Education Law

When it comes to education law, Clark Hill delivers the depth and legal know-how of a premier boutique supported by the full array of firmwide commercial and government law practices. Our firm offers extensive experience counseling public school districts, intermediate school districts, independent schools, community colleges, and universities on the legal issues that impact all facets of school operations.

We can assist with any of the numerous issues our education clients may face. Our attorneys are known and valued for being available and responsive. They listen to clients to understand their goals and effectuate even the most distinct objectives. While some law firms tell clients what to do, we view our role as serving our clients' administrative team and working together to determine what is in their best interest and then empowering the client to achieve the result. Throughout the process, we stand with the client all the way.

Our team remains steadfastly focused on preventative law. We do this by having a long-term perspective and orient ourselves to preventing problems. Our collaborative team understands that overcoming obstacles to progress often means interacting appropriately with and before various stakeholders in a community, such as unions and parent groups.

Our group stays on top of the evolving world of education law and proactively serves clients by providing legal updates and in-services on pertinent legal developments that impact their district and students. The breadth of our Education practice, as well as our geographic reach and state of the art technology, enables us to consistently deliver the specific legal advice and service our education clients need to successfully manage operations.

Our experience in serving education clients is undeniably comprehensive, including:

  • Human resources management
  • Employee and student discipline
  • Faculty tenure
  • Collective bargaining agreements and negotiation
  • Residency
  • Subpoenas
  • Board governance, bylaws, and policies
  • Special education and disability law
  • Title IX compliance
  • Taxation
  • School funding, finance, investment, and lines of credit
  • Permissible expenditure of funds
  • Procurement and purchasing
  • Governmental and legislative affairs
  • Intergovernmental agreements
  • Real estate and construction
  • Insurance
  • Contract negotiation and drafting
  • Trusts and foundations
  • Bonds and notes
  • Civil rights
  • Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
  • Open Meetings Act (OMA)
  • Workers’ compensation
  • Law enforcement
  • Intellectual property protection

Experience

Jeremy Motz assisted the Livonia Public Schools in successfully negotiating the sale of a wireless communications perpetual easement agreement to American Tower Company for $900,000 for American Tower's use of a wireless communications (cell) tower at the School District's Stevenson High School site.  Jeremy worked with the School District to facilitate its due diligence process, including analysis of competing offers, and securing a third-party appraisal to independently verify American Tower's offer was fair and reasonable.  Jeremy's expertise was also instrumental in negotiating certain protections for the School District into the easement agreement, including limitations on American Tower's use of the tower and enabling the School District to continue to use the tower as part of its football field light system.  The transaction is significant for the School District in light of its budget cuts and anticipated budget shortfall.  Interim Superintendent Andrea Oquist said the money is nearly half of what the School District needs to help balance the $144.2 million general fund budget for the 2015-16 school year.  

Tags: Education

Gohl v. Livonia Public Schools, et al. (E.D. Michigan)

After over two years of litigation and over 100 days of depositions, Clark Hill, along with their co-defense counsel, obtained a complete dismissal of all claims against all Defendants.  In this case before United States District Judge Mark Goldsmith, the Plaintiff, on behalf of her minor son, alleged numerous federal and state causes of action arising from alleged misconduct by the minor’s teacher and paraprofessional, and the alleged failure on the part of the related services personnel, administration and the School District to report the alleged misconduct.  Clark Hill represented the paraprofessional, who denied any misconduct.  In a 40-page opinion, Judge Goldsmith thoroughly analyzed the law related to the federal claims and applied that law to the factual record presented through, among other things, dozens of transcripts, the reports of Plaintiff’s purported experts, and the Plaintiff’s developmental record at the school.  In dismissing the federal claims with prejudice, Judge Goldsmith agreed with all of the legal arguments presented by Clark Hill and its co-defense counsel.  Having determined that the Plaintiff’s federal claims lack merit, the Court found that the case no longer retained a federal character and, therefore, dismissed the state law claims without prejudice.  The defense team stands prepared to defend against the state law claims, should the Plaintiff choose to refile in state court.

