Events

2018 COSA School Law Seminar Program

San Antonio, Texas
April 5-7, 2018

Members may access session papers here

Thursday, April 5

Time and Location

Session

Topic and Presenter

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Salon M

Work-Alike Luncheon Meetings

State Association Counsel
Host: Debra Silk, Montana School Boards Association, Helena, MT

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.
Location: Salon JK

Work-Alike Luncheon Meetings

In House Counsel
Host: Ron Wenkart, Orange County Department of Education, Costa Mesa, CA

10:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Location: Salon L

Work-Alike Luncheon Meetings

New to the Practice
Host:  Andrew Manna, Church Church Hittle & Antrim, Noblesville, IN

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Salon G

Early Bird Workshop 1
Special Education and Students

Host: Jim Thomeczek, Thomeczek & Brink, St. Louis, MO

Independent Educational Evaluations:  Your Top 10 Questions Answered!
The speaker will answer the top 10 questions about parent-requested IEEs, and along the way, equip practitioners with tools necessary to help schools make principled and strategic decisions that are both legally compliant and in the best interests of the school and students. Participants will be provided a sample IEE policy and procedural checklist for dealing with common issues that arise in the context of IEEs.
Presenter:  David D. Garner, Osborn Maledon, P.A., Phoenix, AZ

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Salon G

Early Bird Workshop 1
Special Education and Students

Host: Jim Thomeczek, Thomeczek & Brink, St. Louis, MO

When Do We Need a School Nurse?  Legal Obligations Under Federal Law for Schools for Classrooms, Field Trips, and Extracurriculars
While schools would prefer that nursing staff be readily-accessible at all student events, razor-thin budgets and nursing availability often make this difficult. When does federal law, including Section 504, require that a school nurse legally be present during school events? This session analyzes the laws that may require schools to have nursing staff present and discusses practical solutions to the common problem of nursing shortages.
Presenter:  Erin Gilsbach, King Spry Herman Freund & Faul, Bethlehem, PA

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.
Location: Salon F

Early Bird Workshop 2
Labor and Employment

Host:  Mike Julka, Boardman & Clark, Madison, WI

Dumb and Dumber:  Showing Up to Work Under the Influence – How the District Should Respond to Prevent a Scary Sequel
This session will cover relevant background statistics on use of drugs and alcohol, a review of legal considerations, including when and how to properly test for illegal use, and options to consider in handling sticky situations after a thorough investigation, including when to discipline and when to accommodate.
Presenter:  Katie Anderson, Strasburger & Price, LLP, Dallas, TX

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Location: Salon F

Early Bird Workshop 2
Labor and Employment

Host:  Mike Julka, Boardman & Clark, Madison, WI

Employee Discipline In A Labor Relations Context
Two school district attorneys who formerly served as in-house legal counsel for the largest public school employees union in Wisconsin will provide valuable insights into effective supervision and discipline of school district employees in a labor context with a particular emphasis on the “just cause” standard.  The role of documentation, progressive discipline, performance improvement plans, last chance agreements and resignation agreements (including OWBPA) will be discussed, as will the importance of recognizing the legal protections afforded to probationary employees.
Presenters (to be confirmed): Jina Jonen, Oregon School District, Oregon, WI; Melissa Thiel Collar, Green Bay Area Public Schools, Green Bay, WI

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.
Location: Salon I Foyer

Refreshments and Networking

 

4:45 – 6:15 p.m.
Location: Salon IH

Opening General Session

Host: Diane Marshall-Freeman, Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, Sacramento, CA

Texas Tall Tales:  Supreme Court School Rulings from the Lone Star State and Their Relevance Today
Texas has produced BIG school law precedent.  Key Supreme Court decisions on undocumented students, prayer at school events, and the status of education as a constitutional right all started here.  A panel of litigants and Texas COSA veterans takes a hard look at how that precedent is being broadened, narrowed and applied in schools today, and asks: what’s the next BIG case?
Moderator: Norma V. Cantu, Professor of Education & Professor of Law, University of Texas, Austin, and former Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education.
Panelists: Lisa Brown,Thompson & Horton, Houston, TX; Joy Baskin, Texas Association of School Boards, Austin, TX; David Hinojosa,National Director of Policy, Intercultural Development Research Association, San Antonio, TX

7:00 p.m.
Location:  Off-site

Dine Around San Antonio

 

Friday, April 6

Time

Session

Topic and Presenter

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Location: Salon I Foyer

Continental Breakfast

 

7:30 – 8:15 a.m.
Location: Salon IH

Breakfast Discussion
(not eligible for CLE credit)

