Nicholas R. Schlanz

There are few things Nick enjoys more than working on behalf of his community, making him a natural and dedicated advocate for public school districts and their students. Since joining the firm, Nick has tackled every issue clients face with enthusiasm and empathy, helping districts navigate employment disputes, discrimination litigation, student discipline matters, special education issues, and more in his practice. The commitment and passion he brings when helping clients solve their problems make him a valuable member of any district’s legal team.

Timothy E. Cowans

When clients need versatile employment counsel, they reach out to Tim.  Tim’s practice is devoted to counseling and representing public and private sector employers in all areas of labor law.  As an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law, his primary area of practice is workers’ compensation defense and general personnel law counseling.  Tim is valued for his ability to view workers’ compensation matters through a general labor and employment management lens, providing competent counsel on all aspects of workers’ compensation cases.  

 Tim has represented employers at numerous workers’ compensation hearings and in court actions across the state.  He has handled collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations in both the public and private sector and regularly counsels employers on employment discrimination matters, personnel concerns and general labor and employment law issues.

Sandra R. McIntosh

Sandy is dedicated to obtaining the best results for her clients as efficiently as possible.  Her practice areas include labor and employment law, special education, civil rights claims, and Title IX litigation.  She has extensive experience representing school boards at arbitrations and in both state and federal courts, as well as before administrative agencies, including the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, and the Ohio Department of Education Office for Exceptional Children.  She has litigated termination hearings, jury trials, and numerous due process hearings.  Sandy is accessible and responsive.  She prides herself on providing a high level of client service.

Jessica K. Philemond

Jessica almost certainly has a question for you.   Her inquisitive nature makes her a formidable litigator and talented investigator with a command of her cases and an ability to provide thoughtful advice to her clients.  Focusing her practice on representing school districts and their employees throughout Ohio, Jessica is valued for her steadfast advocacy, extensive litigation experience and ability to skillfully communicate with clients, employees, parents, students, opposing counsel and the community. 

 Having defended over one-hundred school districts, Jessica has won jury trials in both state and federal court and has prevailed in many cases prior to trial.  She has successfully defended clients in lawsuits involving 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.  Jessica also provides day to day counsel to boards of education and their administrators on various student, employment, and board operations issues.  Jessica regularly provides high-level training and “train the trainer” workshops for threat-assessment (a tested process designed to locate students on the path to violence and intervene), Title IX and the requirements of District Title IX Coordinators, conducting investigations, and others.

Derek L. Towster

Derek uses his sharp intellect to cut through the most complicated legal issues to provide clients with practical legal advice.  An excellent communicator, Derek is valued for his ability to distill complex legal concepts into achievable action plans.  Derek’s practice focuses on representing public boards of education and their employees in all manner of disputes—from special education litigation, general litigation, employment counseling and defense, discrimination defense, and collective bargaining. 

Derek has represented school districts in discipline and termination proceedings, before various administrative agencies and in state and federal court.  Clients benefit from Derek’s expansive education and employment law knowledge and his litigation experience, which helps him to work with clients to identify real-world solutions to complex legal problems.

Jennifer S. Tomlin

As a former Division I athlete, Jennifer knows how to perform under pressure. She serves as valued counsel to public school districts throughout the state, advising on employment and human resources issues, collective bargaining, discipline and termination proceedings, general education law issues, student discipline, ethics, property valuation and special education issues.  Appreciated for her thoughtful advice, professionalism and personal approach, Jennifer provides school boards and administrators with exemplary client service aimed at reaching their goals.   

Jennifer has represented school districts in various administrative proceedings, including before the State Employment Relations Board, the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, the Ohio Civil Rights Commission, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission as well as numerous county boards of revision and the Ohio State Board of Tax Appeals.  Her experience with representing school districts through all manner of difficult disputes makes her sought-after counsel.

James K. Stucko, Jr.

Bringing clarity to the most complex legal questions with his straightforward advice and keen insights, Jim has a no-nonsense approach to practicing law.  With a career spent dedicated to representing school boards and other public and private sector employers, Jim has more than 30 years of experience negotiating collective bargaining agreements, representing employers through grievances and arbitrations, and fielding the myriad of issues that confront school districts and other employers each day. Jim’s ability to cut to the chase and focus on the best real-world solution to a complicated matter enables him to serve as trusted counsel to many boards of education and other employers. 

Mitchell L. Stith

Mitch brings his energy and enthusiasm to solving clients’ legal problems.  During his tenure with the firm, Mitch has proven himself to be a strong advocate for public school district clients, defending claims in state and federal court and before various administrative agencies.  Mitch’s devotion to getting the right answer for clients in an efficient and timely manner makes him a valued member of our legal team.   

 Mitch’s practice focuses on providing legal counsel to public school districts throughout Ohio on a wide variety of issues.  He has represented clients in labor and employment matters, discrimination litigation, special education disputes and real property tax matters.

Karla S. Soards

A talented hearing lawyer, Karla’s experience as a third-party claims’ adjuster provides her clients with effective counsel in workers’ compensation disputes.  As an Ohio State Bar Association Certified Specialist in Workers’ Compensation Law, Karla’s practice has been devoted to workers’ compensation law for almost three decades.  She is respected for her unassuming approach and strong advocacy skills in hearings.   

Prior to joining Scott Scriven LLP, Karla was employed for seven years as a third-party claims adjuster and legal assistant with a large defense firm.  She has represented employers in numerous administrative hearings and court cases.  Karla frequently presents on various workers’ compensation topics.    

Patrick J. Schmitz

Pat is dedicated to providing creative legal solutions. Whether he is attending a late-night board meeting, answering a Sunday afternoon email or taking a conference call on the way to the office, Pat is responsive and diligent in serving clients’ needs. In his third decade of representing boards of education and other public agencies, Pat has negotiated numerous labor contracts and handled dozens of arbitrations, proceedings before administrative agencies, employee discipline and discharge cases and student discipline matters.  Pat is valued for his strategic analysis, attention to detail and unwavering advocacy on clients’ behalf.   

Pat’s connection to public education runs deep. His family served on boards of education in Ohio for three generations. Before joining Scott Scriven LLP, Pat also served as legal counsel to the Ohio School Boards Association. Pat recognizes the economic realities facing public sector clients. His goal always is to provide efficient and effective advice and counsel. His depth and breadth of school law knowledge enables him to provide practical and strategic counsel on a broad multitude of legal issues.