Attorney reviewing Elyria's employee classifications

In an article published on March 29, 2017 in the Elyria newspaper, The Chronicle-Telegram, Susan Anderson was recognized for her work on behalf of the City of Elyria. In this article, reporter Lisa Roberson noted that Susan has been working to determine which city employees should fall under nonexempt status and, consequently, are eligible to receive overtime payments. [More]

Marvinney Teaches Oral Advocacy Class at Case Western Reserve University School of Law

On March 27, 2017, Craig A. Marvinney, along with Supreme Court of Ohio Justice Sharon L. Kennedy, jointly taught a class on Oral Advocacy at Case Western Reserve University School of Law. This class, which was presented to the entire First Year Class and upper class Moot Court Co-Curricular students of CWRU, took place at the university's Tinkham Veale Student Center. Justice Kennedy spoke with a "View from the Bench," using excerpts from video footage of actual oral arguments to the Ohio Supreme Court. [More]

United States Supreme Court Creates New Standard for Provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education

On March 22, 2017, the United States Supreme Court, in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District RE-1, created a new standard for determining whether a student with a disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act (IDEIA) has been provided with a free appropriate public education (FAPE). In Endrew F., the Court was asked to decide the degree of "educational benefit" a child must receive in order for the school district to have provided a FAPE. The lower court in Endrew F. used the "merely more than de minimus" standard that had been adopted by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The U.S. Supreme Court unanimously rejected this standard and instead held that in order "to meet its substantive obligation under the IDEIA, a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child's circumstances." Endrew F. ex rel. Joseph F. v. Douglas Cty. Sch. Dist. RE-1, No. 15-827, 2017 WL 1066260, at *1 (U.S. Mar. 22, 2017) (emphasis added). [More]

Supreme Court Allows Parents to Avoid IDEIA Administrative Process for Section 504 Claims

In last week's high-profile decision, the Supreme Court permitted parents to skip the due process complaint procedures if their claims relate primarily to Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Section 504"), rather than the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act ("IDEIA"). The IDEIA requires school districts to provide qualifying students with a free appropriate public education ("FAPE") through specially-designed instruction and related services. Section 504, however, is a more general law prohibiting discrimination and obligating districts to provide equal access to public institutions to all persons with disabilities. In the past, courts have often required dissatisfied parents to exhaust the special education due process procedures, even if their claims related primarily to Section 504, and did not involve FAPE under the IDEIA. In Fry v. Napoleon, however, the Supreme Court rejected this approach and provided new parameters for claims appearing to relate to both laws. [More]

Trump Administration Withdraws Transgender Guidance

The Trump Administration made a significant move Wednesday night in the national debate regarding transgender students' rights by withdrawing previously issued guidance from the United States Department of Education ("DOE") and Department of Justice ("DOJ") on the topic. The prior guidance from the DOE and DOJ, which was issued by the Obama administration in May 2016 ("May guidance"), interpreted Title IX as requiring treatment of students in a manner consistent with their gender identity. The May guidance provided examples of policies and practices to support transgender students, such as utilizing the name the student has selected, requiring access to restrooms, locker rooms, and overnight accommodations for school trips in accordance with the gender with which the student identifies. [More]