Education Law

General Counsel Services

We are lawyers for educators. Our practice is focused on assisting our school board clients in the day-to-day management of their districts, ranging from the interpretation of New York State laws and regulations, including the Education Law, the Commissioner's Regulations, the Taylor Law, the Freedom of Information Law, the Open Meetings Law, the General Municipal Law, and the like, to guidance on federal statutes such as the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act ("FERPA"), and the Americans with Disabilities Act. We provide in depth guidance and support on all matters impacting school operations, including policy matters, budget development, fiscal management, special education, staff employment and evaluations, student discipline and collective bargaining, just to name a few.

As general counsel, our firm has substantial experience handling a wide spectrum of education matters. We assist our clients with policy review and development; offer guidance on recent legislation, rule changes, and significant court rulings; and provide technical assistance to district clerks, board members and administration regarding the conduct of annual and special school district elections. We routinely respond to questions concerning layoff, tenure and seniority; reserve funds; construction matters; purchasing and procurement of goods and services; the Freedom of Information Law; the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act; the Open Meetings Law; the Americans with Disabilities Act; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974; the Family Medical Leave Act; civil service issues; students' and employees' rights; and criminal and commercial law matters.

In addition, our partners and associates regularly represent our school district clients in all stages of administrative and court proceedings, including student discipline matters pursuant to Education Law §3214 (including manifestation determinations for special needs students); guardianship, residency, adoption, custody and Child Protective Services matters; appeals to the Commissioner of Education and the Office of State Review; school board liability issues; discrimination matters before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the State Division of Human Rights and the U.S. Department Education Office for Civil Rights; matters before the Unemployment and Workers' Compensation Boards; and a variety of matters in federal and state courts. We also have considerable experience in defending our school district clients in federal civil rights actions alleging discrimination based upon age, race, sex and/or disability.

The firm regularly assists our school district clients in negotiating and drafting architects' and construction managers' contracts, and preparing information and materials for public bids and requests for proposals. Our attorneys have provided legal assistance to our school district clients in the purchase and sale of school district property, as well as advice and counsel regarding asbestos removal from school district buildings.

Litigation Highlights

  • We successfully defended a recent federal lawsuit challenging a school district's refusal to grant a religious exemption to the Public Health Law requirement that students be immunized against certain diseases.
  • In another recent federal case, we persuaded the court to dismiss an employee's claim that his First Amendment rights had been violated when the District failed to promote him.
  • In one of our more unusual cases, we successfully defended a school district in an appeal to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals upholding the school district's right to insist on parental notice of student pregnancy.
  • We have also defended a school district against claims of First, Fifth and Fourteenth Amendment violations regarding the collection of school taxes.

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Events Calendar

    Friday, October 19, 2018

    Jack Feldman will conduct a full-day seminar on "Developing a Bulletproof IEP." The program will cover IDEA and its regulations, as well as the New York State Regulations. It is important for those working in special education to keep up to date with procedures for conducting a CSE meeting and developing a defensible, bulletproof IEP. This seminar aims to provide a comprehensive, one-day approach to the impact of IDEA on New York Special Education Law, for those working within the education system. Administrators, board members, regular and special educators, related service providers, counselors, psychologists, and social workers will find this seminar invaluable and are encouraged to attend. The seminar is sponsored by PESI. The seminar will also cover discipline for students with disabilities, including a discussion about the standards to be applied in manifestation determinations and when and why FBAs should be conducted and BIPs developed and reviewed. The seminar will also cover initial referrals, evaluations, medical diagnoses, classification and more. For additional information visit

  • June 15, 2018

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq., and Timothy M. Mahoney, Esq., presented “Applying Special Education Law to Everyday Issues” on June 15, 2018, the second day of a two-day event, for the National Business Institute. Mr. Feldman presented on preparing for and testifying at due process hearings. Mr. Mahoney presented on prior written notices, behavioral issues, and student discipline. The workshop was held at the Four Points by Sheraton Plainview, 333 South Service Road, Plainview, NY 11803. For further information please visit

  • Christie Jacobson, Esq., to Present at Annual Law Conference

    June 1, 2018

    Christie Jacobson, Esq., presented at the New York State Association of School Attorneys 18th Annual School Attorney Law Conference, held on June 1-3, 2018. Ms. Jacobson presented on the topic of “Student Enrollment: Practical and Legal Challenges Involved in Verifying Resident Students.” The audience for this presentation were school attorneys from throughout the State of New York.

  • Christie Jacobson, Esq., to Present on Free Speech Rights

    March 27, 2018

    Christie Jacobson, Esq., recently presented “The Contours of Student Free Speech Rights” on March 27, 2018 at the New York State School Boards Association’s 2018 Policy Workshop. The workshop was held at the Holiday Inn Plainview, 215 Sunnyside Boulevard, Plainview, NY 11803. For further information please visit

  • Legal 1

    Friday, January 19, 2018

    • Special Education Presentation
    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq.

  • LIASEA Conference

    Thursday, January 11, 2018

    The Impact on IEP Development of the Supreme Court Decision in Endrew F. and the Second Circuit Decision in T.K.
    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq. For more information visit

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