COSA School Law Practice Seminar

October 17-19, 2019 | Santa Fe, New Mexico

Online registration is now closed. Onsite registration will be available starting Thursday, October 17 at the Eldorado Hotel. 

The NSBA Council of School Attorneys School Law Practice Seminar offers a specialized CLE experience for attorneys representing K-12 public school boards. Gain invaluable insights and practical advice from experienced practitioners on legal issues facing public schools with special emphasis on issues surrounding school safety and crisis management, advising school districts on equity, Title IX, and IDEA as well as the ever-popular federal school law update. Participate in numerous specialized sessions on evergreen topics including service/comfort animals, allergies, and immunizations.

Conference Registration Fees

 
Regular non-member  $950 
COSA/NSBA National Connection Member $750 
NSBA State Association/International Connection Member  $550
COSA Member In-house Counsel/Government Attorney  $650 
Law Student $95 
Guest  $65 

For registration questions, inquiries and requests for refunds contact us at COSA_registration@nsba.org. Requests for refunds must be made in writing before September 25 and will be subject to a $75 cancellation fee per registration. No refunds will be honored after September 25, 2019.

Our Conference Sponsors

cuddy and mccarthy logo
Walsh Gallegos
new mexico school boards association logo

Schedule at a Glance

9:00 a.m.  - 1:30 p.m. Work-Alike Luncheon Meeting, State Association Counsel*
9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m. Work-Alike Luncheon Meeting, In House Counsel*
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Early Bird Workshops
  #1 Students
  #2 Labor & Employment
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Early Bird Workshops
  #1 Students
  #2 Labor & Employment
4:00 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. Refreshments & Networking
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. Opening General Session
7:00 p.m. COSA Dine Around Santa Fe
  *Separate registration required
7:30 a.m. -  8:15 a.m. Breakfast Discussion
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m. General Session
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. General Session
11:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. General Session
12:45 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Lunch Discussion Forum*
2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Concurrent Session
  #1 Mental health
  #2 Equity & civil rights
3:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m. Concurrent Session
  #1 Mental health
  #2 Equity & civil rights
4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. Concurrent Session
  #1 Mental health
  #2 Equity & civil rights
5:00 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. School Law Practice Reception

 

*Separate registration required


7:30 a.m. - 8:15 a.m.  Committee Breakfast Meetings 
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.  General Session
9:45 a.m. - 10:45 a.m. General Session
 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. General Session

Program Details

 

Thursday, October 17

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Work-Alike Luncheon Meeting (State Association Counsel)

Location:  Chapel

Separate Registration Required

 

9:00 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Work-Alike Luncheon Meeting (In-House Counsel)

Location:  Anasazi

Separate Registration Required

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Early Bird Workshop 1 (Students)

Achooo!!!  Serving Students with Allergies & Handling Immunization Issues Without Getting a Legal Rash

Location:  Eldorado A

Host:  Chris Borreca

This presentation will cover foundational principles and legal issues in dealing with students with allergies and current issues surrounding immunizations and schools. Attendees will receive an update on litigated issues involving allergy-related claims, and guidance in addressing sticky immunization issues. Tips and takeaways will be provided for dealing with more complex issues as well, including handing scenarios in which schools are charged with serving students with conflicting allergic conditions or countervailing legal rights (e.g., service animals, religious/medical/philosophical exemptions regarding immunizations).

Presenter:  David D. Garner, Osborn Maledon, P.A., Phoenix, AZ

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Early Bird Workshop 2 (Labor & Employment)

Drafting to Make a Difference:  How You Write It; How Arbitrators Interpret It

Location:  Eldorado B

Host:  Marc Terry

For school attorneys working as part of a collective bargaining team, writing contract language that clearly reflects the intent of both parties (but protects the interests of the District) can be a challenge.  In this presentation, Attorneys Mike Julka and Nancy Hungerford discuss principles of contract interpretation applied by arbitrators through a series of examples, furnished by COSA members of the Labor Committee.  With audience participation, the presenters explore ways to write collective bargaining agreement provisions to avoid common pitfalls in drafting.

