Council of School Attorneys

NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys 2016-2017 leadership

NSBA’s Council of School Attorneys (COSA), the national network of attorneys representing K-12 public school districts, elected new leaders and directors at its recent annual meeting in Boston, Massachusetts. COSA supports school attorneys and provides leadership in legal advocacy for public schools; its 22-member Board of Directors oversees its continuing legal education programming and working groups for its more than 3,000 members across the United States and Canada.

Reauthorizing ESEA

The reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act was a decade in the making. “Everyone knew what was wrong and not working, and that it required legislative change, but there was no political capital for the change,” says Michael Zola, NSBA’s associate executive director of federal advocacy and public policy.

School boards and the First Amendment

School board members and their First Amendment rights was the topic of a Friday session at the Council of School Attorneys (COSA) School Law Seminar, held in conjunction with NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston.

The session was presented by Karla Schultz of Walsh, Gallegos, Trevino, Russo, & Kyle, PC, in Austin, Texas, and Mark Tilley of the Texas Association of School Boards, also in Austin.

Both presenters used case law as examples of what school board members, as elected official and private citizens, can and cannot do under their right to free speech.

Video surveillance and the law

Is Big Brother watching you? In a session that invoked George Orwell’s famous treatise on the government and privacy, panelists discusses the legal ramifications of video surveillance in schools.

The Friday session was part of the Council of School Attorneys (COSA) School Law Seminar, held in conjunction with NSBA’s Annual Conference in Boston.

The panel included Kathleen Styles, chief privacy officer with the U.S. Department of Education. Also on the panel were two lawyers with the Union County Public Schools in Monroe, North Carolina: Michele Morris and Deborah Smith.

Ethics and the Life of a Lawyer Webinar

A legal career has a distinct life cycle, from newly hatched associate, through growing practitioner, then "adult" partner, and ending as distinguished retiree. Different ethical matters take center stage at different times in this cycle, and this presentation will examine a few of those issues, starting with issues of competence and zealous representation as a young lawyer, through the concerns with marketing and advertising as one's practice develops, and ending with some of the common issues relating to closing down a practice.

City of Houston v. Zamora (U.S. Sup. Ct. Petition Brief 2016)

Whether the Fifth Court erred in applying the "cat's paw" theory of liability to Title VII

United Student Aid Funds, Inc. v. Bible (U.S. Sup. Ct. - Petition Brief 2016)

Federal agency notice and comment rulemaking: Whether Auer v. Robbins, 519 U.S. 452 (1997), nd Bowles v. Seminole Rock & Sand Co., 325 U.S. 410 (1945), should be overruled

27 Things Every School Attorney Should Know Webinar

Join a former COSA Chair and honorary “dean” of School Law for an inspirational and thought-provoking session that will be meaningful for new and seasoned school attorneys alike. Mr. Pickett guides you through fundamental principles of successful school law practice that are usually learned only through experience and mentoring.  His wisdom will help new school attorneys as they get started and will reinforce some basics for experienced practitioners. This webinar is exclusive to our COSA and State Association Counel members.

Host:                Tammy Carter

Explore San Antonio

Steps Back in History at the Alamo: Take a short 7 min walk from the hotel to remember the Alamo. Home of the famous 1836 battle, the Alamo reminds us of William Barrett Travis’s words:  “I am determined to sustain myself as long as possible & die like a soldier who never forgets what is due to his own honor & that of his country — Victory or Death.” The Alamo

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