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Franklin Township Board of Education v. V.A. and C.H. on behalf of A.H.

Client: Franklin Township Board of Education

Court: Office of Administrative Law

Brief Attorney: Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq.

Trial Attorney: Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

The school district sought emergent relief for the removal of a special education student to an interim alternative educational placement due to dangerousness. Parents opposed and contended that the child remain in the general education setting. Judge Catherine A. Tuohy concluded that the school district met all of the elements for emergent relief and placed the student on home instruction pending the outcome of an underlying due process petition.

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In the Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Greg Janicki and the Washington Township School District, Gloucester County

Client: Washington Township Board of Education

Court: Tenure Arbitration Hearing 

Brief Attorney: Joseph F. Betley, Esq.

Trial Attorney: Joseph F. Betley, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Tenure charges against Gregory Janicki, a High School Music Teacher, were successfully prosecuted by the Washington Township Board of Education. In an award issued on August 31, 2021 Arbitrator Gary Kendellen sustained several charges against Mr. Janicki and ordered that he be removed from his teaching position with the District. As the Board Solicitor, Mr. Betley established that Mr. Janicki engaged in a pattern of intolerance and antagonism against individuals based on their sexual orientation as well as their gender identity and expression. The District showed that Mr. Janicki surreptitiously distributed a document at the High School main office that was offensive to the LGBTQ community, and lied about it when school officials investigated the incident. The evidence also supported the charge that Mr. Janicki had a pattern of intentional misrepresentations to administrators during investigations of misconduct. Finally, the arbitrator sustained the charge that Mr. Janicki intentionally recorded a private conversation that Mr. Betley had with administration regarding the underlying investigation. The District sustained its burden that the unbecoming conduct justified Mr. Janicki’s dismissal as a tenured teacher.

Mr. Betley expresses his thanks and appreciation to the administrative staff and teachers who testified truthfully and courageously at the arbitration hearing.

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L.B. o/b/o B.C. v. Washington Township BOE (Agency Dkt. #103-5/20) (OAL Dkt. #EDU 07411-20)

Client: Washington Township Board of Education

Court: Commissioner of Education

Brief Attorney:  Lauren E. Tedesco-Dallas, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

Petitioner appealed the determination of the respondent Board that B.C. has not resided within the Washington Township School District since July 6, 2019 and is therefore not eligible to receive a free public education in Washington Township Public Schools. The Board filed a motion for summary decision, which petitioner failed to answer, and sought reimbursement of tuition for the period of B.C.’s ineligible attendance.

The Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) found, inter alia, that: there are no material facts at issue in this case, and the matter is ripe for summary decision.

Upon review of the record, the Commissioner of Education concurred with the ALJ’s findings and conclusion. The Initial Decision was adopted as the final decision, and the petitioner was ordered to reimburse the Board for tuition in the amount of $18,077, plus $100.43 for every school day during the 2020-2021 school year that the student attended Washington Township schools. The petition was dismissed.

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Sanu Dev Installed As Trustee Of The South Asian Bar Association Of NJ

Capehart Scatchard Shareholder, Sanmathi “Sanu” Dev, was sworn in as a trustee of the South Asian Bar Association of New Jersey (“SABA-NJ”) on January 28, 2021.  During a virtual ceremony, Ms. Dev received her oath of office from the Honorable Zahid N. Quraishi, U.S.M.J. D.N.J.

SABA-NJ is a voluntary association of attorneys and professionals in the New Jersey area dedicated to the needs, concerns and interests of the South Asian community in New Jersey.

Ms. Dev concentrates her practice on school law and labor and employment law.  She is experienced in representing, advising, and defending boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline and civil rights.  She leads Capehart Scatchard’s School Law Blog, which focuses on cases, court decisions, and current developments affecting education law in the state of New Jersey.  Ms. Dev is the Chair of the Firm’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee, which seeks to facilitate the Firm’s efforts to achieve and maintain a diverse and inclusive workplace at every level of our organization.   Ms. Dev also serves as the Firm’s Hiring Shareholder.  She received her law degree from Rutgers Law School at Camden and her B.A. degree from Boston University.

