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
  • UPCOMING EVENTS
  • October 25, 2019
    Rochester Riverside Convention Center
    123 E Main St, Rochester, NY 14604

    Christie Jacobson, Esq., will present at the New York State School Boards Association Annual School Law Conference held on October 24-26, 2019. Ms. Jacobson will present on the topic of “Free Speech in the Era of Social Media.” The audience for this presentation will be school board members, school administrators and school attorneys from throughout the State of New York. For additional information visit WWW.NYSSBA.ORG.


  • RECENT EVENTS
  • October 4, 2019
    IEPs and 504 Plan Legal Workshop

    On October 4, 2019, Jack Feldman and Timothy Mahoney presented a program on 504 plans on behalf of National Business Institute. 504 plans, like IEPs, are essential tools to ensure positive learning outcomes for many students. They also have the potential to cause legal issues for schools if they aren't properly planned and carried out. The seminar addressed key considerations for implementing IEPs, functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) and Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs). For additional information, please visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • August 19, 2019
    Live Teleconference 2:00 – 3:30 p.m.

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq., presented a Live Teleconference Seminar on “Sexual Harassment in Schools: Interpreting the Latest Legal Guidelines”. The program covered the latest school sexual harassment guidelines you need to know. How to determine critical Title IX protections for victims of sexual harassment; how to properly respond to and document allegations using the latest federal guidance; and how to handle delicate sexual violence allegations the right way. For more information please visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • June 3, 2019
    Four Points by Sheraton Melville Long Island
    333 S Service Road
    Plainview, NY 11803

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq. and Timothy M. Mahoney, Esq., presented a seminar on “New York Special Education Law”. The program covered compliance with Special Education Laws to avoid liability; Strengthen knowledge of how recent special education legislation affects school policies and operation; Learning what to do and what not to do in 504 plans; Evaluating the legal protection offered by the Individualized Education Program (IEP); How to successfully handle disciplinary actions for students with disabilities; Exploring the role of manifestation determination reviewing the legality of disciplinary actions; and Understanding the rights of special needs students so as to avoid inadvertent illegal actions that may lead to a lawsuit. For further information please visit www.nbi-sems.com.

  • Monday, April 22, 2019
    Hofstra University
    Hempstead, New York

    We are proud to announce that our partner Christie R. Jacobson was honored as one of Hofstra University’s Outstanding Women in Law at an awards dinner reception held on Monday April 22,2019. This recognition celebrates women who have made meaningful and inspiring contributions to the legal community. For more information please visit www.law.hofstra.edu/owl.

  • Friday, December 7, 2018

    Jacob S. Feldman, Esq., presented a seminar on “Special Education”.
    Christie Jacobson, Esq., presented a seminar on “The Non-Resident "Resident" Student”.
    Joseph Lilly, Esq., presented a seminar on “Alcohol and Drugs in the Workplace”.
    Laura Dilimetin, Esq., presented a seminar on “School Safety”.
    For additional information visit www.nassaubar.org..



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