Practice/Industry Group Overview
The Adams and Reese Education Team covers the spectrum of matters dealing with education and public bodies. In addition to trying lawsuits in federal and state courts and conducting adversarial hearings before administrative bodies and school boards, we’ve handled corporate matters such as public bidding, bond issues and public finance. We serve as general counsel, consulting counsel, finance counsel or counsel for special projects. When you access our broad team and resources, you also gain a single responsive attorney who will manage all of your legal questions.
In our litigation work with educational institutions, we focus heavily on mediation efforts and obtaining summary judgments so that clients avoid the cost and publicity of a trial. If your case does go to trial, you retain strong representation to handle the complex interplay of laws in the education arena. We also frequently provide training, consulting and advising to public school districts, private schools and private and public colleges and universities.
We have been involved in education since the 1970s and have seen school districts and other educational institutions through everything from desegregation to the development of today’s student rights environment. Our attorneys frequently speak on issues of school administration and education law. We have represented or consulted with over 100 schools and districts in the states we serve. Many of our attorneys have backgrounds in education, including special education and administration.
Core Practice and Clients
We work with schools and districts primarily in Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama and Tennessee, in areas that include:
Student issues: including drug and alcohol policies, school prayer, student privacy and FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act), diversity and non-discrimination policies, honor codes, disciplinary actions and expulsions, Greek organizations, admissions, 529 plans, campus security, sexual harassment, bullying, child abuse, search and seizure, drug testing, student handbooks, Title IX, § 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, special education and the IDEIA.
Employment issues: including tenure, employment contracts (presidents and superintendents, faculty, coaches, etc.), faculty handbooks, employment policies and practices, academic freedom, harassment and discrimination policies and training, drug and alcohol abuse, AIDS policies, termination and disciplinary hearings.
Defense of Discrimination claims: including those under federal fair employment laws, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Americans with Disabilities Act, constitutional claims under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 and the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Employee benefits and executive compensation: including supplemental retirement and specialized compensation arrangements for presidents and senior administrators, faculty early retirement incentive programs, Section 403(b) tax-deferred annuity programs and health and welfare benefit plans.
Student behavior and technology: Facebook, social networking and texting/sexting are new areas where the laws against bullying and harassment still apply. We help our clients understand how the law applies and how to create a safer school environment for themselves and their students.
Athletics: including NCAA compliance, drug testing, athletic conference affiliation, use of athletic facilities, Title IX and gender equity, equipment safety and logo usage and licensing.
Desegregation: including unitary status and Re-Districting and issues related to the Voting Rights Act.