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Capehart Scatchard Attorneys Participate In Virtual Panel Discussion With Law Students

Attorneys from Capehart Scatchard hosted a virtual panel discussion on September 29, 2020 with law students from Widener University Delaware Law School.   The event was titled “Are You Winning? How to Succeed as an Intern or Entry-Level Attorney.”

Workers’ Compensation Department attorney, Christopher Chu, served as the moderator for the event and attorneys, Joseph Acosta, Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev and Ashley Mollenthiel, served as panelists. The attorneys shared insights on how to succeed as law school students, summer interns and law clerks, and entry-level attorneys. Each attorney also provided guidance stemming from their own personal experience and backgrounds from the application and interview process to the pressures of finding employment post-graduation.  The event was hosted by Capehart Scatchard’s Diversity & Inclusion Committee, which Ms. Dev leads.

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Monroe Township Board of Education v. J.A. and J.A. o/b/o J.A. (EDS 04821-20)

Client: Monroe Township Board of Education

Court: Office of Administrative Law

Trial Attorney:  Sanmathi (Sanu) Dev, Esq.

**Results may vary depending on your particular facts and legal circumstances**

The Board filed a due process petition seeking to deny the parents’ request for an independent auditory evoked potential evaluation of a student diagnosed with autism. The parents, through counsel, requested the District conduct the test, at the District’s expense, even though the District never observed the student having any auditory issues in the thirty-two evaluations conducted of the student over a nine-year period. The ALJ ruled in the Board’s favor and denied the request and also determined that the parents’ request for the evaluation was unjustified and frivolous.

To view the case, please click here.

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New Jersey Association of School Attorneys Elects Cameron R. Morgan and Lauren E. Tedesco as Trustees

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that Cameron R. Morgan, Esq. was elected, for a two-year term, as Trustee for the North-Central District of the New Jersey Association of School Attorneys and Lauren E. Tedesco, Esq. was recently re-elected as Trustee for the Southern District.

A Collingswood resident, Mr. Morgan serves public school districts and charter schools throughout New Jersey in the specialized area of school law, with a focus on general counsel services, civil litigation, special education, administrative law, collective negotiations, labor and employment, and appellate practice. He has served as Board Solicitor to dozens of school districts, guiding district administrators through the diverse range of issues affecting the public schools, from personnel matters, tenure cases, and the range of issues that frequently arise at public board meetings, to student disciplinary matters, residency disputes, and homelessness issues, to complex matters involving the budgetary process or First Amendment rights.

Ms. Tedesco, a Gladwyne, PA resident, concentrates her practice on the representation of boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline, FERPA, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, student residency, civil rights, tenure, OPRA, OPMA, and teaching staff tenure matters under TEACHNJ and ACHIEVENJ.

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Education Law Shareholder Joins Capehart Scatchard

Capehart Scatchard is pleased to announce that Geoffrey N. Stark, Esq. has recently joined its School Law Department as a Shareholder in its Mount Laurel, NJ office.

Mr. Stark concentrates his practice on the representation of boards of education and charter schools in all areas of school law including: labor and employment, special education, Section 504, student discipline, FERPA, Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act, student residency, civil rights, tenure, OPRA, OPMA, and teaching staff tenure matters under TEACHNJ and ACHIEVENJ.

Prior to joining Capehart Scatchard, Mr. Stark served as a Deputy Attorney General in the Education and Higher Education Section of the New Jersey Office of the Attorney General.  He earned his J.D. from Rutgers School of Law in Camden, a M.A. in Student Affairs and Higher Education Administration from The Ohio State University, and a B.S. degree in English from Radford University.  Upon law school graduation, Mr. Stark worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Joseph F. Lisa, P.J.A.D. in Camden County.  He is admitted to practice law in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

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