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.
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 are able to 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 in order 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 client’s 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 team is collaborative and 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 ever 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, enable 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
- Board governance, bylaws, and policies
- Special education and disability law
- Title IX compliance
- 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
- 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
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.