. Yet, despite our size, our services are tailored to our clients’ needs, and our accessibility and responsiveness is unmatched.
Types of clients we represent:
- K-12 schools
- Career/technical schools
- Community schools
- Education service centers
- Information technology centers
Related Industries & Practices
Schools face a complex maze of legal requirements and the challenges to comply continue to escalate as resources become scarcer. Against this backdrop, Bricker & Eckler offers a proven array of cost-effective legal services designed to support schools’ goals. Our education attorneys have extensive experience in collective bargaining, employee misconduct, board policy development, discrimination claims, student discipline, special education, personnel and employee matters, district sponsored community schools, public records/sunshine law, and more. Visit our Education Law practice.
Bricker & Eckler helps schools obtain and maintain the resources they need to thrive. Whether initiating new programs or solving issues within existing ones, our attorneys assist with effective revenue generation strategies. Our experience includes bond and note issuances and tax levies, as well as lease-purchase arrangements, collaborative agreements, foundation programs, protection of assessed valuation, tax abatement and exemption issues, and more. Visit our Public Finance practice.
Bricker & Eckler’s Construction group devotes a significant portion of its time to construction plans involving school projects of all sizes. We work with district administrators to identify and define the statutory requirements applicable to each project, beginning with an analysis of the benefits and risks of the various project delivery models available to school districts and the applicable parameters to selecting project professionals. We remain available throughout the project to provide guidance with regard to any issues that may arise during design, construction, close-out, claims and post-occupancy. Visit our Construction Law practice.
Bricker & Eckler represents schools, school districts, boards of education, and education associations to minimize the effects of complex legal issues. 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 schools to carry out their educational missions. Visit our Litigation practice.
Bricker & Eckler provides a full range of real estate law services to schools and education clients. From acquisition, eminent domain, annexation, financing and development to investment, leasing and sales, our team assists in all aspects of real estate dealings – and with all the details these transactions entail. Because our real estate attorneys are supported by the firm’s other practice groups, clients also benefit from our tax, construction and financing experience, to name just a few areas with which we typically collaborate. Visit our Real Estate practice.
Protecting tax income is important to any school’s future. Bricker & Eckler’s taxation specialists frequently represent school districts before county boards of revision, the Board of Tax Appeals and the Supreme Court of Ohio in disputes related to the valuation of real property. For more than a decade, we have also had first-hand involvement in DeRolph vs. State, contributing to our deep understanding of school funding. Visit our Taxation practice.
Teachers and school employees are the lifeblood of a thriving institution. In order to maintain a happy and healthy work environment, administrators must try to minimize employment-related issues and be prepared to handle problems that do arise. From providing guidance on compensation and assisting with union negotiations to addressing common issues facing school district employers in the workers’ compensation system, our Employment & Labor attorneys collaborate with our Education Law specialists to build proactive plans and creative solutions to keep employees focused on the classroom and out of the courtroom. Visit our Employment & Labor practice.
To ensure compliant and effective participation in legislative activities, members of Bricker’s Government Relations group work with schools, school districts and boards of education to develop and execute an effective advocacy plan. Whether lobbying for legislative change or taking an issue to the ballot, schools that work with Bricker have a partner to help ensure their students’ and employees’ best interests are heard. Visit our Government Relations 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.
Assisted an Ohio school district in the issuance of bonds in which the perceived security for the bonds was threatened by the financial woes of the county’s largest employer and taxpayer. Our attorneys provided timely and critical information to the bond rating agency and investors regarding how oil and gas leases and mineral rights are valued for property tax purposes and the potential impact of a bankruptcy filing on the payment of property taxes for the bonds.
Prepared request for qualifications, request for proposals and contract documents for a K-12 school district's design-build project.
Prepared resolutions and related documents for projects deemed to be of urgent necessity, including fire alarm and HVAC renovation projects for a K-12 school district.
Obtained a favorable decision in a $40 million lawsuit filed on behalf of three large metropolitan school districts against the Ohio Department of Education claiming that ODE misapplied the statutory school foundation funding formula to the detriment of the school districts.
Successfully defended a large metropolitan school district in a lawsuit filed by a real estate developer claiming $10 million in lost future profits for fraud and breach of contract in conjunction with the development of property owned by the district.
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.
Successfully assist several school districts in addressing economic development issues and proposals for tax incentives, preserving thousands of dollars in revenue.
Assisted a client with protecting trade secrets and proprietary information when confidential information had to be submitted to public agencies with bid documents, proposals or other materials.
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.
Revised student handbooks, athletic handbooks, extracurricular policies and drug testing policies for numerous school districts.
Represented school district in administration of statutory process relating to mechanic’s liens and addressed mechanics’ lien claims and related law suits for K-12 school projects.
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 a school district in charges by a former student relating to sexual abuse by a former teacher.
Represented a school district client to address defective work.
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.
Prepared school board resolutions and contracts related to shared services for school district clients.
Advised school districts regarding Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) and Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) issues relating to employee fitness for duty.
Facilitated and prepared a school district's contract for roof replacement, procured through a joint purchasing program.
Represented a K-12 school district regarding school bus warranty issues.
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.
Drafted a unique school district-hospital agreement to provide educational opportunities to high school students.
Negotiated a successful resolution in a special education due process request and suspension appeal relating to drug possession on school grounds.
Recovered $6 million in an action against the Ohio Department of Education in a matter involving the calculation of state foundation funding for public school systems.
Recovered $7.2 million on behalf of the Dayton Public School District in a matter involving the calculation of state foundation funding for public school systems.
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.
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.
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.
House Bill 410: What you need to know
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.