• The Ohio State University, Moritz College of Law, J.D.  
  • The Ohio State UniversityFisher College of Business, B.S., Business Administration 


  • Supreme Court of Ohio 
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio 
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio 
Derek L. Haggerty

Derek’s entrepreneurial mindset makes him trusted counsel regarding the business operations of public school districts.  Whether it is negotiating a labor contract, tax abatement, or real estate deal, or representing a district in tax hearings, Derek knows how to keep a district’s goals and bottom line in mind. Derek is known for his ability to zero in on the most effective path to clients’ desired outcomes, while helping to weigh the risks, costs and benefits of options.   

Representing school districts, Derek has significant experience in collective bargaining, labor grievances, termination proceedings, employment discrimination defense, and general employment law matters.  Derek has represented school districts and public agencies in both state and federal court, including trying cases before the bench and before a jury.  Derek finds creative solutions to complex legal problems and is valued counsel for his clients.

Primary Focus & Experience

  • Education General Counsel:  Provides comprehensive advice and counsel to boards of education throughout the state of Ohio, including advising on public records, open meetings and board policy and governance issues, ethics and contracting advice, contract drafting and interpretation, community and media relations, litigation preparation and avoidance. 
  • Collective Bargaining:  Negotiates labor contracts on behalf of boards of education with teaching and nonteaching unions.  Represents boards in mediation, arbitration, fact-finding and proceedings before the State Employment Relations Board.  
  • Employment Law:  Defends boards of education in complaints before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and other state agencies; represents clients in all aspects of employment law, from managing internal complaints and investigations, day to day human resources issues, and complex litigation.   
  • School Business Operations:  Provides proactive advice, review, drafting and negotiations regarding vendor contracts and strategic partnerships, risk assessment and management, and advice regarding financial issues.    
  • Construction and Real Property:  Provides review, drafting and advice on school construction contract issues and disputes; property valuation before county boards of revision and the Ohio Board of Tax Appeals; territory transfers; competitive bidding and sale of property issues 
  • Investigations:  Provides guidance to administrators conducting investigations or directly assists with investigations into student and staff issues.   
  • Litigation:  Represents boards of education through all phases of litigation, including employee and student discrimination and civil rights cases; constitutional claims, including equal protection; Section 1983 claims; retaliation claims; sexual harassment and Title IX claims; teacher termination and employee discharge cases; and student discipline and special education claims.   
  • Student Matters:  Provides guidance and advice on various student matters, including bullying, parent complaints, student discipline, equity and diversity issues, and student records and privacy concerns. 

Awards & Recognition

Super Lawyer Rising Star 2014-2019.

Presentations & Publications

Derek frequently speaks and writes on the following topics:  

  • Property tax and other real estate issues impacting school funding. 
  • First Amendment free speech issues in schools. 
  • Student and employee discipline. 
  • General employment law matters and new legislation and other legal developments impacting public schools. 

Derek has presented for the following organizations: 

  • Ohio School Boards Association 
  • Ohio Association of School Business Officials 
  • Ohio Association of Local School Superintendents 
  • Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators 
  • Ohio University Leadership Project Superintendent Seminar 

Professional Associations & Community Involvement

  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys, Member 
  • Ohio School Boards Association Collective Bargaining Roundtable  

You Might Not Know

A former athlete, Derek continues to sharpen his competitive spirit through weightlifting and running.