Host: Marc Terry, Mirick O’Connell, Worcester, MA

OCR Enforcement 2018
COSA member veterans of numerous OCR investigations join an OCR official for a collegial discussion about recent enforcement efforts.
Panelists:  Kenyatta Braggs, Brackett & Ellis, Fort Worth, TX; Aleksandra Rushing, Husch Blackwell, St. Louis, MO; Nanci Reaves, Hampton City Schools, Hampton, VA

8:30-9:30 a.m.
Location: Salon IH

General Session

Host: Joy Baskin, Texas Association of School Boards, Austin, TX

Religious Speech in Public Schools
Get a refresher and update on issues involving religious expression in the nation’s public schools, including whether religious speech by students or employees can be unlawful “hate” speech or otherwise limited as discriminatory or impacting the rights of others.  The presenters will explore recent federal and Supreme Court decisions. Participants will explore hypothetical fact patterns and receive “best practice” recommendations for how to get to common ground on controversial religion/speech issues that often create conflict and division in our schools.
Presenters:  Michael E. Smith and Sloan R. Simmons, Lozano Smith, Fresno, CA

9:45-10:45 a.m.
Location: Salon IH

General Session

Host:  Jim Keith, Adams and Reese, Ridgeland, MS

You've Come a Long Way Baby?: Employment Issues for Women Educators
Issues of sex discrimination and sexual harassment are suddenly high profile news. With the public school workforce composed primarily of women, are things different in that workplace setting? This session will provide a legal update, and practical suggestions, for district legal counsel on issues ranging from pregnancy and breastfeeding rights, to equal compensation and sexual harassment/discrimination.
Presenters:  Karla Schultz and Joey Moore, Wash Gallegos Treviño Russo & Kyle, Austin, TX

11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Location: Salon IH

General Session

Host: Joe Scholler, Frost Brown Todd, West Chester, OH

Beyond the Pale: How to Help Schools Reduce the Liability and Disruption Caused by Unreasonable Complainants
Schools turn to their lawyers to manage disruptive individuals who file dozens of complaints, interfere with school processes, post inflammatory comments, and yet are never satisfied. Sound familiar? The panelists will share strategies to help limit the impact of disruptive individuals and reduce the liability they create for schools.
Presenters: Holly Ortiz, Semple Farrington & Everall, Denver, CO; Juan Cruz, J. Cruz & Associates, Laredo TX; Karen Haase, KSB School Law, Lincoln, NE

2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Location: Salon G

Concurrent Session 1
Governance and Operations

Host:  Julie Miller, Oklahoma State School Boards Association, Oklahoma City, OK

Building a Better Construction Contract Part I – 2018 Updates to Recommended AIA Contract Revisions
Since 2007, the TASB COSA Construction Contract Committee has published recommended revisions for school construction contracts based on American Institute of Architects contract forms. Join members of the committee for an in-depth review of the committee’s recommendations for the AIA's 2017 forms. Learn about ways to protect your school client by adding significant protections to your contracts!
Presenters:  Tom Myers, Lynn Rossi Scott, Wayne Haglund, Winnie Dominguez, Joe Ball, Richard Schellhammer, Lee Simpson, Kirk Ordoyne, Texas Association of School Boards Council of School Attorneys Construction Contract Committee

3:00 – 3:50 p.m
Location:  Salon G

Concurrent Session 1
Governance and Operations

Host:  Julie Miller, Oklahoma State School Boards Association, Oklahoma City, OK

Building a Better Construction Contract Part II – 2018 Updates to Recommended AIA Contract Revisions
Since 2007, the TASB COSA Construction Contract Committee has published recommended revisions for school construction contracts based on American Institute of Architects contract forms. Join members of the committee for an in-depth review of the committee’s recommendations for the AIA's 2017 forms. Learn about ways to protect your school client by adding significant protections to your contracts!
Presenters:  Tom Myers, Lyn Rossi Scott, Wayne Haglund, Winnie Dominguez, Joe Ball, Richard Schellhammer, Lee Simpson, Texas Association of School Boards Council of School Attorneys Construction Contract Committee

4:00 – 4:50 p.m.
Location: Salon G

Concurrent Session 1
Governance and Operations

Host:  Karla Schultz, Walsh, Gallegos, Treviño, Russo & Kyle, Austin, TX

Decaying School Infrastructure:  Legal Pitfalls and Prevention
Explore the contractual, business, financial and liability issues associated with decaying school facilities.
Presenters:   Mark Williams and Namita Brown, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, Oakland, CA

2:00 – 2:50 p.m.
Location: Salon IH

Concurrent Session 2
Technology and Speech

Host:  Tiffany Richardson, South Carolina School Boards Association, Columbia, SC

 

