Education & Special Education
Today’s educational institutions face a range of complex legal issues at least as broad as those faced by highly-regulated industries. Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP has one of the most extensive education law practices in New England. The firm represents over 80 school committees, public school districts, colleges and universities and private schools. Its diverse school clientele ranges from large cities and towns to smaller communities and educational collaboratives. The firm’s attorneys have the expertise, experience and resources to service all of their legal needs, including collective bargaining, special education, arbitrations, litigation and the full range of current legal issues, including student rights and discipline, service contracts, discrimination, the impact of Education Reform, and all statutory issues.
A significant part of the Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP education law practice is in the field of special education. In this area, the firm has counseled over 200 school committees on the adequacy of programs under Chapter 766 and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. It has represented clients in hearings and litigation arising under these and other statutes.
The firm has concentrated in education law for more than 25 years, and can provide first-rate, comprehensive legal services efficiently and cost-effectively. The firm emphasizes a preventive maintenance approach, based upon our strong belief that proper legal advice prevents problems before they occur. The firm devotes a considerable part of our practice to assisting our clients in anticipating problems and avoiding costly disputes and litigation through client training and communication.
The firm’s experience in the field of education enables us to provide our clients with a broad range of services in such operation and legal matters as:
- All facets of labor and employment including hiring, tenure, discipline, termination and collective bargaining.
- Issues pertaining to the powers and duties of administrators and school committees, and matters of governance.
- Interrelationships among the school, municipal, state and federal government relative to a number of issues including school finance.
- All facets of special education and education of persons with disabilities including section 504 and the ADA.
- Training and staff development.
- Evaluation of staff.
- Accreditation processes.
- Constitutional questions covering all curricular and disciplinary topics such as student rights, academic freedom, church/state dilemmas and due process.
- Plant operation functions such as procurement, construction, facilities development and contract negotiations with service providers.
- Representation in agency, court and appellate litigation.
Contact us today if you have questions about Education & Special Education
Alisia St. Florian
Partner(617) 479-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. St. Florian is a Partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, and is a member of the firm’s Special Education Law Group. Ms. St. Florian represents school districts in all aspects of special education litigation, from administrative hearings at the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) through to all levels of judicial appeal. In addition, Ms. St. Florian frequently presents workshops on issues regarding special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, state and federal student record Read More
Kevin F. Bresnahan
Partner(617) 479-5000 email@example.com
Mr. Bresnahan practices in the areas of labor and employment, education, and municipal law. Mr. Bresnahan has negotiated collective bargaining agreements on behalf of numerous municipalities and school committees, and has represented public employers before the courts of the Commonwealth, in arbitrations, and in a wide variety of administrative proceedings before various agencies, including the Division of Labor Relations, the Civil Service Commission, the Massachusetts Commission Against Discrimination, and the Joint Labor-Management Committee. He advises public employers in various aspects Read More
Michael J. Maccaro
Partner(617) 479-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Maccaro’s practice is focused on the areas of labor and employment in the public and private sector, litigation, and employee benefits. Following law school, Mr. Maccaro served as a Law Clerk to the Justices of the Superior Court for two years. Prior to joining Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane LLP, Mr. Maccaro served as Associate General Counsel for a large public sector labor union. He has litigated numerous matters, negotiated hundreds of contracts and has argued before various state Read More
Mary Ellen Sowyrda
Partner(617) 479-5000 email@example.com
Ms. Sowyrda is a partner at the firm and heads the Special Education Department within Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane, LLP, which currently represents approximately 160 school districts and educational collaboratives in the field of Special Education Law. She is involved in all aspects of litigation including hearings, mediations, pre-hearing conferences with the Bureau of Special Education Appeals and court cases. She provides clients with daily advice on school-related legal issues and deals with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Read More
Sarah C. Spatafore
Partner(617) 479-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Spatafore is a partner with the firm. She practices primarily in the labor and employment area, representing both public and private clients. Ms. Spatafore also handles education issues. Ms. Spatafore has represented clients before a number of courts and administrative tribunals at both the state and federal level. Ms. Spatafore regularly advises clients on a variety of issues related to labor and employment, represents clients on issues related to collective bargaining, grievances, and arbitrations, and has conducted numerous workplace Read More
Regina Williams Tate
Partner(617) 479-5000 email@example.com
Ms. Tate has been practicing law since 1978. She practices primarily in the areas of labor and education law. Her practice in the area of education covers the spectrum of issues related to education including student discipline, special education, Education Reform, due process rights of teachers and other school employees, and other employment matters, academic freedom and civil rights. She also participates in the collective bargaining process on behalf of her education clients. She has served as counsel to over Read More
Felicia S. Vasudevan
Partner(617) 479-5000 firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Vasudevan is an attorney in the firm’s Education Law and Special Education Law Groups, working in regular and special education issues. Ms. Vasudevan represents school districts in all aspects of special education litigation, from administrative hearings at the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) through to all levels of judicial appeal. She represents school districts in matters of student discipline, civil rights issues, collective bargaining, public procurement, and employment issues. She presents workshops on issues such as conducting Read More
Andrew J. Waugh
Partner(617) 479-5000 email@example.com
General counsel to a number of towns and school committees, Mr. Waugh’s practice focuses on education and municipal law, with an emphasis labor and employment matters. Mr. Waugh works with and advises employers on various employment matters including hiring, discipline and termination issues, drafting severance agreements, FMLA and ADA issues, and compliance with other state and federal discrimination and/or civil rights laws. Mr. Waugh has extensive experience negotiating and drafting collective bargaining agreements, and he defends employers in grievance arbitrations Read More
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Receives Favorable Decision for Town of Dracut
On April 11, 2023, MHTL Attorneys Peter Mello and Madison Harris-Parks represented the Town of Dracut, and successfully obtained a preliminary injunction order requiring, among other things, that the Defendant homeowners cease renting out their pool to the public. The case, Town of Dracut by and Through Its Building Inspector vs. Nason, Gilbert et al., was initiated by the Town after the Defendants failed to comply with the Town’s associated underlying zoning enforcement order. The Town requested the injunction Read More
EXTENSION OF MUNICIPAL RELIEF MEASURES - INCLUDING OPEN MEETING LAW REMOTE OPTION - SIGNED BY THE GOVERNOR
The option for public bodies in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to hold public meetings remotely or in a hybrid fashion, which came into play at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has been extended by the General Court for another two years, until March 31, 2025. The Governor signed the legislation, which will be codified at Chapter 2 of the Acts of 2023, on March 29, 2023. Because of the inclusion of an emergency preamble, the law goes into effect immediately.
50 Braintree Hill Office Park, Suite 410,
Braintree, MA 02184
75-101 Federal Street
Boston, MA 02110
Tel: (617) 479-5000
Tel: (888) 841-4850
Fax: (617) 479-6469
Crown Colony Plaza
300 Crown Colony Drive, Suite 410
P.O. Box 9126
Quincy, MA 02169-9126