What We Do

The Office handles a diverse mixture of legal matters on behalf of the District. Such legal services include the drafting and reviewing of contracts, resolutions, and policies; defending civil actions and administrative proceedings at all levels of state and federal courts and the Department of Administrative Hearings; providing legal advice on a regular basis on all matters concerning the operation of the District; and providing training and compliance programs. The Office of General Counsel is not legal counsel to parents, students, or the general public and does not advise individual citizens.

A few more examples of what we do:

  • Legal articles in the Legally Speaking newsletter for principals and department heads
  • Advising the Board at meetings and workshops
  • Early negotiating and drafting with department heads to develop a better contract process
  • Training for schools and departmental staff
  • Rendering prompt oral legal advice and recommendations to schools and departments, to encourage legal compliance and risk avoidance
  • Early identification of risk avoidance through establishment of the Risk Management Roundtable
  • Researching complex legal issues to provide written opinions for the Board and administrators
  • Drafting legally-sufficient contracts
  • Reviewing contracts before District personnel agree to enter or recommend entering the contract
  • Assisting other departments to meet their objectives with respect to matters having legal ramifications
  • Legal review of all agenda items and reports before Board meetings
  • Advising Board members and administrators regarding legal aspects of agenda items
  • Recommending changes in policies and practices in accordance with law
  • Reviewing and editing proposed Policies to ensure consistency with state and federal law
  • Providing broad public notice before development of Policies
  • Keeping the Policies web site current with recently-adopted or revised Policies
  • Meeting regularly with District’s ESE director to identify and review potential legal issues
  • Providing legal training and compliance workshops for charter school administration
  • Attending administrative committee meetings to provide a legal support
  • Attending meetings of advisory committees and ad hoc committees to provide a legal framework
  • For truancy issues, providing schools and the State Attorney’s Office with legal support and review of legal sufficiency and advising on policy and statutory enforcement issues
  • Informing staff of changes in legislation
  • Defending litigation claims, suits brought against the School Board
  • Conducting pretrial discovery
  • Preparing pleadings, motions, and briefs for litigation
  • Preparing for and appearing in ESE due process hearings and student expulsion hearings
  • Preparing for trial, arbitrations, and appeals; conducting trial and appellate advocacy
  • Providing advice to school administrators about critical matters such as custody disputes on campus
  • Advising school administrators about discipline of students for misconduct that has already occurred
  • Pursuing and processing garnishments and collections
  • Providing advice to District administrators regarding personnel problems that have arisen or investigations in progress
  • Making recommendations to Purchasing concerning contract disputes, debarments, and terminations
  • Assisting with public records requests involving matters in litigation