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Local Governments and School Districts

  • Retaliation Against a Public Employee for Giving Testimony is a No-No

    Posted on June 25, 2014, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    A recent decision by the United States Supreme Court has clarified a very murky area of the law. Statements by a government employee may or may not be protected speech based upon the content of the speech and the circumstances under which the statements are made. Generally speaking, statements by a government employee that clearly address matters o…   

  • Conflicted?

    Posted on June 16, 2014, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    If it hasn't happened yet, trust me, it will. Every public official seems to be put in a position of conflict while in office. Here is a link to a recent article about a City of Green Bay public official who has chosen to abstain from any further voting on a public issue involving Walmart. The article does not specify what the exact conflict was t…   

  • Council of State Governments Provides Recommendations for Student Discipline

    Posted on June 12, 2014, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    One of the more difficult areas of our practice deals with assisting school districts through student discipline and serving as counsel to districts during student expulsions. This week, I came across an interesting article in the Washington Post which addresses the increasing difficulty districts have in dealing with student discipline, get it her…   

  • Closed Session Agendas - How Much Detail?

    Posted on May 20, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    There is a great deal of debate how much detail you must use on the open meeting agenda when the local government board is convening into closed session. It is clear the agenda must state what section of the Open Meetings Law is being used as the exception to allow a closed meeting, and there must be a statement, with some specificity, of the type …   

  • Cruel Intentions

    Posted on May 13, 2014, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    Last week, a Wisconsin Court of Appeals decided the case of Ardell v. Milwaukee Board of School Directors and Lynne A. Sobczak. The case is important to school districts and local governments alike because the outcome may change the way municipalities review and respond to public records requests. Ardell sought disclosure of certain public records…   

  • Pray Before Local Government Meeting - Honor All Religions

    Posted on May 9, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    The United States Supreme Court, in the recent decision in Town of Greece v. Galloway held that prayers before a town meeting delivered by a "chaplain of the month" did not violate the Establishment Clause and therefore were not prohibited from being used by a local township at the start of its meetings. The majority opinion, by a 5-4 vote found th…   

  • Allergy Relief

    Posted on May 9, 2014, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    Through the signing of Senate Bill 375, school districts now have more flexibility in assisting students with life-threatening allergies. Prior to the signing of this bill in April, only certain authorized school personnel were allowed to administer an epinephrine auto-injector, also known as EpiPen (a device designated to prevent or treat a life…   

  • Safety First

    Posted on May 6, 2014, Authored by Dean R. Dietrich, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    This past April, Governor Walker signed over 100 bills into law. A number of the bills affect local government units. Over the course of the next couple of weeks, we will be touching on those new laws to provide some guidance to municipalities on how business may change as a result of the new legislation. A number of the changes may require some ad…   

  • "Can you hear me now?" Supreme Court May Provide Clarity on Cell Phone Searches

    Posted on January 21, 2014, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    Last Friday, the Supreme Court decided to tackle an issue that may impact school districts. The Court will review a pair of cases about whether the police need a warrant to search the contents of a criminal suspect's cell phone. While school district administrators are held to a lower standard than police officers when searching a student's cell ph…   

  • Act 10 Seventh Circuit Update

    Posted on January 25, 2013, Authored by Kevin J.T. Terry, Filed under Local Governments and School Districts

    As we wait for the Wisconsin Court of Appeals to weigh in on many fundamental principles of Act 10, the Seventh Circuit recently announced that it believes the entirety of Act 10 passes constitutional muster. While this decision certainly does not signify the end of the fight, it is likely to be the last time the Feds weigh in on the issue. Here is…