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Teacher’s Verbal Abuse of Student Does Not Rise to “Conscious-Shocking” Level Necessary to Support Due Process Claim

L.H. and C.H. v. Pittston Area Sch. Dist., 130 F. Supp. 3d 918 (M.D. Pa 2015) (Decided September 10, 2015). The District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania determined that verbal abuse by a teacher, by itself,...more

Ban Proposed on Mandatory Pre-Dispute Arbitration Agreements by Schools Receiving Title IV Aid for Student Borrowers

The U.S. Department of Education has issued a proposed rule that includes a ban on mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements by schools receiving Title IV assistance under the Higher Education Act (HEA) and a new federal...more

New Jersey Becomes Third Recent State Court to Refuse To Enforce Delegation Clause

In a decision that appears intentionally controversial, the Supreme Court of New Jersey yesterday refused to enforce the delegation clause in a for-profit college’s enrollment agreement in a 5-1 opinion. Morgan v. Sanford...more

Trump University Playbooks Get Trumped By Trade Secrets Law

Chances are over the last several days you’ve heard presidential-hopeful Donald J. Trump express his displeasure with a certain federal judge sitting on the bench in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of...more

California Teachers Seek Rehearing Before Full U.S. Supreme Court Regarding Constitutionality of “Agency Shop” Fees for Non-Union...

Attorneys for the Plaintiff California public sector teachers in the case of Friedrichs v. California Teachers Association have taken the extraordinarily rare step of petitioning the Supreme Court for a rehearing, and have...more

Education malpractice and student litigation: Achieving early dismissal

This post is the third in our three-part series on recent legal authority addressing the educational malpractice doctrine. As we noted in prior posts, we are examining this authority through the lens of “lessons learned,” and...more

Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court Holds Enforceable School District’s Oral Promise to Pay Subcontractor for Returning to Job after...

Zacherl, Inc. v. Flaherty Mechanical Contractors, LLC, 131 A.3d 1030, 2016 Pa. Commw. LEXIS 22 (Jan. 6, 2016) - The West Allegheny School Board (the “School Board”) voted to approve the School District’s (the...more

Employment Law Letter - Spring 2016

Will Smoking Pot on the Job Get You Fired? You’d think that would be a slam dunk question, but if you’re a state employee whose union is willing to take your case to an arbitrator, apparently it isn’t. Back in 2012,...more

From The Jaws Of Defeat, Public Unions Snatch Lucky Victory

For many years, unions representing public employees in a variety of states have continued to require employees to pay union dues even if they have an objection to certain political, lobbying, or other activities the unions...more

Open Discussion of Pending Grievances Permitted At School Board Meetings

Abington Heights School District (Case No. PERA-C-11-221-E) (Pa. LRB 2015) (Decided December 15, 2015). A Pennsylvania Labor Relations Board hearing examiner determined that the District was permitted to openly discuss...more

Viral Marketers Beware – In Alabama, Sales Tax Nexus Created for Out-of-State Bookseller Even Though In-State Teachers Not Acting...

After a quarter of a century, the school book nexus cases continue to proliferate, delight and mystify. The latest installment in the saga is from Alabama. Scholastic Book Clubs, Inc. 2931 v. State Of Alabama Department Of...more

CAS Legal Mailbag Question of the Week – March 2016 #3

Dear Legal Mailbag: Teacher attendance is a problem in my school. To be sure, most of the teachers are committed professionals whose attendance is admirable. However, a few of my teachers are out a lot, sometimes calling...more

Chapter 93A's Increasing Role in IP Litigation in Massachusetts

Chapter 93A, with its low and vague standards of liability and powerful remedies of multiple damages and attorneys, is playing an increasingly central role in intellectual property disputes in Massachusetts. Please see...more

Religious Institutions Update: December 2015

Captive insurance companies can be a win-win for organizations with excellent claim records that would rather accrue their insurance premiums than pay them to a third-party insurer. Put simply, captive insurers are insurance...more

What Should Employers Expect During The New Supreme Court Term?

The first Monday in October is the traditional first day of a new U.S. Supreme Court term.  As always, the 2015-16 term will have several cases that are of particular interest to the nation’s employers.  Here is a review of...more

NLRB Punts on College Athlete Unions

On August 17, 2015, the National Labor Relations Board issued the long awaited decision in the Northwestern University football union case. 362 NLRB No. 167 (8/17/2015). In a rare display of unanimity, the five members of...more

Kentucky Supreme Court Reinforces Importance of Properly Incorporated Arbitration Provisions to Larger Agreements

The Kentucky Supreme Court recently held that an arbitration provision signed by a class of students upon their application and acceptance to a for-profit college was unenforceable because the enrollment agreement did not...more

Court Compels Discovery Of Reinsurance And Other Insurance Documentation From Insurer In Garnishment Proceedings

The judgment was entered in a class action by plaintiffs who lost their tuition payments for computer training programs at schools that abruptly closed in 2009. In attempting to collect on the judgment, plaintiffs served...more

School Districts: New York State Court of Appeals Upholds Decision Invalidating Teacher Discipline (12/14)

In another blow to school districts’ ability to address problem teachers, the New York State Court of Appeals recently upheld the Appellate Division, Fourth Department decision in Kilduff v. Rochester City School District,...more

Jian Ghomeshi’s Lawsuit and the Current State of the Law on Civil Claims by Unionized Employees

Jian Ghomeshi has withdrawn his $55,000,000 lawsuit against his former employer, the CBC. The reasons Ghomeshi chose to drop the suit have not yet been made clear, but the current state of the law likely would have made his...more

Breaking Up is Hard to Do: The California Strawberry Commission’s Claim to University Plant Breeding Research

Plant patents are often overshadowed by their more well-known utility and design patent counterparts under U.S. law. Yet, with the increasing branding and differentiation of agricultural commodities, plant patent rights...more

Not My Brother’s Keeper: Varley v. Regional School District No. 4 and A School District’s Responsibility For “Free Speech” Claims...

When entering into contacts with vendors, school districts hope that 1) the vendor will comply with the law, and 2) in any event, the vendor will be responsible for its own employment-related disputes. In Varley v. Regional...more

Federal Judge Dismisses Claim against University; Failure to Appropriately Monitor Docket Not Excusable Neglect

A federal trial court in D.C. recently dismissed the Amended Complaint of a former professor at the University of the District of Columbia ("UDC" or "University") due to his failure to timely oppose a Motion to Dismiss,...more

Privileged Communications With Outside Consultants

Penn State University recently decided to waive attorney-client privilege and cooperate in the criminal prosecutions of certain former employees. Obviously, the former employees have attempted to assert privilege to exclude...more

Can You Keep a Secret? Confidentiality Clauses in Settlement Agreements Are For Real

If a party to a confidential settlement agreement blabs about the settlement, could the party lose some of the benefits of the settlement? A recent Florida appellate decision is a good reminder to think carefully about the...more

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