Education Law/ Investigations

White & Wiggins has provided legal services to various school districts, including the Dallas Independent School District (“DISD”), the Detroit Board of Education, Detroit, Michigan, the Pontiac School District, Pontiac, Michigan and the Highland Park School District, Highland Park, Michigan. The following is a summary and description of the general types of experience our attorneys have regarding issues which school districts face from time to time.

Attorneys have represented various school districts in litigation matters in federal and state courts.  Litigation includes torts, breach of contract, construction (including arbitration), eminent domain/condemnation matters, public finance and employment litigation (race, sex, age discrimination, etc.) just to name a few.  Some  high profile cases include:  Old Oak Cliff Conservation League v. Dallas Independent School District (preservation society filed an injunction against the school district  to prohibit the demolition of a historic building); Shawn Garrett v. Detroit Board of Education (The Male Academy case—the establishment of all male schools); Peter Stenger v. the Detroit Board of Education et. al. (alleged violations of public finance and discrimination laws).

From time to time various constitutional issues arise within school districts. White & Wiggins attorneys have also represented school districts in federal litigation regarding claims of violations of the First Amendment (freedom of religion—lawsuit filed to prohibit Minister Louis Farrakhan from speaking at a Detroit Public School) and violations of the 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution and Michigan Constitution (The Male Academy case— alleged violations of the equal protection clause and various state and federal discrimination statutes).  

White & Wiggins attorneys have represented DISD in Level II hearings.  The Firm represented DISD in a matter regarding the termination of a janitor for the use of the school’s computer for personal and inappropriate reasons. DISD’s decision was upheld in this matter.  Attorneys represented DISD in a unique case regarding DISD’s police department.  This matter was litigated in a Level II hearing, where a group of detectives filed a grievance seeking a change in their rank and insignia.  DISD’s initial decision not to change their title and insignia was upheld.
The Firm represented DISD in a teacher termination case which was scheduled for a Level II hearing.  The teacher was accused of using profanity towards a student.  The teacher withdrew her grievance at the time of the Level II hearing.

Attorneys have also represented school districts in labor disputes before panels of arbitrators.  Issues include: termination of tenured and non-tenured teachers, administrators and staff; demotions; suspensions; curriculum issues, contractual language interpretation disputes and district policy. 
 Attorneys conduct investigations involving claims filed with the Texas Commission on Human Rights and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.  One attorney has experience before the National Labor Relations Board and the Michigan Employment Rights Commission.

Attorneys provide advice and counsel to school districts regarding governance issues such as the powers and duties of members of the Board of Education in their respective localities as well as Freedom of Information Act requests. 

The firm is on the Approved Counsel list for the Forth Worth Independent School District. 

Practicing Attorneys