探花精选

COSA 2022 Fall School Law Seminar - Register Now

Registration is open!

The COSA School Law Seminar Fall provides school lawyers with timely, valuable resources to make informed decisions for their districts. This seminar will include four afternoons of online sessions allowing attendees to customize their professional development by purchasing daily sessions on topics of interest or the entire conference.

Registration Fees

  Bundle Rates (all four days)  Daily Rates 
Member  $420  $149 
Non-member  $630  $209 
SAC/IHC  $280  $89 

Schedule

  • Oct. 4 鈥 Legal Advocacy Update, Equity, and Digital Privacy

    12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

    探花精选 Legal Advocacy Update
    Join 探花精选’s Chief Legal officer for the perennially popular overview of the Supreme Court's current composition and analysis of key federal cases affecting public schools. The session will touch on recent decisions from the October 2021 term, and upcoming arguments in cases like  Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and UNC. There will also be discussion of 探花精选's amicus brief being filed with U.S. Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit in an IDEA attorneys’ fees case.

     

    1:30 – 1:45 p.m. EDT

    Break

    1:45 – 2:45 p.m. EDT

    Band-Aids Don’t Fix Bullet Holes: How Lawyers Can Sabotage Long-Term Risk Management in Diversity & Equity Work
    (Diversity/Equity requested in most states)
    Lawyers are trained to listen to a “problem,” spot compliance issues, and defend against litigation. But to help our clients create equitable spaces, we must listen to understand, and commonly, admit past mistakes. The first approach — listening to defend — can cause lawyers unconsciously to sabotage efforts toward the long-term health of our schools. We become so focused on Band-Aids and crisis management that we forget to listen to understand the context, framework, and dynamics at play in a community. And we forget that an easy solution to the problem is perhaps not a solution. In this session, certified Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice (DEIJ) coaches and lawyers invite you to shift your lens from reactive defense to a more asset-based, reflective practice that supports equitable school cultures and reduces litigation.

    Presenters: Jessica Heiser, Church Church Hittle & Antrim, Noblesville, IN; and Shelley Bethel, Director of Equity & Inclusion, Noblesville Schools, IN

    2:45 – 3 p.m. EDT

    Break

    3 – 4 p.m. EDT

    Digital Privacy Issues in the Education Context
    Join an experienced COSA school attorney in a discussion on digital privacy issues in the education context, including legal context for data sharing, potential pitfalls to avoid, and a model digital resource review process.

    Presenter: Amanda Herzog, Jefferson County Public Schools, Louisville, KY

  • Oct. 6 鈥 Labor & Employment

    12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

    Teaching on the Titanic: The Speech Rights of Public School Employees in a Post-Pandemic World
    As we leave COVID-19 behind and enter the post-pandemic world of public education, schools are faced with the daunting task of deciding how far to allow teachers to go in teaching outside the traditional 3 R’s curriculum. This session will investigate how to strike the proper balance between maintaining control over the school’s curricular speech, and allowing teachers to express themselves in areas such as social media speech, symbolic speech in the classroom, and values-related speech.

    Presenter: Christopher Gilbert, Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, TX

    1:30 – 1:45 p.m. EDT

    Break

    1:45 – 2:45 p.m. EDT

    Attracting the Employees You Want Using the Benefits Employees Want
    As schools face dire staff shortages, many are seeking counsel on legal alternatives. In this session, we will discuss legal approaches to offering employee benefits that can help you attract new employees in an increasingly competitive market. We will cover the legalities of current employment benefits trends, new options, cost-saving features, as well as practical implementation and compliance tips. You’ll leave with ideas for useful strategies that can be started right away.

    Presenter: Charles Russman, Clark Hill, Birmingham, MI

    2:45 – 3 p.m. EDT

    Break

    3 – 4 p.m. EDT

    Legal and Practical Considerations for Retaining Employees in a Competitive Job Market
    Retaining employees in a competitive job market can be just as challenging as attracting them. Join Lisa and Charles for a thoughtful discussion on identifying flexibilities in current contracts to retain employees, including those in states with labor unions. Retention becomes crucial when we consider liabilities such as safety issues, compliance with wage and hour laws, special considerations related to remote work, and, importantly, supporting student success.