Presenters:  Nancy Hungerford, Hungerford Law, Oregon City, OR; and Mike Julka, Boardman & Clark, Madison, WI

 

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.     

Early Bird Workshop 1 (Students)

Service Animals, Therapy Animals and Comfort Animals in Schools:  Legal and Practical Guidance

Location:  Eldorado A

Host:  Pilar Sokol

As service, therapy and comfort animals become more commonplace in our society, schools continue to receive requests to allow various animals into school. These requests can vary by animal types and by the requestor: students, employees and patrons. This session will walk through the legal aspects and requirements, and offer practical suggestions on handling real-world requests.

Presenters:  Justin Knight, Perry, Guthery, Haase & Gessford, P.C., L.L.O., Lincoln, NE


3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Early Bird Workshop 2 (Labor & Employment)

School Employees, Mental Health, the ADA and Collective Bargaining

Location:  Eldorado B

Host:  Joe Scholler

Mental health issues present a unique set of challenges to school attorneys and their clients.  In this program, Lisa Freiley and Marc Terry will examine and untangle the complex issues that arise under the ADA and collective bargaining agreements when an employee presents with a mental health issue.  They will offer advice how to handle these situations when they arise and what provisions to consider negotiating in your collective bargaining agreements to help address some of the issues before they happen.

Presenters:  Lisa Freiley, Willamette Education Service District, Salem, OR; and Marc Terry, Mirick O’Connell, Worcester, MA

 

4:00 – 4:45 p.m.              

Refreshments and Networking

Location:  Chapel

 

5:00 – 6:30 p.m. 

Opening General Session

School Safety and Crisis Management

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Phil Hartley

With an increase in violent crime in schools and its associated media attention, this presentation will focus on the school attorney’s role in coordinating an effective strategy to respond to inquiries from the media and the public.

Moderator:  Jay Worona, Deputy Executive Director and General Counsel, New York State School Boards Association, Latham, NY

Panelists:  David Albert, Director of Communications, New York State School Boards Association; Jessica Bakeman, Education Reporter, WLRN News; and Frank W. Miller, The Frank W. Miller Law Firm

 

6:30 p.m.

New To the Practice Networking Reception

Location:  Agave Lounge

 

7:00 p.m.

Dine Around

Locations:  Various off-site locations

 

Friday, October 18

7:30  – 9:00 a.m.

Continental Breakfast

Location:  CAVA Lounge

 

8:30 – 9:30 a.m.

General Session

NSBA Legal Advocacy Update

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Pilar Sokol

In this popular session, NSBA Chief Legal Officer Francisco Negrón updates you on significant Supreme Court cases affecting public schools, and NSBA’s amicus and other legal advocacy work nationwide.

Presenter:  Francisco Negrón, Chief Legal Officer, NSBA

 

9:45  – 10:45 a.m.

General Session

CBD and Medical Cannabis:  What You Need to Know

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Joe Scholler

The number of students using medical cannabis has been steadily increasing, with differences in state and federal laws prompting litigation across the country. A panel discusses emerging case law; your client's obligations, rights, and risks for students using cannabis; the implications for staff; recommended policy change; and the importance of working with state legislatures on proposed legislation de-criminalizing cannabis.

Presenters:  Evelyn Howard-Hand, Walsh Gallego Trevino Russo & Kyle P.C., Albuquerque, NM; Sonja McKenzie, General Counsel, Cherry Creek Schools; and Jennifer Nix, Associate General Counsel of School & College Legal Services of California


11:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

General Session

Advising School Districts on the Law Through an Equity Lens

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Diane Marshall-Freeman

School attorneys are often asked to advise school districts on policies, practices, and on-the-ground decisions that touch on equity. Indeed, much of the law that affects school district policy in the area of student rights and discipline is based on legal theories based on fundamental fairness, i.e., due process, equal protection. And much of the regulation and guidance from federal and state authorities, which may change with political winds, addresses these issues. In this session, you will delve into the legal and educational bases for equitable policies and practices in schools, current legal standards affecting these practices, and underlying forces like bias, that can affect them. You will learn strategies for advising your clients moving toward a multicultural approach to excellence in their schools. Legal topics to be covered include intentional resource allocation, equitable opportunity and access to high-quality curriculum and educators and fair discipline practices.

