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Court Affirms Three-Part Title IX Test Applies to High Schools

In a recent decision, Ollier v. Sweetwater Union High School District, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a trial court finding that a public school district intentionally discriminated and retaliated against female...more

Student and Alumni Litigation

In This Issue: - Unionization of Students ..The New Meaning of “Student Union” ..Overview of Labor Laws and Organized Labor ..Unionization of Graduate Students ..The Northwestern University Case ...more

Circuit Court Finds Stay Put Does Not Apply to Unilateral Placement

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) provides that during the pendency of a dispute, a student must remain in his/her “then-current educational placement”; this is known as stay put. The IDEA does not,...more

The “Program Accessibility” Exception for Public Entities Under the ADA

Public owners, as well as private owners and tenants of commercial and retail properties, are at risk of lawsuits brought under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”) and related state law alleging that their...more

Update: District Court Finds First Amendment Does Not Protect Former Guidance Counselor’s Sexually-Explicit Book

The Northern District Court of Illinois found that Rich Township High School District 227 did not violate the free speech rights of former guidance counselor and girls’ basketball coach Bryan Craig when it dismissed him based...more

Fifth Circuit Upholds the Use of Race in Admissions at the University of Texas

For a second time, the Fifth Circuit dismissed Abigail Fisher’s claim against the University of Texas at Austin (the “University”), holding that the University’s admissions policy, including the use of race as a factor,...more

Fifth Circuit Issues Important Ruling on Affirmative Action in Higher Education

Earlier this week, in Fisher v. University of Texas, a divided panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit upheld the constitutionality of the undergraduate admissions program at the University of Texas at...more

Sex Discrimination--No debate. Decision to hire male professor not gender discrimination

Famous college football player and coach Bear Bryant is credited with saying, “I didn’t have a thing to do with picking a coach, and didn’t want to. But I didn’t think they’d pick one I didn’t like.” Bryant’s statement...more

Wells v. Xavier University: Investigating Campus Sexual Assaults and The Perils of Predetermination Under Title IX

The recent wave of Title IX complaints filed with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights [“OCR”], claiming that colleges and universities were either ignoring or mishandling reports of sexual...more

Supreme Court Deals Affirmative Action Another Blow, But Impact on Colleges and Universities Likely Limited

The U.S. Supreme Court continued its decade-long interest in the role of affirmative action in the higher education admissions process, and decided to uphold a state law banning the practice. In Schuette v. Coalition to...more

School Districts: New York Supreme Court Holds That Public School District May Be Liable For Alleged Bullying Of Private School...

On May 14, 2014, in J.G.S. v. Bellmore-Merrick Central High School District, the New York State Supreme Court in Nassau County held that the parents of a minor student could proceed with their lawsuit against the school...more

Federal Court Turns Away School District’s Attorney-Fee Claim

The United States District Court for the Western District of Texas has rejected a claim for attorney fees under 42 U.S.C. § 1988(b), which authorizes courts to award reasonable fees in actions to enforce civil rights statutes...more

Second Circuit Says Least-Restrictive Environment Requirement Applies to Extended-Year Placements

On April 2, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held that the least-restrictive environment requirement (LRE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) applies to extended school-year...more

High Court Decision In Michigan Affirmative Action Case Leaves Requirements For The Consideration Of Race Untouched

The U.S. Supreme Court held yesterday that a voter-approved ban on the use of race-based preferences for public university admissions does not violate the U.S. Constitution. The decision focused narrowly on whether the U.S....more

Supreme Court Ruling Exposes Continuing Division on Use of Race in Higher Education Admissions

Yesterday's ruling in Schuette v. Coalition to Defend Affirmative Action shows that the justices on the U.S. Supreme Court remain fundamentally divided about the future of race-conscious admission policies in higher...more

Supreme Court: Voters' Initiative To End Affirmative Action Is Constitutional

In a highly anticipated decision, the Supreme Court upheld Michigan’s Proposal 2, which amended the Michigan Constitution to prohibit racial preferences in admissions to public schools and government programs....more

Classified Management Employee’s Misconduct Justified School District’s Termination of Employment, Despite Protected Speech

A school district classified management employee sought to overturn his dismissal from employment, which he alleged was in retaliation for engaging in protected speech. A California court of appeal held that, given the...more

Supreme Court Hears Second Affirmative Action Case This Year

On October 15, only four months after the United States Supreme Court heard arguments regarding an affirmative action program for the University of Texas, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in Schuette v. Coalition to...more

A Low or Mid-Level Employee Can Create A Privileged Communication, But Cannot Waive The Privilege Once Created

Hedden v. Kean University, A-4999-12T2, decided by the New Jersey Appellate Division on October 24, 2013, provides a tutorial on the ability of low to mid level employees to create privileged attorney-client communications,...more

Supreme Court Upholds Strict Scrutiny Standard In Affirmative Action

On June 24, 2013, the Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas reaffirmed that the strict scrutiny standard of review applies when evaluating a university’s affirmative action admissions program. On these grounds, by a...more

Government Offers Additional Guidance On The Use Of Race In Admissions

Last Friday, the U.S. Department of Education and U.S. Department of Justice issued a joint “Dear Colleague Letter” addressing the impact of Fisher v. University of Texas, the recent Supreme Court decision involving the use...more

The U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education Release New Information About Using Race in Higher Education

On September 27, 2013, the U.S. Department of Justice and Department of Education released a document entitled “Questions and Answers About Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin.” This is the first guidance released by...more

Time Is On Your Side — Or At Least, It Can Be

Defending retaliation claims can often be an uphill battle, but a recent Sixth Circuit decision serves as a good reminder of not only the elements an employee must show to establish his or her case, but also how employers can...more

Fisher Revisits "Strict Scrutiny" As Applied to Affirmative Action in College Admissions Programs

In an Opinion authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy for a 7-1 majority, the United States Supreme Court in Fisher v. University of Texas at Austin, et al., allowed public colleges and universities to retain their affirmative...more

Reactions to Fisher: Grutter Survives, for now—But What About Title VI?

As we and just about everyone else have noted, Justice Kennedy, writing for a 7-to-1 majority of the Supreme Court of the United States, sent the hot potato Fisher case back to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to “assess...more

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