inside-educationFounded as an Education Law and Public Sector Labor and Employment Law firm, Girvin & Ferlazzo has been representing school districts for more than 20 years. With a list of more than 70 current school district clients, we are one of the largest and most experienced education law firms in New York State.

Very few law firms have the ability to bring clients such a broad base of experience and knowledge in Education and Public Sector Labor and Employment Law. Our attorneys offer specific knowledge and experience in all areas related to school districts and can handle all matters affecting schools today, including the following:

  • Employee investigations and disciplinary proceedings
  • Student disciplinary proceedings
  • Student residency issues
  • Special education
  • Tax certiorari
  • Real estate and property issues
  • Board of education issues
  • Labor relations, including Taylor Law issues
  • Collective bargaining
  • Grievance processing and arbitration
  • Sexual harassment and discrimination claims
  • Litigation issues before State and Federal courts and numerous administrative agencies
  • Construction and other complex commercial contracts
  • Competitive bidding
  • Lease and joint services agreements
  • Appointment and termination of employees

As general counsel to school districts, we frequently review, revise and prepare board policies and resolutions on all aspects of school district management, often assisting in the negotiation, revision, and preparation of contracts and vendor agreements. We regularly provide legal opinions to our clients on the application and interpretation of the statutes, rules, regulations, and contracts that affect school districts, taking a proactive approach to avoid unnecessary grievances and litigation.

Our successful track record in managing the grievance/arbitration process on behalf of our clients is buttressed by our ability to often resolve issues prior to arbitration. We offer guidance on procedures and contract agreements that enable our clients to achieve the structural, staff, and/or educational changes they wish to implement without challenge. However, when arbitration or litigation is necessary, we have an outstanding record of success in representing our school district clients. Our attorneys appear before courts of all levels, hearing officers, arbitrators, and administrative tribunals, successfully litigating for and defending board members, administrators and school districts on all education and administrative related issues, including disciplinary hearings, contract issues, workers compensation, management rights, First Amendment rights, harassment, discrimination matters, and other constitutional claims.

Our attorneys ensure that our school district clients are in compliance with the many complex laws and regulations governing special education. For example, we have developed a special education Preventative Law Retainer with forms, providing clients with regular advice on proactive measures to ensure that regulations are followed, necessary documents are processed, and proper notification procedures are in place.

School districts need to know the importance of establishing and maintaining a regular schedule of preventive counseling measures to avoid litigation. We provide practical answers to questions that new laws and policies create, and, through special training sessions, workshops, and policy reviews, we ensure that our clients understand how these laws affect their schools and that their operating procedures are in compliance.

For more information on our Education practice, contact an education lawyer:

James (“Jay”) Girvin
Kristine A. Lanchantin
Ryan P. Mullahy
Erin Rose Morris

For more information on our Special Education practice contact:

Karen S. Norlander
Christopher P. Langlois
Tara L. Moffett