Educational institutions play an increasingly important role in the communities served by Ward Greenberg. We are pleased to represent many colleges, universities, academic medical centers, graduate schools, secondary schools charter schools and preschools in a broad array of legal matters, including tenure reviews, tenure denials and revocations, discrimination claims, allegations of academic and scientific misconduct, accommodations of student and employee disabilities, governmental and agency investigations, student discipline matters, program modifications and program closures, institutional governance issues, and accidents resulting in serious personal injuries or death.
Several of our lawyers are active in the National Association of College and University Attorneys (“NACUA”), and have written and presented extensively on issues of interest to the higher education community at NACUA conferences, as well as conferences conducted by the Council of Independent Colleges and the College Roundtable. We are proud to serve as Select Counsel in New York State for United Educators Insurance, an entity founded by various colleges and universities and focused on the specialized needs of higher education. We also have been named as approved panel counsel for several other entities that insure institutions of higher learning.
Representative engagements include:
- Defending large university against claims stemming from alleged scientific misconduct on the part of tenured faculty member.
- Representing graduate institution in tenure revocation proceedings involving faculty member with record of seriously deficient academic productivity and significant conflicts with colleagues.
- Conducting multi-campus investigation into allegations of serious wrongdoing by institutional human resources personnel.
- Defending university in race discrimination action involving issues of first impression under Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act.
- Counseling medical research institute about planned closure and transfer of assets, completely avoiding claims by former employees.
- Assisting university system with internal investigation into allegedly unlawful hiring practices.
- Defending university against age/gender bias and retaliation claims brought by unsuccessful applicant for tenure-track position.
- Defending research foundation in federal multi-plaintiff litigation brought by administrators and staff members alleging sexual harassment, gender bias and retaliation.
- Representing university with respect to claims arising from alleged misbehavior of various student athletes, and assisting in coordination of internal institutional response to those claims.
- Defending graduate school of education against gender and race discrimination claims asserted against by faculty member who was denied tenure.
- Defending medical colleges alleged to have violated NIH grant administration and grant reporting procedures.
- Defending educational institutions in connection with federal Office for Civil Rights investigations, including alleged discrimination against disabled students in provision of campus transportation; discrimination against hearing-impaired student denied real-time transcripts and other class-related accommodations; and alleged wrongful dismissal of a student purportedly suffering from a serious emotional disorder.
- Representing national child education provider in wide variety of matters including licensing, regulatory compliance and employment-related claims.
- Defending university in a putative class action seeking recovery under Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Defending institutions during governmental investigations into allegations of sexual harassment, serious student injuries, student deaths, NCAA rule infractions, and violations of university and/or departmental policies by tenured faculty, junior faculty, staff and students.
- Defending colleges, universities and secondary schools against students or their representatives challenging expulsions, suspensions and various other disciplinary actions.
- Defending institutions in cases involving serious injuries to staff and students.
- Drafting student and faculty handbooks, and internal guidelines for investigations and institutional responses to claims.
- Advising clients without in-house counsel about legal questions and concerns, internal investigations, governance issues, administrative issues and institutional responses to faculty, student, and staff, and law enforcement inquiries.