Moderator:  Joy Baskin, Director of Legal Services, Texas Association of School Boards, Austin, TX

Presenters:  Verjeana Jacobs, Chief, Equity Programming and Member Services, NSBA; John Borkowski and Aleksandra Rushing, Husch Blackwell, Chicago, IL, and St. Louis, MO; and Patricia Ives, Cuddy & McCarthy, LLP, Santa Fe, NM

 

12:45  – 1:45 p.m.

Lunch Discussion

Location:  Zia Ballroom

Host:  Erin Gilsbach

Separate Registration Required

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session 1 (Mental Health)

Caught in the Middle Again!  School District Obligations under Title IX and the IDEA/504

Location:  Eldorado A

Host:  Gary Ruesch

As the prevalence of reporting sexual assault/harassment allegations increase under Title IX, there are claims being presented where either the alleged aggressor or the victim have been

referred for special education services or have been identified as eligible under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the IDEA. This session will examine how to navigate the protections afforded to students under Title IX, 504 and the IDEA.

Presenters:  Andrew Manna, Church, Church, Hittle & Antrim, Noblesville, IN, and Lenore Silverman, Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost LLP, Sacramento, CA

 

2:00 – 3:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session 2 (Equity & Civil Rights)

“You Can’t Say That in Public!  Avoiding First Amendment Violations at School Board Meetings and in Social Media”

Location:  Eldorado B

Host:  Chris Thomas

School board meetings commonly include opportunities for public comment.  Some school board members mistakenly believe that such comments may be restricted based on content, viewpoint, or to protect staff members from criticism.  Under the backdrop of a recent Iowa federal district court case, the presenters will provide an overview of First Amendment law with respect to public participation at school board meetings and social media pages, including best practices for board policy, permissible restrictions on public participation, and liability risks for board members and school districts.

Presenters:  Drew Bracken and Carrie Weber, Ahlers & Cooney, Des Moines, IA

 

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session 1 (Mental Health)

School Safety & Special Education:  Understanding When and How Special Education Laws Impact a School’s Response to Threats in the School Community

Location:  Eldorado A

Host:  Jim Thomeczek

Attendees will receive a legal update and practical tips on how to respond when a student with a disability poses a threat to self or others.  Through hypotheticals and discussion, the presentation will cover the special education removal process, threat assessments, and litigation options for addressing matters of school safety.

Presenters:  Patrick Andriano and Kathleen Mehfoud, Reed Smith LLP, Richmond, VA

 

3:00  – 4:00 p.m.    

Concurrent Session 2 (Equity & Civil Rights)

From Arne Duncan to Betsy DeVos:  Litigating Title IX as the Rules are Rewritten

Location:  Eldorado B

Host:  Melissa Barber

Litigating student sexual misconduct complaints is challenging. Weekly new court rulings, many of which interpret the meaning of withdrawn Dear Colleague Letters, and the changes looming in the Title IX notice of proposed rulemaking, complicate litigation further. Learn

how fluctuating legal and regulatory rules can impact each stage of litigation.

Presenters:  Holly McIntush, Thompson & Horton, LLP, and Melisa Meyler, Bond, Schoeneck, & King PLLC, New York, NY

 

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session 1 (Mental Health)

Beyond Bathrooms:  Growing Awareness of Transgender Students in the Courts and the Classroom

Location:  Eldorado A

Host:  Michele Eaddy

Join a panel of school attorneys from across the country who will provide a legal perspective on the current status of the law in terms of transgender students.  The panel will also discuss trial court holdings and share practical advice for school district clients along the spectrum of client and community acceptance.

Moderator:  Phil Hartley, Harben, Hartley and Hawkins, Gainesville, GA

Presenters:  Andrew Sanchez, Scariano, Himes and Petrarca, Albuquerque, NM; Jayne Harrell Williams, Alabama Association of School Boards, Montgomery, AL; and Jennifer Smith, Franczek Radelet P.C., Chicago, IL

 

4:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Concurrent Session 2 (Equity & Civil Rights)

Like it or Not:  Employees’ Rights and Responsibilities on Social Media

Location:  Eldorado B

Host:  Tiffany Richardson

School law attorney Mari McGowan will discuss school district social media use including a case law update, considerations for public officials and district employees, First Amendment concerns, public information act basics, and best practices for school district social media policies. Participants will be given the facts of relevant cases involving of social media, and best practices for social media use.

