The COSA Fall School Law Seminar provides school lawyers with timely, valuable resources to make informed decisions for their districts. This seminar will include four afternoons of online sessions allowing attendees to customize their professional development by purchasing daily sessions on topics of interest or the entire conference.
Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
|Registration||Registration Deadline||In House Counsel; State Counsel;
CUBE & NatCon Districts
|Early Bird||By September 15||$289||$489||$619|
|Standard||After September 15||$359||$589||$699|
|Registration||Registration Deadline||In House Counsel; State Counsel;
CUBE & NatCon Districts
|Early Bird||By September 15||$89||$149||$199|
|Standard||After September 15||$119||$189||$229|
Oct. 10 – Labor & Employment
Hot Topics in Employee Speech and Religious Freedom: First Amendment Rights of School District Employees
Prior to the Supreme Court’s ruling in Kennedy v. Bremerton, school lawyers were reasonably certain about how to resolve issues related to employee speech and religious observance in the workplace. Post-Kennedy and now Groff v. DeJoy, school attorneys are assisting clients in drafting new policies that consider the Court’s rulings on religious practices, speech and accommodations. The presenters are experienced school attorneys who will provide tips on how to address issues related to employee religious speech, symbolic speech, speech on social media, and religious accommodations, which should assist school attorneys in helping their clients draft polices that protect the First Amendment rights of employees with minimal interference with efficient school operations.
Presenters: Karen Vickers and Beth Plass, Vickers Plass, Lake Oswego, OR
Labor Relations: How Collective Bargaining and Labor Relations have Changed After Janus v. AFSME
The United States Supreme Court’s holding in Janus v. AFSME was widely feared to have the potential to disrupt labor relations between school districts and the unions that represent their employees. But has that actually happened? Has Janus changed the relationship between school districts and labor unions and the nature of collective bargaining? A panel of experienced labor relations attorneys from across the country will discuss Janus and the ways in which it has (or has not) affected collective bargaining in their states. Attorneys who attend this session will get some helpful practice tips and trends they need to watch for.
Presenters: Nancy Hungerford, Hungerford Law Firm, Oregon City, OR; Marc L. Terry; Mirick, O’Connell, West Borough, MA; Kate Wilkinson, Portland Public Schools, Portland, OR
The Cross-Section Between The ADA, FMLA, and Workers’ Compensation
It has always been important for school attorneys to understand the American with Disabilities Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, their state worker’s compensations laws, and how those laws interact with one another. COVID has changed many things. This session explores how the intersection between these laws was affected by COVID and how to analyze the laws in connection with illnesses brought about by COVID.
Presenter: Catherine F. Burgett, Frost Brown Todd, Columbus, OH
Oct. 12 – Federal Update and Civil Rights Enforcement
Keynote: Civil Rights in Schools in 2023
Assistant Secretary Catherine E. Lhamon discusses the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights’ work to fulfill their Congressional mandate to ensure nondiscrimination in schools.
Presenter: Catherine Lhamon, Assistant Secretary, Office for Civil Rights, U.S. Department of Education
A New Wave of Curriculum Challenges: How Courts are Addressing Disputes Over What is Taught in Our Schools
Public school administrators regularly field questions regarding topics and materials shared with students in the library and classrooms. Many states have enacted legislation addressing what topics may or may not be discussed in schools. As concerns expressed by families and members of the community become formal objections, challenges, and even litigation, school attorneys are increasingly being asked to advise on curriculum challenges. In this session, a school attorney who has litigated a curriculum challenge in federal court reviews recent court rulings on this topic and offers practical considerations for advising public schools.
Presenter: Elliott Hood, Caplan & Earnest, Boulder, CO
NSBA Legal Advocacy Update
Join NSBA’s Chief Legal officer for the perennially popular overview of the Supreme Court's current composition and analysis of key federal cases affecting public schools. The session will touch on recent decisions from the October 2022 term, like Students for Fair Admissions v. Harvard and Groff v. DeJoy.