Tags: Education
Newsletter Alerts
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School Closures and Impact upon Special Education and Section 504 Students Frequently Asked Questions and Summary of Current Guidance Michigan Expands Child Care Access During the COVID-19 EmergencyNew Executive Order Temporarily Suspends Certain Requirements of Open Meetings ActContracted School Transportation During Mandatory School ClosureU.S. Department of Education Releases Guidance on Student Privacy Related to CoronavirusNon-Renewal of Probationary Teacher ContractsNon-Renewal of Administrator ContractsUse of Derogatory Terms to Motivate Student-Athletes is Permissible Under Title IXEducation Records Are Subject to FOIA RequestsSubsequent Harassment Must Occur in Title IX Private Causes of ActionMDE Seeks to Change Standards for Special Education AdministratorsDistricts Must Promptly Enact Policies Banning Abortion Advice or Risk Major Financial SanctionsThe Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals: Some Student Cell Phone Searches do not Violate Clearly Established LawRescission of Conditional At-Will Employment Offers are not Penalties under the MMMANon-Renewal of Probationary Teacher ContractsNon-Renewal of Administrator ContractsMichigan’s Legalization of Marijuana Need Not Change School District PoliciesCourt Case Shows Importance of Monitoring Student Progress Under an IEPFBI Issues Public Service Announcement of Cyber Threats Related to Student Use of Educational TechnologiesPolicies Prohibiting Weapons on School Property Are Upheld by Michigan Supreme CourtClosed Sessions of Public Bodies to Discuss Pending Litigation Must Identify the LitigationJudge Awards $500,000 Against School District for Student BullyingUnion Commits Unfair Labor Practice When It Demands Arbitration Over A Prohibited Subject of BargainingRepeal of Michigan's Prevailing Wage ActMichigan Court of Appeals Again Addresses When Teachers May Challenge Their EvaluationsMichigan Court of Appeals Rules Teacher Discipline is a Prohibited Subject of BargainingNon-Renewal of Administrator ContractsNon-Renewal of Probationary Teacher ContractsFailure to Train Managers and Supervisors Cost Company $284,000 for Violation of the Family Medical Leave ActTax Reform Takes Aim at the Municipal Securities MarketU.S. Department of Education Issues New Interim Title IX GuidanceSixth Circuit Upholds City's Retiree Health CutsContractual Restrictions Against Forum Shopping May Be IllegalDepartment of Labor Releases a Request for Information Seeking Public Comment on Overtime RegulationsAre You Ready for August 1st?Transgender Equality: Coming to a School Bathroom or Locker Room Near You!Emergency Rule on School Construction Allows Planned Projects to Go ForwardMEA's 30 Day Window for Opt-Out Violates PERAEvery Student Succeeds Act Prohibits "Passing the Trash"New Laws Add Significant Student Record-Keeping Requirements Department of Education and Department of Justice Withdraw Title IX Transgender Student Federal GuidanceClark Hill PLC Launches Comprehensive Title IX Compliance and Investigation ServicesNon-Renewal of Probationary Teacher ContractsNon-Renewal of Administrator ContractsState Legislation Bans Seclusion and RestraintNew Year, New President - 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News
Special Education Attorney Jordan M. Bullinger to Speak During MASB's Annual Leadership ConferenceClark Hill PLC Receives National and Regional Rankings in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2021 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Attorneys Named to 2020 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising Stars List Clark Hill Attorney Kara Rozin Discusses What Crucial Items Schools, Parents, and Children Need to be Aware of Before School Resumes on WGVU RadioClark Hill attorney Maria Dwyer published in The Legal IntelligencerClark Hill Attorneys Present to Members of Michigan Association of Administrators of Special EducationClark Hill Lawyers Named 2020 Leading LawyersClark Hill PLC Receives National and Regional Tier 1 Rankings in the 2020 Edition of Best Lawyers “Best Law Firms”Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2019 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsClark Hill Attorneys Dana L. Abrahams, John L. Gierak, Marshall W. Grate, Jeremy S. Motz, Nancy L. Mullett, Charles M. Russman and Joseph B. Urban to Present at the MSBO 81st Annual Conference & Exhibit ShowClark Hill Attorneys to Present at Annual Clark Hill & Plante Moran School Law & Finance SeminarClark Hill PLC Receives National and Regional Tier 1 Rankings in the 2019 Edition of Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms” Clark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban to present at Michigan Association of School Boards Annual Conference in Grand Rapids on November 2Sixty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2018 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsClark Hill Attorney Kara T. Rozin Receives Grand Rapids