Education - Litigation

Attorneys in Taft’s Education – Litigation practice advise institutions of higher education in all matters, including labor and employment (academic and non-academic), student affairs, corporate and academic governance, real estate, regulatory compliance and immigration. Representative clients in addition to CWRU include the University of Cincinnati, Hebrew Union College, Miami University Foundation, Sinclair Community College and John Carroll University.

We advise institutions of higher education on the following areas:

Faculty Employment Issues and Litigation

  • Faculty Appointment Issues, Tenured and Non-Tenured: Our attorneys not only counsel clients on these issues but have litigated to jury or court verdict a significant number of these important cases, particularly tenure denial cases.
  • Miscellaneous Faculty Rights Issues: Our attorneys frequently give advice on academic freedom, intellectual property and institutional support issues.

Student Affairs Issues and Litigation

  • Student discipline and dismissal, both academic and conduct-related.
  • Alcohol and substance abuse.
  • Sexual harassment/date rape.
  • Greek system issues.
  • Faculty/student relationship issues.
  • Foreign student immigration issues.
  • Student rights issues.
  • Student records issues under FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act).
  • Student disabilities and accommodation issues.
  • Student psychiatric and suicide issues.

Institutional/Corporate/Academic Governance

  • Advise senior officers and trustees regarding best practices of corporate and academic governance at institutions of higher education.
  • Develop effective institutional policies and procedures and governing documents, including the faculty handbook and trustee bylaws and regulations.

Higher Education Real Estate Issues

  • Handle tax exemption, tax-free bond financing and donated real property questions.

Regulatory Compliance

We help with the creation and adoption of appropriate policies, procedures and training programs for faculty and staff. For major research university clients, this service has involved laws and regulations, including HIPAA, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and those controlling federal research grants and clinical trials (including human subject research and research misconduct). We provide regulatory compliance assistance applicable to all colleges and universities, including the Drug-Free Workplace Act, Acceptable Use of Computing and Information Technology Act and Campus Security Act.

Technology Transfer

Together with Taft’s Intellectual Property group, we advise higher education clients on all forms of intellectual property and technology transfer. These services include licensing, start-ups and compliance with the Bayh-Dole Act.

Fundraising Practices, Donor Relations, Restricted Gift and Endowment Practices

We are experienced in all facets of these institutional activities.

Crisis Management

We advise senior officers and trustees on how to interact with attorneys, the media, governmental authorities and/or police, students and parents.

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