Education Litigation

Overview                                                                                                                                                                                      

Our education clients range from large public and private universities to small colleges and private secondary schools. Regardless of size, educational institutions facing disputes have to contend with unique factual and legal challenges that have business and organizational effects on the institution and, in turn, require considerations and tactics distinct from those usually found in corporate settings. Through our extensive and diverse experience representing schools, and our close monitoring of relevant legal developments, we have a strong understanding of the education industry and its dynamics. This enables us to address our school clients’ particular challenges through effective collaboration that guides them in a clear and practical manner toward resolutions that meet their goals.

Our Services

In the education sector, we are well versed in direct negotiation, mediation, binding arbitration, and traditional litigation, often employing several of these resolution techniques over the course of a dispute when appropriate. Our substantive experience spans the following areas:

  • crisis management
  • campus safety
  • student affairs
  • regulatory compliance
  • governance
  • data privacy and cybersecurity

We counsel clients on the following:

  • complying with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)
  • implementing social media policies, practices, and procedures
  • conducting internal investigations
  • complying with, or opposing, compelled production in the form of subpoenas, civil investigative demands, and informal requests for information and search warrants
  • working with local law enforcement—from investigations through prosecution—regarding on-campus crime activities
  • advising, counseling, and representing in litigation concerning student disciplinary proceedings
  • determining the interplay of student privacy, civil liability, and criminal law in cases of sexual assault or other crimes involving students
  • drafting and reviewing student handbook requirements on student discipline and other issues
  • interpreting risk management issues pertaining to on-campus and school-sponsored trips
  • defending against claims of employee misconduct

Our Team

The Education Group consists of seasoned litigators who are fluent in the substantive areas of education law. We work closely with the following practice groups within the firm to apply a collaborative approach in meeting our clients’ goals:

  • Data Privacy and Cybersecurity
  • Finance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Litigation
  • Labor, Employment, Benefits + Immigration
  • Construction
  • Environmental, Energy + Telecommunications
  • Real Estate + Development
    • Experience
      • Represented a religious order against claims arising from alleged sexual abuse of a minor during the early 1970s by a teacher employed at a school run by the order. Claims in this action included negligent hiring, supervision, retention, breach of fiduciary duties, conspiracy, and vicarious liability.

      • Defended a private preparatory school against multiple claims of alleged abuse by multiple perpetrators over several years. Challenges in the defense of these cases included that the abuse was alleged to have occurred more than three decades ago, that one perpetrator admitted his misconduct, and that key witnesses had died in the intervening years.

      • Represented independent, coeducational boarding school in Massachusetts in litigation involving alleged abuse by former faculty member. Worked extensively with the board chair to expedite a resolution of the claim so the school could be spared from protracted litigation.

      • Defended of a nonprofit organization that donated funds to support a school in a third-world country at which more than one hundred and thirty students claimed to have been abused by the school’s director over a ten year period. Plaintiffs claimed that the nonprofit ran the school and was responsible for preventing the abuse.

      • Successfully defended a university and professor against claims of defamation for publication of unfavorable research data. The plaintiff abandoned the case prior to filing suit. 

      • Conducted extensive internal investigation for a Connecticut educational institution regarding allegations of historical sexual misconduct by former faculty members.

Our Team

Members