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School Law

Thompson & Knight represents public school districts and university systems as well as private schools and other educational institutions and training facilities in a diverse array of legal issues.

Overview

Thompson & Knight represents public school districts and university systems as well as private schools and other educational institutions and training facilities in a diverse array of legal issues. Our representation includes counsel regarding student discipline, parent grievances, employment and labor matters, internal investigations, public information obligations for public entities, policy issues, service contracts, real estate construction and equipment leasing, Chapter 41 tax issues, and regulatory compliance.

Our attorneys have particular strength at representing school districts in issues relating to facility operations, taxation, land acquisition and eminent domain, civil rights claims, employment matters, public information requests, and subpoenas. Our attorneys work to minimize district liability over often challenging personnel, employment, and labor policies, practices, and legal requirements. In court and in administrative forums, our attorneys aggressively defend the authority and interests of school districts.

Thompson & Knight attorneys also perform pro bono and personal volunteer work for public schools and speak to school districts on important legal topics, resulting in strong relationships with area educational institutions. In a characteristic example of our personal as well as professional commitment to our clients, one of our attorneys was among the six founders of the State Bar of Texas School Law Section.

Experience

  • Represented the Highland Park, Texas, ISD and other Texas districts before the Supreme Court of Texas in a challenge to the so-called “Robin Hood” school finance bill and in the subsequent challenge to the revised school finance plan, which the Supreme Court of Texas upheld in a 5-4 decision
  • Represented Highland Park, Texas, ISD in a case before the Commissioner of Education affirming the termination of a teacher’s term employment contract for good cause; we then represented the district in the teacher’s subsequent federal lawsuit that asserted numerous claims against the district and district employees
  • Represented a local school district in a dispute involving district-wide copy machine contracts
  • Represented a private religious school in a premises liability suit alleging sexual molestation of a student on campus
  • Represented the Richardson, Texas, ISD in a lawsuit brought by a former coach and his wife, a former teacher, who both asserted numerous contract and tort claims over their employment separation from the district; the case included two appeals to the Dallas Court of Appeals and one petition for review to the Supreme Court of Texas before it was resolved
  • Represented the Richardson and Highland Park, Texas, ISDs in a case alleging violation of a female student’s right to participate in interscholastic wrestling competitions
  • Represented the Argyle, Texas, ISD regarding a contentious option agreement for a school site
  • Represented the Bland, Texas, ISD in an important tax dispute that eventually reached the Supreme Court of Texas
  • Represent various local school districts and private schools in employment grievances and employment-related lawsuits as well as day-to-day counseling to manage and minimize risk