Walter Haverfield Attorney

Christine T. Cossler

  • Partner
  • Cleveland Direct: 216.928.2946
  • Cleveland Fax: 216.916.2416

Overview

Partner Christine T. Cossler focuses her practice on labor and employment law and education law. She defends discrimination, harassment and wrongful discharge allegations, breach of contract issues, promissory estoppel and breach-of-the-covenant-of-good-faith and fair dealing actions, ERISA claims, non-compete and non-disclosure issues, and various torts, including intentional torts. She represents clients at administrative proceedings before SERB, UCRC, EEOC and OCRC. Christine 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 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.

Experience

Education Law
  • Defended school district against a coach’s claim of defamation
  • 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, firing, 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 lawsuit 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 district before the U.S. Supreme Court against a parents’ challenge to their child’s special education program
  • Counsels clients on special education issues
Student Issues
  • Prosecutes and defends student discipline matters
  • Counsels clients on student custody and tuition issues

Recognition

2007, 2009-2012 - Selected to Ohio Super Lawyers Rising Stars. Areas of practice: Employment & Labor, Schools & Education.

 

Articles

Presentations

  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, April 17, 2015
  • “Cyberlaw: Technology and the Law,” Ohio School Boards Association, Columbus, OH, March 27, 2015
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session II (Spring is Here…and so is IEP Season),” Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, April 13, 2015
  • Ohio School Boards Association Intensive Legal Workshop, Columbus, OH, October 22, 2014
  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, October 6, 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 Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, September 22, 2014
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session III (Spring is Here—We’re in the Home Stretch),” Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, April 7, 2014
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session II (The School Year Rolls On – What’s on the Horizon),” Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, January 27, 2014
  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, December 9, 2013
  • Northeast Ohio Legal Updates Network, Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, September 30, 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 Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, September 16, 2013
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session III (Legal Updates and Tips for Surviving ‘IEP Season’),” Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, April 10, 2013
  • “Special Education/Pupil Services Professional Development Series: Session II (The School Year Rolls On – More Legal Updates),” Educational Service Center of Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, January 23, 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 Cuyahoga County, Valley View, OH, October 19, 2012
  • "FMLA and ADAAA Update," Marriott Cleveland East, Beachwood, OH April 27, 2012
  • "2010 Walter | Haverfield LLP Labor and Employment Law Seminar," "Employee Handbook Tips and Pitfalls," Outline, Presentation, Holiday Inn, Independence, OH, September 30, 2010
  • "Spring School Law Seminar," Quail Hollow Resort, Painesville, OH, April 13, 2010
  • "Frequently Asked Questions: School Law," Quail Hollow Resort, Painesville, OH, February 25, 2009
  • "Employment Laws Made Simple: Ensure compliance with employment law procedures and practices!" National Business Institute Seminar, December 10, 2008

Associations

  • NSBA COSA
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys, Executive Committee
  • Ohio State Bar Association
  • Cleveland Employment Law Inns of Court