Education and Public Sector

Education Law

Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC has a long history of representing the interests of the National Education Association and many of its state affiliates and members in an array of different contexts. Over the last decade, by way of example, the firm has represented parties opposing private-school voucher or tax-credit programs in fourteen different lawsuits in nine states, including challenges to the constitutionality of the Cleveland school voucher program, which was ultimately decided by the United States Supreme Court, Zelman v. Simmons-Harris, 536 U.S. 639 (2002); a Colorado voucher program, which was struck down on state constitutional grounds by the Colorado Supreme Court, see Owens v. Colorado Congress of Parents, 92 P.3d 933 (Colo. 2004); and Florida’s “Opportunity Scholarship Program,” which was invalidated by the Florida Supreme Court in January 2006.

The firm also has extensive experience in representing educational employees in cases alleging violations of the First Amendment, the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses, and other constitutional guarantees, as well as in cases brought under the civil rights laws. The firm’s appellate practice in these areas is particularly notable, generally involving several cases each year.

The firm also has had an active practice advising NEA and its affiliates regarding the implementation of the No Child Left Behind Act (“NCLB”).  For example, the firm filed suit in federal district court in Michigan on behalf of NEA, nine of NEA’s state affiliates, one local NEA affiliate and seven different school districts in Michigan, Vermont and Texas, seeking to enforce the unfunded mandates provision of the NCLB, which prevents the federal government from requiring states and school districts to use non-NCLB funds to comply with the NCLB.

 

Public Sector Representation

The legal framework in which public sector labor organizations operate differs significantly from that of the private sector. Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC, represents dozens of public sector clients both nationally and locally, and is deeply involved in all aspects of public sector representation, from collective bargaining and interest arbitration to grievance arbitration and disciplinary hearings, design and defense of agency fee systems, and employee benefit issues. The firm’s public sector litigation practice is comprehensive, including numerous cases in the trial and appellate courts involving constitutional and statutory rights of public employees (including several leading Supreme Court cases in these areas), as well as cases defending the bargaining and political-action rights of public sector labor organizations, before state and federal courts and agencies.

The firm serves as general counsel or labor counsel to a number of local public sector unions, and also provides advice on a regular basis to national public sector organizations.