Relationships. Commitment. Results.

icon Careers

Christine T. Cossler

Partner

Christine Cossler

Overview

Learn about Christine

Christine is a partner in Walter Haverfield’s Education Law Group and Assistant Section Head of the Labor and Employment Law Group. She defends discrimination, harassment, and wrongful discharge allegations. She also defends breach of contract issues, promissory estoppel and breach-of-the-covenant-of-good-faith and fair dealing actions. Furthermore, she defends Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) claims, non-compete and non-disclosure issues as well as various torts, including intentional torts. Christine represents clients at administrative proceedings before the State Employment Relations Board (SERB), the Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC), the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), and the Ohio Civil Rights Commission (OCRC). She regularly counsels both public- and private-sector employers on general employment matters and provides training on a variety of topics, including harassment prevention, employee workplace privacy, and appropriate use of employer technology.

Christine guides clients through ongoing labor relations issues and assists them in the interpretation and enforcement of collective bargaining agreements. In addition to employment litigation and counseling, Christine has successfully represented her clients in unfair labor practice (ULP) charges and arbitration before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and SERB. Prior to joining the firm, Christine was a law clerk for the Honorable James S. Gwin, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio.

Recognition

img

EXPERIENCE

EDUCATION LAW
  • Defends school districts against coach’s claims
  • Defends boards of education in arbitration proceedings, including those based on contract interpretation and employee discipline/discharge
  • Assists clients in interpretation, application and administration of collective bargaining agreements
  • Formulates, implements, and administers board policy
  • Provides contract advice, guidance and drafting, including third-party agreements
  • Counsels clients on employment and personnel issues, including hiring, termination, evaluation and corrective action counseling
  • Counsels clients on public records and the Sunshine Law, addressing the privacy concerns of employees and students
  • Counsels clients on student legal issues, including challenges to board policies, discipline, and First Amendment issues
  • Defends public records challenges
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LAW
  • Defends employers in discrimination actions before the EEOC and OCRC Labor Relations
  • Arbitrates grievances arising under collective bargaining agreements ranging from disciplinary issues to contract interpretation issues
  • Advises clients on contract interpretation issues with collective bargaining agreements
  • Defends employers against unfair labor practice charges filed with the NLRB and SERB
  • Advises employers on avoidance of unfair labor practice charges
LABOR & EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION
  • Defends state and federal lawsuits alleging violations of fair employment practices statutes, including sexual discrimination and harassment, racial discrimination and harassment, disability discrimination, age discrimination and other civil rights claims
  • Defends ERISA lawsuits alleging wrongful denial of severance benefits
  • Defends state common law wrongful discharge, defamation, invasion of privacy, and tort-based lawsuits
  • Defends employers against contract-based claims
  • Defends employers in enforcement actions to protect trade secrets
  • Represents employers as third-party defendants in state divorce proceedings
  • Represents employers in the defense and enforcement of non-compete and confidentiality agreements
SPECIAL EDUCATION
  • Defends school districts in due process proceedings
  • Defends school districts before the U.S. Supreme Court regarding parents’ challenges to their child’s special education programs
  • Counsels clients on special education issues
STUDENT ISSUES
  • Prosecutes and defends student discipline matters
  • Counsels clients on student custody and tuition issues
READ MORE img
img

ASSOCIATIONS

  • Member, National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys
  • Member, Executive Committee, Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Member, Ohio State Bar Association
  • Member, Cleveland Employment Law Inns of Court
img

PRESENTATIONS

  • “BASA Summer Legal Update,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2022
  • “Case Law Update,” Walter Haverfield Special Education Legal Update, 2022
  • “Special Education Legal Update,” Walter Haverfield Special Education Webinar with the Educational Service Center of Mahoning County, 2021
  • “Special Education Legal Update,” Walter Haverfield Special Education Webinar with the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2021
  • “Cyberlaw,” Ohio School Board Association, 2021
  • “Special Education Legal Update,” Walter Haverfield Webinar with the Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2020
  • “Special Education & Collective Bargaining Issues,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio Special Education Seminar, 2019
  • “Special Education Legal Update Seminar,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2018
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services,” Walter Haverfield Education Seminar, 2017
  • “Transgender Issues,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2017
  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2015
  • “Cyberlaw: Technology and the Law,” Ohio School Boards Association, 2015
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session II (Spring is Here… and so is IEP Season),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2015
  • Ohio School Boards Association Intensive Legal Workshop, 2014
  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2014
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session I (Back to School: What Districts Need to Know to Start the 2014-15 School Year),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2014
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session III (Spring is Here— We’re in the Home Stretch),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2014
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session II (The School Year Rolls On – What’s on the Horizon),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2014
  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2013
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session I (Legal Updates for the Start of the 2013-14 School Year),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2013
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session III (Legal Updates and Tips for Surviving ‘IEP Season’),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2013
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session II (The School Year Rolls On – More Legal Updates),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2013
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session I (Legal Updates for the Start of the 2012-13 School Year),” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2012
  • “FMLA and ADAAA Update,” Marriott Cleveland East, 2012