Our firm represents dozens of public schools throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We provide sophisticated counsel to Boards of Education, Educational Services Commissions, and Charter Schools that face heightened exposure from litigation and need help navigating complex state and federal law and regulation. Group members have decades of practice experience and are recognized as national leaders in this practice.
We provide daily assistance to quickly deal with special education issues from the classroom through litigation. We counsel clients regarding the eligibility, evaluation, and classification process, implementation and disciplinary difficulties, and assist administration, case managers, and teachers in efficiently and compliantly resolving disputes. Our attorneys regularly mediate disputes and try Due Process Hearings across the United States at all levels of the administrative, state, and federal courts. We have extensive experience dealing with disability-specific legal issues arising from the different categories of eligibility.
We develop Section 504 policies and programs in order to provide lesser-restrictive disability plans that ease the burden on under-resourced schools and deliver more efficient disability accommodations. Section 504 is often misunderstood and over looked as a viable option for accommodation, and we provide frequent in-services for the faculty, administration, and staff of our clients on both Special Education and the use of Section 504 plans.
Group attorneys handle day-to-day student issues ranging from compulsory education, student safety, residency and disciplinary incidents, to constitutional concerns involving free speech and religious expression. We proactively assist school clients to address school violence, student discipline, and the review and handling of zero-tolerance and other significant matters concerning student behavior. We are regularly involved in emergent disciplinary matters, including the coordination of manifestation determination meetings and the analysis of disciplinary options involving students eligible for special education and related services.
Labor and Employment Law
In addition to handling grievances, interpreting collective agreements, and negotiating on behalf of management with unions, our attorneys provide daily counsel regarding employment issues, confidentiality and reporting requirements, proactively addressing employee harassment and disability claims, and assisting administration with staffing issues.
Construction Law and School Contracts
We regularly review public contracts, including bid specifications and plans, and assists schools in responding to the receipt of bids. We also provide advice on purchases made through state agencies, provide suggestions on emergency purchases, assist in the solicitation of quotes, and represent boards against emergent bid protests.
Providing counsel regarding the construction of new school facilities and the renovation and/or addition to existing facilities, our attorneys are involved in referendum challenges and the obtaining of municipal, county, state and/or federal approvals necessary for construction projects.