Recording Devices in Schools
As cameras and other recording devices increasingly find their way into the public school classroom, legal disputes about this issue are also on the rise.  Join two experienced presenters on the topics of student privacy and technology for a look at applicable federal law, an examination of state law trends (including laws requiring video cameras in special education classrooms), practical tips for advising schools in this area, and an expected ruling from the 1st Circuit.
Presenters:  Sarah Orman, Texas Association of School Boards, Austin, TX; Sara Clark, Ohio School Boards AssociationColumbus, OH

3:00 – 3:50 p.m.
Location: Salon IH

Concurrent Session 2
Technology and Speech

Host:  Lisa Freiley, Southern Oregon ESD, Medford, OR

But It’s My Cell Phone:  Methods and Consequences of Using a Personal Device for School Business
The presenters will review the legal framework surrounding electronic communications by school personnel and new methods they use to communicate with students and parents and explore the unintended consequences of using a personal device to conduct school business.  The presenters will offer ten rules for school personnel to follow to prevent liability, bad press and embarrassment; and participants will receive a user-friendly legal framework to analyze school personnel’s electronic communications.
Presenters:  Rachel Hitch and Brandon McPherson, Schwartz & Shaw, Raleigh, NC

4:00 – 4:50 p.m.
Location: Salon IH

Concurrent Session 2
Technology and Speech

Host:  Randall Bennett, Tennessee School Boards Association, Nashville, TN

Better the Devil You Know:  Business Partner Recognition Banners as Government Speech
Many school districts allow entities who meet certain criteria and make donations to schools to be recognized with banners, boards, etc.  A federal appeals court has ruled that banners in one district are government speech for purposes of the First Amendment.  Join the district’s counsel for a description of the program and the Establishment Clause and Equal Protection issues that have resulted.
Presenters:  JulieAnn Rico, Sean Fahey and Shawntoyia Bernard, School Board of Palm Beach County

5:00 – 6:00 p.m.
Location:  Conference Rooms 17-18 Terrace

School Law Seminar Reception

 

Saturday, April 7

Time

Session

Topic and Presenter

7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
Location:  Halsted Foyer

Continental Breakfast

 

8:00 – 8:45 a.m.
Location: Salon IH

Breakfast Discussion
(not eligible for CLE credit)

Host: Melissa Barber, Boulder Valley School District, Boulder, CO

School Safety and Student Protests
Join the crucial conversation about school safety, arming staff, addressing student protests and more with your colleagues.  Share questions you are receiving and advice you are giving.
Moderator:  Jim Walsh, Walsh, Gallegos, Treviño, Russo & Kyle PC, Austin, TX; Panelists:  Floyd Dugas, Berchem Moses, Milford, CT; Patrice McCarthy, Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, Wessterfield, CT; Ken Trump, National School Safety and Security Services, OH
 

9:00 - 10:00 a.m.
Location: Salon IH

General Session

Host:  Phil Hartley, Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, Gainesville, GA

 

NSBA Legal Advocacy Update
In this popular session, NSBA Chief Legal Officer Francisco Negrón updates you on significant Supreme Court cases affecting public schools, and NSBA’s amicus and other legal advocacy work nationwide.
Speaker:  Francisco Negrón, Chief Legal Officer, NSBA

10:15 – 10:45 a.m.
Location: Salon IH

COSA Awards Presentation;
COSA Business Meeting and Elections

Presiding:  Pilar Sokol, 2017-2018 COSA Chair, New York State School Boards Association, Latham, NY

Presenting:  Andy Sanchez, 2018 Nominating Committee Chair, Cuddy & McCarthy, Albuquerque, NM

Join us as COSA honors Jim Hanks, COSA Chair 1991-1992, with its Lifetime Achievement Award.

COSA Awards Committee Chair: Martin Semple, Semple Farrington & Everall, Denver, CO

Remarks: Danielle Haindfield and Drew Bracken, Ahlers & Cooney, Des Moines, IA

11:00 – 12:15 p.m.
Location: Salon IH

General Session

Host:  Pilar Sokol, 2017-2018 COSA Chair, New York State School Boards Association, Latham, NY

 

Attorney Ethics in School:  Collaborative Consideration for In House, State Association and Retained Counsel
In this legal ethics session, the speakers identify and guide state association, in-house, and retained legal counsel on the ethical considerations in working with the same school client separately yet simultaneously. They will explore how and when to explain areas of ethical concern to the school client, including when legal information becomes legal representation, and when the attorney-client privilege begins and ends.
Presenters:  Julie Miller, Jessica Sherrill, Stephanie Mather, Rooney Virgin,andKim Bishop, Oklahoma State School Boards Association, Oklahoma City, OK

 

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