Presenter:  Chad Timmons, Abernathy, Roeder, Boyd & Hullett, P.C., McKinney, TX

 

5:00  – 6:30 p.m.

School Law Practice Seminar Reception

Location:  Presidential Patio

Host:  Phil Hartley

 

Saturday, October 19

7:30 – 9:30 a.m.               

Continental Breakfast

Location:  CAVA Lounge


8:30 – 9:30 a.m.               

General Session 

When the Threat Becomes Real:  A Multi-faceted Approach to School Safety

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Justin Petrarca

In February 2018, the Fayette County Public Schools (FCPS) in Lexington disrupted a credible threat to one of its high schools.  The real and imminent threat was the impetus to the Superintendent's creation of a District Safety Advisory Council, comprising members of every face of the community and school and charged it with studying school safety.  The month-long process culminated in a white paper with recommendations and eventually led to a tax levy to fund the recommendations:  "The Ten-Point Safety Plan."  The plan is a means by which to harden our buildings while softening our schools.

Presenters:  Shelley Chatfield, FCPS General Counsel; Martin Schafer, Chief of Police, FCPS Police Department; and Myron Thompson, COO, FCPS

 

9:45  – 10:45 a.m.

General Session 

Crisis Management & Communications for Attorneys & Their Clients

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Erin O’Grady-Parent

This fast-paced talk by a veteran crisis management communications specialist will focus on highly-strategic approach to communicating during a wide variety of situations.  You’ll leave with tools to mount a defense against an outraged public and unhappy parents, especially important in today’s world of social media and “gotcha” journalism where the Court of Public Opinion is often more important than the Court of Law.

Presenter:  Bruce Hennes, Hennes Communications, Cleveland, OH

 

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

General Session 

Navigating the Ethical Minefield of School Lawyering:  Tales from the Trenches

Location:  Eldorado Ballroom

Host:  Jim Keith

This session will analyze a “Top Ten” list of ethical brainteasers drawn from real-life experiences of COSA members.  Inspired by true events, names have been changed to protect the innocent!

Presenter:  David Rubin, David B. Rubin, P.C., Metuchen, NJ

 

1:00  – 2:30 p.m.

Santa Fe Trolley Tour

Separate Registration Required

Conference Information

  • Dine Around Santa Fe

    Below is the list of Dine Around Santa Fe locations for the 2019 School Law Practice Seminar. This “Dutch treat” event allows seminar attendees to experience a popular Santa Fe restaurant with a table of colleagues. Reservations for groups of 8-10 have been made for 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 17, to allow attendees time to meet and walk together. Restaurants are within a 10-12 minute walk from the Eldorado Hotel & Spa.

    Please make your selection and email us by Friday, October 11, with your first and second choices and we will confirm your request by email, if space is available. Send your requests to COSA_Registration@nsba.org with the subject “Dine Around Santa Fe.” After October 11, you may make your selection on-site in Santa Fe.

    Andiomo!
    Italian Inspired Scratch Kitchen* | Website: http://www.andiamosantafe.com/
    322 Garfield Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 995-9595
    (0.4 miles) 8 minute walk from hotel
    $10-25
    10 slots available: 10 slots remaining
    *Locally sourced ingredients, gluten free and vegetarian options available 

    Amaya Restaurant
    Southwestern and American | Website: https://hotelsantafe.com/amaya
    1501 Paseo De Peralta (Hotel Santa Fe), Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 955-7805
    (.5 mile) 12 minute walk from hotel
    $12-30
    10 slots available: 10 slots remaining

    Café Pasqual’s
    Organic Steakhouse | Website: https://pasquals.com/About_Pasqual_s/index.html
    121 Don Gaspar Ave, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 983-9340
    (0.2 miles) 4 minute walk
    10 slots available: 7 slots remaining