Presenter: Francisco Negrón, NSBA Chief Legal Officer
Oct. 17 – Ethics and Special Ed
Highest Court, Lowest Standards? Recent Developments in Legal and Judicial Ethics
The U.S. Supreme Court has always been the center of attention in legal circles. Even so, in recent years the Court has taken on an unprecedented role in the Nation's political and social affairs. Individual justices have become cultural icons in some cases, and are now subject to more public scrutiny than ever. As school attorneys, we are bound by a code of ethics designed to inspire public confidence in the bar and to assure the fair and even-handed administration of justice. Judges, too, are bound by their own ethical code, except for the Justices of the Supreme Court, who are largely unconstrained by the rules governing their lower-court colleagues. Join COSA veteran David Rubin and MSNBC Deadline: Legal Blog writer Jordan Rubin for a discussion of recent developments in attorney ethics over the past year, as well as the ongoing controversy over judicial ethics at the Supreme Court, transparency in the Court's proceedings, and more!
Presenters: David Rubin, Busch Law Group, Metuchen, NJ; Jordan Rubin, MSNBC Deadline: Legal Blog Writer and Author, Bizarro: The Surreal Saga of America’s Secret War on Synthetic Drugs
Hot Topics in Special Education Law: Section 504/IDEA Litigation and the Legacy of Perez
Special education litigators share evolving trends and strategies for advising school clients in the wake of Perez v. Sturgis Public Schools. School districts are experiencing increased requests for Section 504/ADA damages earlier in IDEA proceedings. In this session, learn how to analyze such requests and potential litigation and how to advise districts to find a sound path to address the child’s needs while preserving district resources.
Presenters: Monica Conrad, Lewis Kappes, Indianapolis, IN; Rachel Hitch, Poyner Spruill, Raleigh, NC
3:15 - 3:30 p.m.
3– 4:30 p.m.
Hot Topics in Special Education Law: Section 504 Regulations
The anticipated proposed rule to be issued by the Department of Education may restructure our understanding of Section 504 requirements. In this session, experienced special education attorneys go over the nuts and bolts of compliance with Section 504 at present, and in light of any new regulatory proposals.
Presenters: Michelle Todd and Jessica Nguyen, Hodges, Loizzi, Eisenhammer, Rodick & Kohn, Arlington Heights, IL
Oct. 19 – Federal Funding, Title IX, and School Safety
School Safety: Working with Law Enforcement to Protect School Communities from Potential Threats of Violence
Many of the recent mass casualty school events have been at the hands of unknown parties who had no relationship with the school at the time of the event. In the wake of these mass shootings, many law enforcement agencies have begun to monitor and attempt to identify persons who might represent a potential threat to schools, which includes district staff and students. What will your district clients do if the FBI or local law enforcement advises that an outside party, staff member, or student may present a risk of violence to a school within the district? What do you do after getting such information? Do you have policies in place that govern such communications with law enforcement? The speakers for this session will provide practical advice on how school districts should handle information relative to such threats of violence and how to protect your schools from the danger such threats represent.
Presenters: Jordan Ellel, Tempe Tri-District Legal Services, Tempe, AZ; Kacey King, Mesa Public Schools, Mesa, AZ; Eileen Fernandez, Phoenix Union High School District, Phoenix, AZ; Al Moore, Director of Security, Mesa Public Schools
What do we do now?: Legal Implications of the Phase-out of Federal Emergency Relief Funding
The emergency relief funding provided to schools due to COVID has begun to phase out. The second round of funding expires in September of 2023 and the final round of funding expires in 2024. What issues do schools face as this funding winds down? The speaker will discuss the cessation of federal relief funding and how to avoid problems that could be caused by its expiration, including employment matters, contracts that were paid with the funds, and any federal audits that might be needed. Finally, the speaker will provide tips on how to identify and resolve issues before they become a problem for schools.
Presenters: H. Dean Zajic, Kansas State Department of Education, Topeka, KS; Elena Reetiger-Lincoln, American Institutes for Research; Jana Rosborough, Copernicus Solutions
3:30 – 4:30 p.m.
Title IX Sex-Based Harassment Regulations: The New Framework
With the school year in full swing and the “new” Title IX regulations on the way, what are the key friction points for schools? How can school attorneys explain the new rules’ requirements in a way that is practical and supportive for students? Seasoned practitioners review the applicable law and help you advise public school boards and administrators on the new rules.
Presenters: Jennifer Smith and Kaitlin Atlas, Franczek, Chicago, IL