Education

School boards and superintendents as well as universities and colleges face a wide array of complex federal, state and local laws and regulations when it comes to delivering high quality education and providing an excellent work environment where teachers and support staff can thrive. Whether facing administrative hearings, litigation, or union bargaining, Rumberger, Kirk & Caldwell’s team of experienced and skilled attorneys are prepared to resolve these and many other legal matters affecting the education profession. We provide legal counsel and support to school boards, superintendents, charter schools and private and higher educational institutions throughout Florida and have successfully resolved a variety of cases and legal matters including:

  • Student expulsion hearings
  • ESE and IDEA matters
  • Administrative hearings including matters before the Division of Administrative Hearings and the Public Employee Relations Commission
  • Contractual matters
  • Real estate issues and transactions
  • Bid process and disputes
  • Construction
  • Tort litigation
  • Public records
  • Sunshine Laws
  • Handbook and policy review and drafting
  • EEO investigations
  • Employment litigation
  • Union-related matters including teacher terminations, collective bargaining, unfair labor practices and impasse hearings
  • Defense of Cyber bullying claims
  • First Amendment matters including litigation and general advice

Our attorneys have experience working for school boards and superintendents and bring unique insight into the ongoing complexities of day-to-day operations and issues affecting school districts, as well as the complex relationships between teachers, administration, support staff, and leadership. This experience also includes the understanding of the interplay between student rights and teacher/employee rights. We are well versed in the Code of Conduct for teachers which was adopted by the Florida Department of Education. Our attorneys have an in depth understanding of educational institutions’ processes for conducting investigations and their policies and procedures including their IT document retention systems.

We are very involved with all aspects of Education Law. Below is a list of representative work.

  • Worked with numerous school boards in Florida to resolve collective bargaining issues pertaining to wages, hours and terms and conditions of employment.
  • Provided third party counsel when a school board and union have reached impasse during bargaining. Successfully resolved impasses through bargaining and final hearings.
  • Handled teacher suspension appeals at DOAH and before arbitrators.
  • Successfully resolved claims alleging race discrimination for nuisance value pre-trial.
  • Obtained defense verdict after a week-long jury trial of negligent supervision by elementary school staff and teachers involving alleged molestation of female students.
  • Represented school board and three teachers on various claims arising out of an alleged assault and battery on an ESE student. Reached favorable settlement for school board and teachers pending summary judgment motion.
  • Successfully resolved a significant pre-suit matter for school board involving a senior manager in a failure to promote claim.
  • Obtained summary judgment for a Florida school board in a large and contentious Americans with Disabilities Act claim.
  • Won Summary Judgment in a highly publicized First Amendment case.
  • Represented a teacher in an alleged battery and intentional infliction of emotional distress claim by an ESE student. Reached favorable settlement for teacher at mediation early in case.
  • Obtained an early dismissal on legal grounds in case by students seeking declaratory relief and damages for various tort claims including negligence and false imprisonment.

Association Representation and Presentations

We provide a unique and deep understanding of education law as well as state and federal laws that affect school districts and their schools. In addition to working directly with school boards, RKC attorneys represent the Florida School Board Association and present regularly to the entire membership on a variety of legal issues affecting school boards. In addition, RKC is often asked to present at meetings and training sessions for the Florida Educational Negotiators.
 
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