    Eloisa
    Southwestern | Website: https://eloisasantafe.com/menu/dinner
    228 E. Palace, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 982-0883
    (0.7 miles) 15 minute walk
    10 slots available: 10 slots remaining

    Il Piatto
    Italian Farmhouse Kitchen | Website: https://www.ilpiattosantafe.com/
    95 West Marcy Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 984-1091
    (.4 miles) 8 minute walk from hotel
    $12 – 36
    10 slots available: 10 slots remaining
    *Gluten free, vegetarian and $5 split plate charge  

    La Plazuela at La Fonda
    Mexican | Website: https://www.lafondasantafe.com/la-plazuela
    100 E San Francisco Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 995-2334
    (0.3 mile) 5 minute walk from hotel
    $11-55
    10 slots available: 8 slots remaining 

    The Pink Adobe
    Southwestern Seafood | Website: http://thepinkadobe.com/story.php 
    406 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 983-7712
    (0.5 mile) 11 minute walk from hotel
    $15-40
    10 slots available: 10 slots remaining

    Trattoria A Mano
    Rustic Italian | Website: https://www.trattoriaamano.com/
    227 Galisteo Street, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 982-3700
    (0.4 mile) 7 minute walk from hotel
    $13-33
    10 slots available: 9 slots remaining

    La Fogata Grill
    Mexican | Website: http://lafogatagrillsf.com/
    112 W San Francisco St #101, Santa Fe, NM 87501
    (505) 983-7302
    (0.1 mile) 2 minute walk from hotel
    $10 – 20
    10 slots available: 10 slots remaining

  • Travel Information

    Santa Fe Municipal Airport (SAF) is serviced by both American and United Airlines.  Daily flights from Dallas-Fort Worth, Denver, and Phoenix are available.  In light traffic, the estimated travel time to the Eldorado Hotel is approximately 20 minutes. Click here for ground transportation options.

    Albuquerque International Airport (ABQ), with the most flight options, is about 64 miles from Santa Fe. In light traffic, the trip will take 60-75 minutes to reach the Eldorado Hotel.  Many ground transportation options exist, and you can learn more about them here.

    Train: The NM Rail Runner Express offers train service between Santa Fe and Albuquerque, with shuttle service between the airport and Rail Runner Stations. Specifics can be found at the Rio Metro Regional Transit District’s website, here

    Taxi and Car Service: There are multiple taxi and car service options for both Santa Fe, and Albuquerque airports.  More information can be found here (for Santa Fe) and here (for Albuquerque).

    Sandia Shuttle Express: Provides scheduled airport pickups with 32 hours notice at  (800) 775 – 5696 or (505) 474 – 5696. Shuttle picks up and drops off at 269 W. Water St. (Water and Sandoval St.). sandiashuttle.com

    RoadRunneR Shuttle and Charter: Provides scheduled airport shuttle services ($16 - 20 per person) and private car transports ($60 for up to 2 persons), both with 32 hours notice. Customer service available 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. at (505) 424-3367. Rush hour and Overnight fees may apply. rideroadrunner.com

     
  • Housing

    Hotel: Eldorado Hotel & Spa, 309 W San Francisco St, Santa Fe, NM 87501

     

    Special Rates for COSA SLPS registrants: Single/double: $245+: $25 resort fee per room/per day and 8.4375% sales tax. The resort fee includes includes Wi-Fi, valet parking, USA Today newspapers in lobby, access to the fitness center, access to the heated pool and hot tub, and in-room bottled water and Keurig coffee/tea stations. Room rate offered one day before and after the School Law Practice Seminar dates through October 20, 2019, subject to availability.

    Booking Your Room: The confirmation email you receive after registering for the seminar will include a link to reserve your hotel room at the School Law Seminar Practice rate. Reservations must be guaranteed with a first night deposit payment by major credit card guarantee or a check in the amount of the first night’s stay. Deposits are refundable if notice is received at least 3 days prior to arrival and cancellation number is obtained.

    Parking at the Eldorado: Overnight guest parking is included in the resort fee of $25.  The rate for daytime parking is $15 per day.  Parking for guests of the restaurant, lounge, club or spa is free for 2 hours.