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Recent Case Reminds Schools of First Amendment and Title VII Responsibilities in Employment Context

Recently, the Northern District of Illinois issued its opinion in Wong v. Board of Education of Community Consolidated School District 15. Although the court’s decision does not address novel arguments or depart from prior...more

New York’s Property Tax Cap Wins Again

In 2013 we reported on NYSUT‘s lawsuit which claimed that New York’s recently-enacted property tax “cap” was unconstitutional. The thrust of NYSUT’s 2013 arguments against the cap were that it (1) harmed school districts that...more

Landmark Tax Credit Scholarship Program Upheld by Alabama Supreme Court

On March 2 in an 8-1 decision, the Alabama Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the Alabama Accountability Act of 2013 (the “Act”) in Magee et al. v. Boyd et al. The massive 222-page opinion affirmed in part, but...more

CFPB’s Claims under CFPA Survive Legal Challenges, but TILA Claim Is Time-Barred

In a civil action brought by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau involving student loans, an Indiana federal court recently granted in part and denied in part a motion to dismiss by ITT Educational Services, Inc. The...more

A Moment of Simple Justice - Vaccines [Video]

Mar. 17, 2015 (Mimesis Law) -- With more and more people hopping on the anti-vaccination bandwagon, Scott wonders if this is an instance where parents' constitutional rights should take a back seat to public safety....more

California Supreme Court Strikes Down Sex Offender Residency Restrictions In San Diego County

In November 2006, California voters approved Proposition 83, also known as "Jessica's Law." Jessica's Law imposed many restrictions on sex offenders, including residency restrictions (the "Residency Restrictions"). The...more

Religious Institutions Update: March 2015

Several interrelated legal developments make it more important than ever for religious institutions intending to qualify for exemptions to generally applicable laws to do the hard work before litigation or administrative...more

Illinois Supreme Court Agrees To Decide If School Districts are Subject to Local Zoning

In the closing days of its January term, the Illinois Supreme Court agreed to decide a question involving the potential collision of several different aspects of Illinois constitutional law: are school districts subject to...more

Facebook Post Lands Teacher in Hot Water

On January 18, 2015, two South Hills High School teachers were arrested for allegedly having sexual relations with students at the beach. According to the Orange County Sherriff’s Department, one of the teachers, Melody...more

U.S. Supreme Court Update - January 2015

Briefs Filed in Three State Tax Cases Set for Oral Argument - Merits briefs were filed in each of the three state tax cases on the Court's docket for the October 2014 Term. In Comptroller of the Treasury of Maryland v....more

Can Public Schools Ban “I Can’t Breathe” T-Shirts?

Citing safety concerns, Fort Bragg High School, a public high school located in Mendocino County CA, decided on December 26, 2014 to ban athletes from wearing t-shirts with the slogan “I Can’t Breathe” – the words uttered by...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Announces Two New Standards Favorable to Faculty Unions

In Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, a case that had been watched closely by the higher education community, the National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision the week before Christmas announcing new...more

Higher Education Alert: NLRB Trend in Easing Unionization Continues with Recent Decision

The National Labor Relations Board issued a 3-2 decision last month in Pacific Lutheran University, 361 NLRB No. 157, in which it significantly modified the standards for determining: (1) whether college or university faculty...more

Religious Institution - January 2015

Experience over the last couple decades teaches that religious institutions face as much or perhaps more liability than secular organizations and, therefore, need to take risk management seriously. From operating their own...more

Faculty Can Unionize Absent Actual Managerial Control, NLRB Decides

Last week, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB or Board) revised its standard for determining when faculty members can unionize. Although the decision is expected to be appealed, it undoubtedly will open the door to a...more

The National Labor Relations Board Strikes Again – How Managerial Are Your Faculty and How Religious Is Your Institution?

In the latest example of dramatic changes to well-developed principles of federal labor law and policy, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB” or “Board”) issued its long awaited decision in Pacific Lutheran University,...more

‘Tis The Season For Nativity Scenes & Satanic Displays: Happy Holidays from RLUIPA Defense

Ah the holiday season—a time for family, friends and overeating. While most individuals grapple with balancing a love for holiday treats and some modicum of self-control, the Nation is faced with a perennial balancing act:...more

Whistleblower Takes Next Step in Lawsuit Against Philadelphia School District

Four years ago, Francis X. Dougherty was fired after revealing the existence of a $7.5 million no-bid security camera contract within the Philadelphia School District. Now, he has won a major victory in his whistleblower...more

Bribery Is Not a Free Speech Right, Judge Says

In late 2012, a California district attorney’s office obtained an indictment charging 18 defendants, including school board members, administrators and contractors, with conspiracy, bribery, perjury, filing false gift reports...more

Make Sure You Own the Patent You Think You Do.

The biotechnology industry has a long history of successfully licensing and litigating university technology. That trend looks to be continuing, even as other industries have taken aim at limiting patent enforcement. Ten U.S....more

Rolling Stone Retracts UVA Article Detailing Alleged Gang Rape

We previously reported that on November 19, 2014, Rolling Stone published an article titled “A Rape on Campus” by Sabrina Rubin Erdely. The article offers a brutal account of an alleged sexual assault of a freshman student,...more

Circuit Court Strikes Down Pension Reform

In a widely publicized decision, Judge Belz of the Circuit Court of Sangamon County ruled on November 21, 2014 that the sweeping pension reform measures enacted in December 2013 violate the Illinois Constitution’s Pension...more

Limits of Supreme Court Ruling on Public Prayer Tested in Lawsuit Against California District

As our firm reported earlier this year, the Supreme Court recently held that sectarian invocations at public meetings do not automatically violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which separates church and...more

Conduct Unbecoming: Disciplining Educators For Non-School-Related Behavior

The involvement of a Connecticut middle school Principal and a middle school Guidance Counselor in the writing and production of films the media has described as being replete with female nudity, violence and sexually...more

Searching Student Smart Phones in The Wake of Riley V. California

In the recent, landmark case of Riley v. California, the United States Supreme Court held that the police may not search digital data on the cell phone of an arrestee without a warrant, reasoning that smart phones not only...more

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