COSA School Law Practice Virtual Seminar

Join us in October at the COSA School Law Practice Virtual Seminar as we delve into pressing legal issues in Labor & Employment, Title IX Procedures and COVID-19 Challenges. Customize your seminar experience by registering for the entire event or choose a daily rate. 

Registration Coming Soon!

Legal practice is fluid. And nothing has required school lawyers to adapt their practice more than the current pandemic. As the School Law Practice Seminar goes virtual, COSA will provide school lawyers with timely, valuable resources to make the best decisions for their districts. Join us for this essential event.

The seminar will cover the most pressing legal topics facing public schools, including COVID-19, Equity, Labor & Employment, Title IX Procedures, and Technology & Safety. Daily sessions will address a common theme with experienced school attorneys providing valuable insights and practical advice.

Enjoy increased flexibility by registering for each topic or the entire seminar. Registration also grants attendees access to hours of on-demand recordings.

And though many aspects of life are changing, popular features of the seminar remain the same. Look forward to COSA’s longstanding pre-seminar meetings for in-house and state association counsel as well as the ever-popular legal advocacy update and legal ethics sessions.

As always, the seminar offers more than 15 hours of continuing learning education credits. Conveniently fulfill your license requirement while receiving the highest quality instruction.

Check back frequently for session updates and speaker announcements!

Registration Fees

  Daily Rate  Bundle Rate (includes all six days of programming) 
Non-member  $209 $900 
Member  $149  $600 
SAC/In-house  $89  $400 
Registration fees are nonrefundable.

Sessions and Descriptions

  • Tuesday, Oct. 20 — Labor & Employment

    1-2 p.m. ET

    So, You Want Your School District Employees to Work During a Pandemic, Do You?
    This session will focus on key labor and employment issues that arise when trying to run a school district during a pandemic. What kind of health screenings can and/or should a district implement? When should a district consider excluding an employee from the worksite and what process should be used? How does the alphabet soup of statutes (EPSLA, EFMLA, FMLA, ADA and other state leave laws) apply?

    Presenters:
    Brian Goodman, Boardman & Clark LLP, Madison, WI
    Melissa Knapp, Thomas Drohan Waxman Petigrow & Mayle, LLP, Hopewell Junction, NY
    David Walker, Barley Snyder, Lancaster, PA

    2:15-3:15 p.m. ET

    What Happens in Vegas
    A practical discussion of free time activities that employees do that cause problems in the workplace. What are the employee’s rights and how does the District discipline without stepping on those rights?

    Presenters:
    Mike Leasor, Leasor Crass, P.C., Mansfield, TX
    Dean Micknal, Leasor Crass, P.C., Mansfield, TX

    3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

    Employment Law After Bostock: Advising School Districts
    Join experienced labor and employment practitioners for an in-depth discussion of the implications of Bostock v. Clayton County, Georgia. The Supreme Court’s decision interpreting Title VII to cover discrimination based on homosexuality or transgender status is a landmark in employment law. Is it time for schools to revise policies and procedures?

    Presenters:
    Jana Woelfel, Clark Hill Strasburger, Dallas, TX
    Pete Thompson, Clark Hill Strasburger, Dallas, TX


  • Wednesday, Oct. 21 — Title IX Procedures

    1-2 p.m. ET

    Part 1 – Session Title and Description Coming Soon!

    Presenters:
    Sarah Orman, Texas Association of School Boards, Austin, TX
    Jackie Gharapour Wernz, Franczek P.C., Chicago, IL

    2:15-3:15 p.m. ET

    Part 2 – Session Title and Description Coming Soon!

    Presenters:
    Holly McIntush, Thompson & Horton LLP, Austin, TX
    Jessica Witte, Thompson & Horton LLP, Austin, TX

    3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

    Investigations: When Educators Cross the Line
    What strategies and practices should you employ as a school attorney to investigate an allegedly inappropriate relationship between an educator and student without jeopardizing the prosecution of the educator for the criminal behavior? This presentation will provide perspective from an experienced school attorney and county prosecutor.

    Presenters:
    W. Douglas Thorne, Elkhart Community Schools, Elkhart, IN
    Vicki Elaine Becker, Prosecuting Attorney, 34th Judicial District, County of Elkhart, IN

  • Thursday, Oct. 22 — COVID-19 Challenges

    1-2 p.m. ET

    Homeward Bound: Lessons Learned from COVID-19 on Educating Students at Home

    Panelists:
    Haley Percell, Oregon School Boards Association, Salem, OR
    Jennifer Smith, Franczek Radelet P.C., Chicago, IL;

    2:15-3:15 p.m. ET

    Avoiding Potential Liability for Athletics, Clubs and Visitors during a Pandemic
    When a school district hosts activities and individuals who fall outside of compulsory education, but within the parameters of extracurricular and co-curricular activities that make the American education experience so rich, the district voluntarily assumes some risks of liability. Those risks are even greater in a global pandemic. This presentation will cover issues like (a) the liability risk to the school if someone gets sick during school events (during traditional times vs. Coronavirus); (b) the liability risks of ‘shutting down’ some clubs or visitors during the pandemic; (c) the liability risks of closing off property to visitors all together; (d) creative approaches to protecting students and staff while minimizing risks, including sample waivers and approaches taken by other schools.

