Harris Beach will be well represented at the WNYESC 2022 Virtual Education Law Conference on August 3.

Below are the team members of the Educational Institutions team that will be presenting this year, and their topics.

Andrew Mark will present the session, Appeals and Lawsuits and Claims, Oh My!, and will run from 10:30 – 11:20 a.m.

This session will discuss:

School districts continue to be targeted in legal challenges filed by parents, students, community members and
employees. From Appeals to the Commissioner of Education, to state and federal court lawsuits, to charges and complaints from administrative agencies such as the EEOC or NYSDHR litigation can be time-consuming, expensive and a significant disruption to the daily work of administrators and other staff. This session will explore
recent trends in litigation and, if litigation cannot be avoided, recommendations and strategies to put your school district in the best position to defend against claims.

Steve Carling will present on a panel, discussing Collective Bargaining Issues from 12:40 – 1:30 p.m.

This session will discuss:

For the most part, we have survived COVID-19. During the pandemic, many of us were confronted with novel negotiations issues, such as hybrid teaching, teaching from home, the provision of technology, extra duty stipends, disability accommodations, and performance evaluations. So, the question is – “Are we done with all that”? What’s
next? To answer those questions, we’ve assembled a panel of negotiators and a seasoned superintendent/board
member. The panel will offer guidance not only about the issues from COVID-era bargaining that will probably will persist, but they will also share thoughts on what can be done in bargaining to prepare for the next time districts are confronted with a similar crisis.

Tracie Lopardi will discuss Employee Issues—Disciplinary Proceedings and Other Issues during her session from 12:40 – 1:30 p.m.

This session will cover:

No matter the circumstances, employee disciplinary issues are never easy or straight forward. Join us for a discussion of the ins and outs of 3020-a and Section 75 proceedings in today’s day and age, documentation issues that may rise, recent trends for employee disciplinary issues (i.e., COVID, free speech), and the Child Victims Act.

Jeff Weiss will present a Special Education Update from 1:40 – 2:30 p.m. and will discuss:

As we (hopefully) put COVID behind us, we will briefly look back on how the special education process evolved and transformed during the pandemic years. We will also look forward by reviewing recent changes to the special education regulations and important court decisions that will impact the legal obligations of school districts in the post-COVID world. Learn helpful strategies and approaches to ensure that your district is legally compliant going forward.

Brendan Kelleher will join a panel on the topic of, When Confronting the Media While in Crisis Mode, from 1:40 – 2:30 pm.

This session will cover:

We sure have seen our share of crises this year – weapons in schools, a shooting, COVID-19 outbreaks, child victim act lawsuits and disrupted board of education meetings, just to mention a few. Even though you might not have had to deal with any of these types of crisis situations yet, one day in the future – near or far – a crisis likely will happen in your district at one of your schools. So, what do you do when the media comes calling? This program will feature a panel of experienced attorneys, a school community relations specialist, a media relations specialist who formerly worked for the Buffalo New as a reporter and the Editorial Page Editor, chaired by an experienced board of education member that will address just what to do before, during, and even after that call.