Education

  • The Ohio State University, Moritz College of LawJ.D. 
  • The College of Wooster, B.A., with honors 

Admissions

  • Supreme Court of Ohio 
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio 
  • U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio 
  • Sixth Circuit United States Court of Appeals 
Patrick J. Schmitz
Partner

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.

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.    
  • Investigations:  Provides guidance to administrators conducting investigations or directly assists with investigations into student and staff issues.   
  • Special Education Counseling & Litigation:  Defends boards of education in special education due process proceedings, administrative proceedings and in federal court.  Provides proactive advice to manage special education disputes and compliance concerns.   
  • 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

  • Phi Beta Kappa

Presentations & Publications

Pat frequently speaks and writes on the following topics:   

  • Public sector labor and employment law 
  • Collective bargaining  
  • School law and boardsmanship  
  • Sunshine law (public records and open meetings) 
  • Student issues, including special education 

 Pat has presented for the following organizations: 

  • Ashland University  
  • Ohio School Boards Association 
  • Ohio Association of School Business Officials 
  • Buckeye Association of School Administrators 
  • Ohio Association of Secondary School Administrators 
  • Ohio Association of Pupil Services Administrators 
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys

Pat has authored the following publications:  

  • Contributing Editor, HR Desktop Reference Guide, Ohio School Boards Association 
  • Special Education Law in Ohio, Ohio School Boards Association (past edition) 
  • Ohio Sports Law Handbook, Ohio School Boards Association (past edition) 
  • Contributing author, The Principal’s Legal Handbook, Third Edition, Education Law Association 
  • Contributing author, Baldwin’s Ohio School Law Journal  
  • Contributing author, OSBA Journal 
  • Amicus Curiae brief author, OSBA Legal Assistance Fund 

Professional Associations & Community Involvement

  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys Special Education Roundtable, Founding Member 
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys, Former Executive Committee Member  
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys Labor Roundtable, Member 
  • National School Boards Association, Council of School Attorneys, Member 
  • Ohio State Bar Association, Member 
  • Columbus Bar Association, Member 
  • American and Ohio Societies of Association Executives, Past Member 
  • Olentangy Youth Athletic Association, Coach and Volunteer (baseball, lacrosse, boys and girls soccer, and softball) 
  • The College of Wooster Alumni Association, Member 
  • St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Lector and Sunday School Teacher 
  • Food for the Poor, Guatemala, Mission Volunteer 

You Might Not Know

Pat passed on his passion for public education to his family. His college-age son is an education/psychology major and plans to pursue graduate studies in education policy. 

“I owe my accomplishments to public schools. I grew up in the Rust Belt and was a first generation college student. This taught me the transformative value of public education and its contributions to the common good. I view my law practice as a way to pay forward the dedication that teachers, coaches and administrators invested in my education.”