    Presenters:
    Jessica Heiser, Church, Church, Hittle + Antrim, Noblesville, IN
    Diane Marshall-Freeman, Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost, LLP, Sacramento, CA

    3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

    Recovery Services for Students with Disabilities: Applying Existing Compensatory/Accommodation Standards in a New Context
    This presentation will review and examine various analyses applied by courts and hearing officers when awarding compensatory services and explain why they are not applicable to the pandemic situation. Jim and Tim will then suggest alternative approaches to consider when faced with a demand for compensatory services following (or in the middle of) the COVID-19 crisis.

    Presenters:
    Tim Palmatier, ISD 279-Osseo Area Schools, Maple Grove, MN
    James Thomeczek, Thomeczek and Brink LLC, Saint Louis, MO

  • Tuesday, Oct. 27 — Addressing Inequities in Education

    1-2 p.m. ET

    Inclusion Policies and Practices for Inequities in Education

    Moderator:
    Bridget Cook, Antelope Valley Community College, Lancaster, CA

    2:15-3:15 p.m. ET

    Racial Injustice in Student Discipline

    Moderator:
    Andrew Manna, Church Church Hittle + Antrim, Noblesville, IN

    3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

    Human Resources: True Performance Management

    Moderator:
    Debra Silk, Montana School Boards Association

  • Wednesday, Oct. 28 — Legal Advocacy Update, Data Security & Ethics

    1-2 p.m. ET

    NSBA Legal Advocacy Update
    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

    2:15-3:15 p.m. ET

    What School Board Attorneys Need to Know About Data Security and Breaches for Remote Learning and Otherwise
    Even before COVID-19, the increased use of technology in the classroom came with data security risks for school districts. The recent rapid increase in remote learning and connections, including video communications with students, has brought with it new and ever-changing issues related to privacy and security of student data. This session will discuss those data security risks, and what school board attorneys need to know about them.

    Presenter:
    Adam Griffin, Adams and Reese LLP, Ridgeland, MS


    3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

    Remote Lawyering? Ethical Issues for School Attorneys Representing Public Agencies
    Is my microphone on? We have entered a whole new world of ethical issues arising from a school attorney’s role with public agency clients. With virtual meetings, remote hearings, and uncharted waters of a pandemic, the rules of professional conduct are being tested in new ways. Brandon K. Wright will address these and other ethical issues facing school attorneys. He will share practical strategies and review the applicable model rules on conflicts of interest, communications, attorney-client privilege, confidentiality, and more.

    Presenter:
    Brandon Wright, Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd., Monticello, IL

  • Thursday, Oct. 29 — School Operations

    1-2 p.m. ET

    Social Media Meets Local Politics: Is Your Page a Public Forum?
    In this session, we’ll address how politicians' social media pages, including those of school board members can become public forums, thus affecting how those politicians can limit or block online critics.

    Presenter:
    Chris McCarty, Lewis, Thomason, King, Krieg & Waldrop, P.C., Knoxville, TN

    2:15-3:15 p.m. ET

    To Heller and Back: Revisiting possession of guns on school property after the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in New York State Rifle & Pistol Assoc. v. City of New York
    Recently, school districts and municipal entities across the nation have considered complete bans on firearms on their property without examining the potential impact of such a decision on different types of district properties and employees/contractors. Additionally, now that the Supreme Court has found the New York State Rifle & Pistol suit moot, do other pipeline cases indicate that the high court would find such bans unconstitutional?

    Presenters:
    Heidi Maynard, Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP, Tacoma, WA
    Mark Hood, Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP, Tacoma, WA
    Daniel Montopoli, Vandeberg Johnson & Gandara, LLP, Tacoma, WA

    3:30-4:30 p.m. ET

    Lessons from a Reformed Copyright Infringer
    On a daily basis, teachers are guilty of copyright infringement. I know. I was an infringer, too. It seems relatively harmless, but when does copyright infringement become a liability for your client school districts and their teachers? This session will focus on understanding copyright and breaking bad, infringing habits.

    Presenters:
    Kylie Piatt (former infringer), Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan & Jackstadt, P.C., St. Louis, MO
    Michelle Basi, Tueth Keeney Cooper Mohan & Jackstadt, P.C., St. Louis, MO