Education Law Practice
Our education law practice contains six partners, Julie Martin, Jim Stucko, Patrick Schmitz, Jennifer Stiff Tomlin, Julia Bauer, and Jessica Philemond, five associates, Derek Haggerty, Derek Towster, Elizabeth Braverman, Mitch Stith, and Jessica Dawso, two Of Counsel, Greg Scott and Don Scriven, and two administrative assistants devoted to the practice.
Our attorneys have a very broad school law practice, combining a comprehensive labor and employment practice with expertise in various education law issues. The depth and breadth of our attorneys’ experience enables us to understand public education clients and the issues faced by today’s boards of education and their administrators. We focus on front-end solutions and strategies to resolve potential conflicts. When conflicts cannot be avoided, we engage in problem-solving and provide practical real-world solutions to the problems our clients encounter. Our firm is sensitive to the financial constraints school districts face, and we actively work with clients to provide cost-effective solutions to complex problems.
We represent school districts on a multitude of issues including collective bargaining with unions, grievance arbitrations, student discipline disputes, special education issues, school-related constitutional issues, equal employment opportunity claims before the Ohio Civil Rights Commission and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, unfair labor practice and representation proceedings before the State Employment Relations Board, workers’ and unemployment compensation claims, school and employment-related litigation, occupational safety and health issues, school territorial transfer issues, property valuation issues before county boards of revision and the State Board of Tax Appeals, public records issues and the sunshine law. Our clients view us as trusted counselors who provide guidance and advice to navigate the legal, political, public relations and financial aspects of legal disputes. We provide counsel by reviewing, drafting and negotiating contracts including lease agreements and real estate agreements. We also regularly advise districts on matters related to the sale of school property, the acquisition of property, and competitive bidding procedures.
Labor & Employment Law Practice
Scott Scriven LLP attorneys practice traditional management-side labor law, such as negotiations, arbitrations, union avoidance, unfair labor practice charges, and other traditional labor law matters. We defend claims and lawsuits before state and federal courts and agencies on a variety of matters, including wrongful discharge and discrimination cases of all types under Title VII, the ADEA, ADA and parallel state laws. We counsel employers on wage and hour, COBRA, FMLA, ADA, plant closing-WARN Act issues, United States Department of Transportation, and personnel issues. In addition to our extensive private sector practice, we represent counties, cities, school districts, Boards of MR/DD and other public entities.
Collective Bargaining is a mainstay for our practice. We have negotiated hundreds of contracts with the Ohio Education Association, Ohio Federation of Teachers, the Ohio Association of Public School Employees and other labor unions. In addition, our attorneys have negotiated agreements with the United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers, and the Glass, Molders and Pottery Union and have handled hundreds of arbitrations against unions in the private sector. Our attorneys are experienced in traditional bargaining, concentrated bargaining, interest-based bargaining, and hybrids of these approaches. We regularly grapple with difficult bargaining topics, including school finance, reductions in force, insurance, retirement incentives, and fringe benefits.
Workers’ Compensation, Ohio VSSR &
Intentional Tort Litigation Defense Practice
Our workers’ compensation group contains two partners, Tim Cowans and Rich Goldberg, who are Board Certified in Workers’ Compensation by the Ohio State Bar Association Board, two associates, Karla Soards and Bill Creedon, one legal assistant and one administrative assistant devoted to the practice. Tim Cowans and Rich Goldberg have been listed as Ohio Super Lawyers in Workers’ Compensation.
Our attorneys regularly travel to and take workers’ compensation hearings statewide at all twelve district offices of the Ohio Industrial Commission. We have had court cases pending in counties in Geauga, Auglaize, Union, Franklin, Montgomery, Clark, Coshocton, Tuscarawas, Williams, Washington, Hamilton, Lucas, Cuyahoga, Medina, Summit, Stark, Mahoning, Ashtabula, Scioto, Logan, Allen, Richland, Ashland, Washington, Shelby and many counties in between, in all regions of the state. Based in Columbus, we have excellent and regular access to the Self-Insured Section of the Bureau to informally or formally handle any issues that might arise, such as grant of coverage, mergers, renewal of coverage, special Adjudication Committee or self-insured committees’ hearings, and to manage responses to complaints and audits. We provide our clients with on-site training of claims specialists, executives, middle managers or front-line supervisors, with a schedule to accommodate continuous operations.