Bar Association's "3-in-10" AwardSixty-Seven Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2018 Leading LawyersClark Hill Attorneys Nicole M. Paterson, Barbara A. Ruga and Joseph B. Urban to Present During MASPA’s 45th Annual Winter ConferenceClark Hill PLC Receives National and Regional Tier 1 Rankings in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Clark Hill Attorneys Eric C. Galbally, Marshall W. Grate and Nicole M. Paterson Author "Title IX Q&A: How to Protect your Educational Institution from Litigation"Education Attorney Nancy L. Mullett Joins Clark Hill PLCSixty-Six Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2017 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsClark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga Named 2018 Education Law “Lawyer of the Year”Seventy-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2018 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaSpecial Education Law Attorneys Jeffrey J. Butler, Jordan M. Bullinger and Vickie L. Coe Join Clark Hill PLC Clark Hill Attorney Kara T. Rozin to Present at Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Leadership Conference in Charlotte, MI on April 28, 2017 Clark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban Selected to Chair Committee Drafting Detroit Public Schools Community District Financial Transition Report Clark Hill Attorneys Marshall W. Grate and Kara T. Rozin to Present "Emerging Issues Under PA 349, Financial Cost of Absenteeism and FLMA Update" Clark Hill Attorney Kara Rozin to Present "HR Issues: Top 10 Things Across Our Desk" During MASPA Support Staff ConferenceClark Hill Attorney Joe Urban to Present to Coach Genesee County Superintendents on New School Discipline LawsClark Hill Attorneys Kara T. Rozin and Joseph B. Urban to Present at the 2017 Michigan Negotiators Association Labor Relations AcademyClark Hill PLC Launches Comprehensive Title IX Compliance and Investigation ServicesClark Hill Announces Attorneys Elected to Membership, Promotions to Senior AttorneyClark Hill PLC Partners With Plante Moran to Present School Law and Finance Seminar on January 21, 2017Clark Hill Attorneys Marshall W. Grate and Joseph B. Urban to Present During the MSBO Financial Strategies Conference on Tuesday, January 17, 2017Clark Hill Attorneys Barbara A. Ruga and Kara T. Rozin to Present at MASPA’s 44th Annual Winter ConferenceClark Hill Attorney Mark W. McInerney to Present at Michigan Council of School Attorneys Fall Conference on November 10, 2016Clark Hill Attorneys Kara T. Rozin and Stephen R. Gee to Present During Grand Valley State University's School Business Officials SeminarClark Hill Attorneys Dana L. Abrahams & Jeremy S. Motz Presented on “Permissible Expenditures and Strategies to Comply” for Oakland County School Business Officials on October 28, 2016Clark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban to Provide Keynote Address to 21st Session of the Southeast Michigan Model United Nations Fall ConferenceClark Hill PLC Receives National Rankings in the 2017 Edition of U.S. News-Best Lawyers, “Best Law Firms”Clark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban to Present to Detroit Charter School Board Members and School LeadersClark Hill Attorney Jeremy S. Motz Presented on “Fundamentals of School Purchasing” for Michigan School Business Officials on October 27, 2016 Clark Hill Attorney Jeremy S. Motz Presented on “Fundamentals of School Record Retention” for Saginaw Valley School Business Officials on October 14, 2016Clark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga to Present Keynote Address During MNA’s 2016 Fall ConferenceClark Hill Attorneys John L. Gierak and Barbara A. Ruga to Co-Present During MNA’s 2016 Fall ConferenceKara T. Rozin Joins Clark Hill’s Education and Municipal Law Practice GroupSixty Clark Hill Attorneys Named 2016 Michigan Super Lawyers & Rising StarsSixty-Four Clark Hill Attorneys Selected for Inclusion in the 2017 Edition of Best Lawyers in AmericaClark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban Participates in CBS Public Affairs Radio Panel Discussion on Residential School ProgramsClark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban to Moderate Bay Mills Community College "Leadership Matters" Conference on May 19, 2016Clark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban to present to the Association of Public Charter School Attorneys in Phoenix, Arizona on April 28, 2016Clark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga to Present Keynote Address During MASSP and MASA’s Educator Evaluation Conference Friday, April 29, 2016Members of Clark Hill PLC's Education Practice Group to Present at the 78th Annual MSBO Conference and Exhibit Show, April 26-28, 2016Clark Hill Attorney Joseph B. Urban to Present at Detroit Public Schools’ 4th Annual Charter School Boards of Directors Conference on April 9, 2016Clark Hill Attorneys Dana L. Abrahams and Jeremy S. Motz to Present “Understanding Construction Procurement and Contracting” at