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Texas Association of School Administrators   |   Texas Association of School Boards
TASA/TASB Convention

Virtual Event
September 30–
October 2, 2020

Council of School Attorneys

The Council of School Attorneys (CSA) meeting held in conjunction with TASA | TASB Convention txEDCON2020 is changing this year!

The convention is taking place virtually beginning Wednesday, September 30 through Friday, October 2. The CSA Meeting will take place virtually on Friday, October 16.

In addition to the activities that will take place on Friday, October 16, two sessions will be featured on Thursday, October 1, during Convention. These will be called “CSA Spotlight” sessions and will be open to ALL registered attendees, including CSA members.

An application for Continuing Legal Education (CLE) has been submitted to the State Bar of Texas for these sessions. Both will be a panel format featuring CSA presenters, and hot topics have been chosen to highlight why school districts should always work with CSA attorneys.

Schedule of events

Thursday, October 1

11–11:50 a.m. 

CSA Spotlight Session: Can They Really Say That About Me? Online Attacks on School Officials
In this era of social media, do school districts and school officials have any remedies when community members say negative things about them? What risks do school officials face if they try to block, hide, or respond to the community members? A panel of experienced attorneys will walk through true-to-life examples of online attacks against districts and individuals. What are the best options for addressing online misbehavior? And what could actually get the district in worse trouble? State Bar application for .75 hours of Continuing Legal Education pending.

Host: Jim Whitton, Brackett & Ellis, P.C., Fort Worth, TX
Thomas Williams, Haynes and Boone, LLP, Fort Worth, TX
Chris Gilbert, Thompson & Horton, LLP, Houston, TX
Justin Graham, Katy ISD, Katy, TX

1:30–2:20 p.m.        

CSA Spotlight Session: Title IX Investigations
Overseeing investigations into sexual misconduct has always been challenging, but these investigations have been made more complicated by Title IX regulations that impose new rules and procedural protections for the accused. This panel of experienced school attorneys will address many practical questions including the role of administrative staff and the board, best practices, common pitfalls, when to consult outside counsel, and more. State Bar application for .75 hours of Continuing Legal Education pending.

Host: Holly McIntush, Thompson & Horton, LLP, Austin, TX
Cory Rush, Karczewski Bradshaw Spalding, Houston, TX
Leticia McGowan, Dallas ISD, Dallas, TX
Sara Leon, Sara Leon & Assoc., LLC, Austin, TX

Friday, October 16

8:30–8:45 a.m.

Welcome and Legal Assistance Fund Report
Mark Tilley, TASB Legal Services, Austin, TX

8:45–9:45 a.m.         

The Evolution of School Law Ethics
Attorney Kelly Frels, a founder of our school law section, will lead us in a conversation about legal ethics based on his book School Law’s Evolution: Reflections of a Texas Lawyer, which was published last year. This engaging conversation between longtime colleagues will look back at lessons learned, reflect on the Texas Lawyer’s Creed, and highlight issues for the future of public education and the practice of school law.

Kelly Frels, Bracewell LLP, Houston, TX
Chris Gilbert, Thompson & Horton, LLP, Houston, TX

9:45–10 a.m.


10–10:15 a.m.

Update on School District Policy Changes
Leslie Story, TASB Legal Services, Austin, TX

10:15–10:45 a.m.            

CSA Business Meeting

10:45–11 a.m.


11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.               

Liability Issues Related to COVID-19
This panel discussion will dive in-depth on legal issues that persist for school districts as the pandemic wears on. Specifically, panelists will focus on employment issues, including application of the FFCRA and ADA to employees who cannot or do not wish to work onsite; special education, especially in-person and remote instruction and recovery services; and gnawing questions about liability and possible holes in governmental immunity. Bring your own questions, too, because you know what they say – we’re all in this together.

Host: Kelley Kalchthaler, Walsh, Gallegos, Trevino, Russo & Kyle, P.C., Austin, TX
Mia Martin, Richardson ISD, Richardson, TX
Jessica Witte, Thompson & Horton, LLP, Austin, TX
Bridget Robinson, Walsh, Gallegos, Trevino, Russo & Kyle, P.C., Austin, TX

State Bar application for 3 hours of CLE credit (including 1 hour of ethics) pending.

View the full schedule of events for txEDCON2020.

Registration information

You must register as an attendee for Convention to participate in the Spotlight Sessions on Thursday and this registration will also give you complimentary access to the CSA Meeting and CLE on Friday, October 16. CSA members are eligible to register at the member rate of $425.
Your registration will give you access to all session content during the live event and access to the content on demand through November 1, 2020. If your firm is exhibiting, you must still register as an attendee to attend the CSA activities. It is not necessary for you to request an exhibitor badge.

Registration is now open for the October 16 meeting.

CSA membership

If you need information about your CSA membership or would like to join, contact Annette Moseley at annette.moseley@tasb.org or call 800.580.5345.

If you have any questions about being a CSA member at txEDCON2020, go to our CSA FAQ page.