From individualized education plans (IEPs), disability accommodation and labor and employment disputes to facilities management, safety, environmental issues and financial constraints — education institutions must overcome far more than the typical hurdles facing other public agencies. Handling these and a host of other issues requires a wide range of regulatory and legal knowledge and experience.
Best Best & Krieger LLP’s (BBK) cross-disciplinary Education Litigation team represents public and private K-12 schools, school districts, county offices of education, community colleges and universities, special education local plan areas, and education foundations. We help these clients minimize risk, avoid potential pitfalls and resolve litigation while managing costs when going to court proves unavoidable.
Our litigators have successfully represented educational institutions at all levels of state and federal court. We manage every aspect of litigation, preparing and responding to discovery requests, including depositions, requests for admissions, interrogatories, requests for the production of documents, and motions for physical and mental examinations. We represent our clients at motion hearings and litigate disputes in trial courts and on appeal, when necessary. BBK attorneys also have extensive experience handling collective bargaining negotiations, administrative hearings and proceedings, impasse procedures, grievances, discipline appeals, and layoff hearings.
Meeting Clients’ Needs In and Out of Court
Our attorneys have litigated disputes involving a wide range of issues, including:
- School board governance and administration
- Business services and school facilities
- Regulatory compliance
- Charter schools, including applications, petitions, revisions, and renewals
- Oversight responsibilities, fiscal monitoring, and investigations
- Land acquisition and related real estate matters
- Environmental issues
- Finance, acquisition, and construction of facilities
- Special education and Section 504
- Americans with Disability Act and disability accommodations
- Facilities management and safety issues
- Student affairs
- Student discipline, suspension, and expulsion
- Labor, employment, unions, and collective bargaining matters
- Discrimination and harassment claims
- Civil rights, due process, equal protection, free speech/religion, and other constitutional challenges
- Statutory law claims
- Academic governance
- Admission processes
- Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, pupil records, and other privacy issues
Beyond the courtroom, we assist school districts in responding to federal and state complaint investigations and compliance reviews, conducting audits and complaint investigations, and in mediations, arbitrations, and settlement discussions. We also advocate regarding legislative initiatives and assert and defend our clients’ interests before government agencies and regulatory bodies, including the Public Employment Relations Board, the National Labor Relations Board, the California Department of Education, the California Office of Administrative Hearings, and the federal Office for Civil Rights.
Comprehensive Risk Avoidance and Litigation Prevention Strategies
We recognize the benefits of avoiding litigation whenever possible. Taking a proactive approach, we work with clients on developing risk avoidance strategies and complaint/response procedures. We help create and revise student handbooks, and school policies and practices. We offer training to assure staff compliance.