Wayne State University on March 22, 2016Clark Hill Attorney John Gierak to Present at the Wayne County Association of School Boards Meeting on March 17, 2016 Clark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga to Present “Educator Evaluations” During the Michigan Association of Intermediate School Administrators’ 2016 Spring MeetingClark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga to Present at the Michigan Negotiators Association’s Spring Conference Thursday, March 17, 2016Clark Hill Attorney Barbara A. Ruga to Speak During the MASA Region VI Superintendent Conference on Thursday, March 3, 2016Clark Hill attorneys John L. Gierak and Joseph B. Urban to present to the Labor Relations Conference in Lansing, MI on February 26, 2016Clark Hill PLC Partners with Plante Moran to Present School Law and Finance Seminar on January 9, 2016Clark Hill Attorney John Gierak to Present at the Michigan Association of School Personnel Administrators’ 42nd Annual Winter Conference
Articles
SEILN FAPE During Covid-19 Questions and AnswersReturn to School FAQ for Special Education PractitionersSummer School COVID Testing Mandate Could Have Ripple Effect Outside of DetroitBar Association Names '3-in-10' Award WinnersGRBA Combines Business with Fun, Announces 3 in 10 Award WinnersAfter A Memorable Year, Clark Hill Member Kara Rozin Talks About Family, Competition, And ‘The Old Boys Club’TITLE IX Q&A: How to Protect your Educational Institution from LitigationContractual Restrictions Against Forum Shopping May Be IllegalClark Hill PLC Takes Steps to Support Community Through Restorative JusticeJoseph B. Urban Quoted in The Detroit News: Detroit Education Cases May Reverberate Across U.S., December 2016Joseph B. Urban Quoted in The Detroit News: Literacy Lawsuit Draws Questions, Call for Investment, October 2016Joseph B. Urban Quoted in Debtwire: Detroit Public Schools to Close on State Aid Note Refinancing as Technical Default Looms, September 2016Joseph B. Urban Quoted in Debtwire: Benton Harbor Charter School Academy Dealt A Blow Amid Statewide Educational Uncertainty, September 2016Mark W. McInerney Quoted in Legal News Line: Michigan Ruling Over Unprofessional Conduct A Plus For School Districts, August 2016Joseph B. Urban Quoted in Debtwire: Allen Academy Shuts Down as Michigan Legislation Could Tighten Controls on Charters, July 2016Jeremy S. Motz Quoted in Hometown Life - Outsourcing Opponent: ‘Stop Farming Out Farmington’, April 2016Jeremy S. Motz Quoted in C&G News - FPS Board Looks to Privatize Transportation, Custodial Services, February 2016Jeremy S. Motz Quoted in Hometown Life - Farmington to Seek Bids for Outsourced Busing, More, January 2016Reginald M. Turner Quoted in The Guardian: Detroit Teachers' Sickout Shuts Down Schools as Officials Scramble for RecourseJeremy S. Motz in Inside Towers - School Board Approves $900,000 Deal, October 2015Jeremy S. Motz Quoted in Hometown Life - School Board OKs Cell Tower Agreement for $900,000 cash, September 2015Reginald M. Turner Quoted in The Detroit News: Detroit's Future Tied to Schools, November 2014Reginald M. Turner Quoted in The Detroit News: Detroit Rises: Let's Find Common Ground on Education, November 2014Education Law Alert - Michigan Prohibits Access to Social Media...
Presentations
School Law & Finance Seminar January 25, 2020Title IX EssentialsEmerging Issues in Student Discipline by Mark McInerneyADA in the Age of COVID-19Top 5 Trends for the New School YearWEBINAR: How to Conduct an InvestigationTop 5 COVID-19 Issues Coming to a School HR Department Near You – Q&A Style!WEBINAR: "The Coronavirus: Helping Employers Through New and Developing Workplace Issues"WEBINAR: "Title IX Investigations: Best Practices and How to Avoid Common Missteps"WEBINAR: Title IX: Hot TopicsJanuary 21, 2017 Clark Hill & Plante Moran School Law & Finance Seminar PresentationWEBINAR: Restorative Justice: Reshaping School Discipline2016 Clark Hill & Plante Moran School Law & Finance Seminar Presentation on January 9, 2016Title IX: Meeting the Obligation to Respond to Sexual ViolenceNavigating the Minefield: Understanding the Conflict of Interest Laws - MSBO ConferenceHot Topics in School Law - MSBO ConferenceClarifying Widespread Misunderstandings About Construction Laws and Procedures - MSBO ConferenceFundamentals of Purchasing Policies and Procedures - MSBO ConferenceMNA Spring Conference: We CAN Learn From Our Past and Impact Our FutureMASA/MCSA Shared-Time Agreements by Marshall GrateMASA/MCSA Current School Safety Issues by Mark McInerney
Media
Clark Hill PLC Takes Steps to Support Community Through Restorative JusticeJoseph B. Urban Speaks with Karen Dumas on 910 AM Radio About Residential Schools Joseph B. Urban Participates in CBS Public Affairs Radio Panel on Residential Schools Programs in Detroit - Part 2Joseph B. Urban Participates in CBS Public Affairs Radio Panel on Residential Schools Programs in Detroit - Part 1Channel 4 Flashpoint: Reginald M. Turner Interviewed on the Education Achievement Authority of Michigan