    Presenters: Lisa Freiley, Willamette Education Service District, Salem, OR; and Charles Russman, Clark Hill, Birmingham, MI  
  • Oct. 11 鈥 First Amendment Rights

    12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

    Turning Student Dress Codes Inside Out: Legal Risks and Practical Implications
    We are seeing increasing public attention on student expression through dress, and concomitant attention on school dress code restrictions. A student’s successful claim against a Texas school district over a restriction on hairstyles has become the primary example of the need for schools to rethink dress codes in modern contexts and free expression standards. In this session, we will review applicable case law, scan sample student dress codes, and discuss both the legal risks and practical implications of a restrictive student dress code. We’ll also consider reasonable components of a broader dress code that supports student expression.

    Presenter:Leigh Dalton, Stock and Leader LLC, York, PA

    1:30 – 1:45 p.m. EDT

    Break

    1:45 – 2:45 p.m. EDT

    Libraries, School Curriculum, and the First Amendment: Turning Board Meetings Into Book Clubs
    Across the United States, local boards of education have become the latest battleground in a contentious culture war.鈥疊oth sides of the political spectrum have strong opinions about what should and should not be shared with students in the library and the classrooms, and everyone contends that the soul of the nation hangs in the balance.鈥疊ut what does the First Amendment say about this debate, and what role do local boards and their attorneys have in contributing to civil discourse?

    Presenter: D. Scott Bennett, Bennett & DeCamp, PLLC, Chattanooga, TN

    2:45 – 3 p.m. EDT

    Break

    3 – 4 p.m. EDT

    Staff Speech – Kennedy and its Impact on Garcetti, Free Exercise Standards
    For decades, school districts have been on the front lines of the cultural divide. Conflicts and disagreements on contentious social issues inevitably find their way into public schools. We need look no further than Mary Beth Tinker’s black armband during the conflict in Vietnam to find speech on a contentious issue and a reconfiguration of First Amendment expression rights by the Supreme Court. In 2022, the Court again reconfigured First Amendment expression rights, this time in the employment context. Its decision in Kennedy v. Bremerton School District set a new standard, essentially “double-protecting” private religious expression, and leading school districts across the country to reexamine employee speech policies tied to “endorsement,” which the Court now disfavors. The presenter will lead a discussion of specific scenarios and policy provisions in the wake of Kennedy.

    Presenter: Howard Miller, Bond, Schoeneck & King, Garden City, NY

  • Oct. 12 鈥 Civil Rights & Ethics

    12:30 – 1:30 p.m. EDT

    Title IX Regulations: The Remix
    We all know that the Title IX Rules are about to change — again. This session will take a practical approach to the issues, as we talk through what will need to change for schools to be in compliance under the proposed rules. The session will include helpful discussions of real-life scenarios under both the current and the proposed rules, giving participants a broad understanding of the lay of the Title IX land.

    Presenters: Phil Hartley, Harben, Hartley & Hawkins, LLP, Gainesville, GA;鈥 Jackie Gharapour Wernz,鈥疶hompson & Horton, Dallas, TX; and Jacqui Litra, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, Los Angeles, CA

    1:30 – 1:45 p.m. EDT

    Break

    1:45 – 2:45 p.m. EDT

    Student Privacy on Trial:鈥 The School Attorney’s Guide to Complying with FERPA, Court Orders, and Discovery Rules During Litigation
    Lawsuits involving children present numerous privacy challenges for schools, including discovery requests that seek sensitive records about other students and court orders that allow plaintiffs to proceed anonymously, which could impede the school’s ability to gather evidence. This presentation will examine the Family Educational Rights & Privacy Act (FERPA) and other laws affecting student privacy and provide practical guidance for in-house counsel and litigation counsel regarding protective orders, discovery responses, and depositions.

    Presenter: Lisa A. Brown, Thompson & Horton LLP, Houston, TX

    2:45 – 3 p.m. EDT

    Break

    3 – 4 p.m. EDT

    Striving to Eliminate Bias, Discrimination, and Harassment in the Practice of School Law
    (Legal Ethics requested in most states)
    The Model Rules of Professional Conduct prohibit a lawyer from engaging in activity related to the practice of law that he or she knows or reasonably should know is harassment or discrimination in conduct. School attorneys may understand these concepts in the school environment, but what conduct constitutes discrimination or harassment in the ethical context? Brandon Wright will explore this inquiry and more while focusing on the rule designed to eliminate bias and enhance diversity in the profession.

    Presenter: Brandon Wright, Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd., Monticello, IL