- Labor Relations / Collective Bargaining
- Labor and Employment
- Labor and Employment Litigation
- Education Litigation
- University of Virginia, J.D.
- Dillard Fellow
- Executive Editor, Virginia Journal of Law and Technology
- Miami University of Ohio, B.A.
- Summa cum laude
- Phi Beta Kappa
Licensed to Practice
- U.S. District Court, Northern District of Ohio
- U.S. District Court, Southern District of Ohio
- Ohio Supreme Court
James is a partner with Walter Haverfield’s Education and Labor & Employment groups located in Cleveland, Ohio. His legal services include education law, labor and employment, and litigation. He advises clients on matters related to contract disputes, collective bargaining, due process claims, public record request compliance, and policy drafting. James also has considerable commercial and labor/employment litigation experience, and he has managed and assisted with several cases from the initial phases of discovery through trial.
James began his career as a public school teacher. He taught fourth and fifth grades in the Mississippi Delta as a member of Teach For America. As a Dillard Fellow at the University of Virginia School of Law, he mentored first-year students in writing and research skills. James’s law practice reflects his commitment to education, labor and employment and litigation, and his first-hand knowledge of the legal challenges that his clients, such as school districts and educational institutions, face today.
- Advises clients how to navigate potential violations of the Establishment Clause and Free Speech Clause of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
- Drafts school board policies, such as anti-fraternization, open enrollment, and student attendance policies.
- Advises clients on state employee hiring requirements under Ohio law.
- Drafts agreements between school districts and third parties for the provision of healthcare services and special education needs.
- Drafts legal memoranda, motions, and pleadings for complex commercial litigation, including motions for summary judgment, motions to dismiss, and discovery motions.
- Drafts discovery responses and objections as well as affirmative discovery requests.
- Prepares for and attends depositions and witness preparation sessions.
- Prepared for and attended trial in Chancery Court (DE) and prepared for and attended court hearings in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
- Manages large-scale electronic document review projects for complex commercial litigation and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act matters, as well as creates and implements review protocols for contract attorney teams regarding relevance, privilege, and confidentiality.
- Drafts motion to dismiss for school district for employment-related litigation.
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- The Supreme Court Weighs In: Can Schools Regulate Off-Campus Student Speech?
- Navigating ESSER Funds in an Ever-Changing COVID-19 Landscape
- School Districts Can Get Tax Relief for Certain Paid Leave Expenses
- Property Tax Disputes Are Expected to Proliferate
- Questions Arise with the Reopening of Ohio Sports and Training Facilities
- Reminder: The March 31st Deadline for Filing Property Tax Complaints Is Quickly Approaching
- COVID-19: What Ohio Schools Need to Know and Do
- House Bill 491: A Treasure Trove of Legal Changes Affecting Ohio School Treasurers
- Non-teaching employees can coach too, right? The legal implications of hiring non-teaching personnel
- New Ohio Law Changes Student Discipline Procedures and School Resource Officer Requirements
- Post-Parkland protests pose array of legal questions
- Protests Post-Parkland: The legal ramifications of the rising tide of school protests
- #MeToo 101: What districts need to know about the #MeToo movement in schools
- “Legal Update for Principals and Assistant Principals,” Educational Service Center of Northeast Ohio, 2022
- “Legal Update on the Rights of LGBTQ+ Students,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
- “Legal Update,” Northern Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators (NEOASPA), 2022
- “Legislative and Case Law Update,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
- “Legal Update,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
- “Legal Update,” Northeast Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators (NEOASPA), 2022
- “Special Education Legal Update,” North Central Ohio Educational Service Center, 2022
- “Legislative Update,” Northeast Ohio ESC’s Superintendent’s Professional Learning Community, 2022
- “Special Education Legal Update,” Mid-Ohio Educational Service Center, 2021
- “Changes to Title IX Regulations,” W|H Education Webinar, 2021
- “Legal Update,” Northeast Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2021
- “Professional Learning Community,” Northeast Ohio Association of School Personnel Administrators, 2021
- “Finance, Facilities, and Safety Planning,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators/Ohio State Bar Association Officials Team Collaboration Conference, 2021
- “School Districts: Legal Considerations and Updates in a COVID and Non-COVID World,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators Fall Conference, 2020
- “Staying Ahead: What You Need to Know About the New Title IX Regulations,” W|H Education Webinar, 2020
- “Talking Points & Other Related Considerations: Re-Open and Re-Start Guidance for 2020-2021,” W|H Education Webinar, 2020
- “Internships – The Legal Perspective,” Greater Cleveland Partnership, 2020
- “Social Media and School Employees,” Northeast Ohio Education Technology Conference, 2019
- “Is Social Media Your ‘Friend’ When Hiring?” Greater Cleveland Partnership’s Internship Summit, 2019
- “Legal Update: Hot Topics for the 2018-2019 School Year,” Columbiana County Educational Service Center, 2018
- “Legal Aspects of Internships,” Greater Cleveland Partnership Internship Summit, 2018
- “Dangerous Apps,” 2018 Buckeye Association of School Administrators School Facilities & Safety Conference, 2018
- “Student Attendance – What Schools Need to Know,” Ohio State Bar Association Capital Conference, 2017
- “Compliance Training,” Buckeye Association of School Administrators, 2017
- “Legal Aspects of Internships,” Greater Cleveland Partnership, 2017
- “Parenting Orders & School Attendance,” Ohio Association of Magistrates Spring Conference, 2017
- “When Litigation Strikes! Public Records, Litigation Hold Letters & Electronic Discovery,” 2016
- “Dangerous Apps,” 2016
- “Sports Law Presentation,” 2016
- “Managing Social Media Identity,” 2016
- “Legal Aspects of Internships: Legal Issues Employers Should Know,” Cleveland Internship Summit, co-hosted by the Greater Cleveland Partnership and Cleveland State University, 2016.
- “Social Media Presentation,” Cuyahoga and Summit County Educational Service Centers, 2016
- “Ohio Case Law & Legislative Update,” 2015
- Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
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