Education Law

Education Law

Keller Thoma's attorneys have represented both public and private educational institutions in Michigan for over thirty years. The firm's education law practice includes regular consultation with school clients regarding a wide variety of topics, as well as the representation of clients before administrative bodies and courts.

Administrative Agency Proceedings

Members of the firm regularly represent educational clients before administrative agencies such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Michigan Department of Civil Rights, the Michigan Employment Relations Commission, the Department of Education, the Office of Civil Rights, and the Teacher Tenure Commission.

Student Rights and Special Education

The firm assists clients in areas such as student discipline, search and seizure, codes of conduct, and compliance and litigation issues. Members of the firm have a wealth of experience in successfully representing clients in proceedings concerning student discipline and in all levels of administrative and judicial proceedings regarding student rights under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act.

Education-Related Litigation

The firm's experience with education clients has resulted in a detailed understanding of the litigation needs of educational institutions. Members of the firm regularly defend educational institutions in litigation concerning a wide variety of matters including, for example:

  • General negligence and premises liability
  • Litigation under the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act
  • Challenges to student discipline
  • Employment discrimination/wrongful termination
  • Constitutional issues such as school prayer, student speech, and due process
  • Compliance with the Open Meetings Act

Employment Issues

The firm assists educational institutions in all aspects of employment and labor law. In representing schools in this area for over thirty years, the firm has developed a unique understanding of and familiarity with the challenges facing schools and school districts as employers. The firm's practice includes representing its clients in:

  • Collective bargaining
  • Hearings before the Michigan Employment Relations Commission
  • Employee and union grievances
  • Teacher Tenure Act disputes
  • Employee suits for discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful termination and constitutional violations
  • Administrative proceedings before such agencies as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Michigan Department of Civil Rights

Counseling and Advice

One of the most important functions that Keller Thoma lawyers perform for educational institutions is day-to-day counseling. Our lawyers solve problems and advise clients on minimizing risk with respect to an ever-growing and ever-changing array of federal, state, and local laws/regulations on such topics as:

  • Student discipline litigation
  • Student rights and responsibilities
  • Constitutional law issues, such as school prayer, student speech, and due process
  • Teacher tenure cases
  • Special education and services policies, hearings, and litigation
  • Student handbook policy drafting and review
  • Open Meetings Act compliance and litigation
  • Freedom of Information Act compliance and litigation
  • FERPA policies and compliance
  • Real estate, contract, business counseling, and litigation
  • Claims of negligence/premises liability
  • Contract drafting and negotiation
  • Labor and employment law, including collective bargaining, grievance handling and arbitration matters
  • No Child Left Behind/Adequate Yearly Progress compliance
  • Student Safety Initiative Legislation

The firm also represents a number of self-insured consortia and other insured educational institutions in general liability and errors and omission cases.

School Board Policy and Student Code of Conduct

Members of the firm are adept at counseling educational institutions concerning their policies and codes of conduct. This practice includes advising, drafting, monitoring and updating issues regarding policies and codes of conduct.

We welcome you to contact Keller Thoma if we may be of assistance to you in an education law matter. Based in Southfield, Michigan, we work with educational institutions and school districts throughout Michigan.