Litigating Student Discipline Issues in Court

Early Administrative Resolution

Most student discipline defense matters resolve through school administrative procedures and negotiation. Early administrative resolution is especially likely when the involved student or the minor student's parents retain a skilled and experienced school discipline defense attorney. With qualified and skilled representation, few cases really need to go to court. Even when the student has exhausted all hearings and appeals, national school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento is often able to negotiate compromise relief and the dismissed student's school reinstatement through the school's office of general counsel or similar oversight channels. Retain attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team for your winning defense against school disciplinary charges; the earlier, the better. Don't wait to retain premier attorney defense representation until your only remaining avenue is to go to court.

Court Litigation as Appropriate Recourse

But while an administrative resolution is often possible and usually preferred, court litigation can be a necessary and appropriate avenue for reinstatement to school and other recourse. When the pursuit of all school channels fails to produce an acceptable result, students facing expulsion or other discipline often have legal rights, claims, and causes of action they can assert in federal or state court. Your student discipline defense case may not have reached that point. You may still have school administrative avenues to pursue, even ones that you don't yet know may be available to you. Retain national school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to ensure that you have exhausted all such avenues for relief and school reinstatement. Attorney Lento may well be able to negotiate reinstatement through your school's oversight channels. But if and when you have exhausted all school avenues, and your school won't budge on discipline, court litigation may be the right move. And rest assured: attorney Lento has the court bite to reinforce the administrative bark. Attorney Lento is your premier choice for court litigation, not just school administrative procedures. Indeed, attorney Lento's national reputation for the highest court skill is a large part of why he is so successful with early administrative resolutions.

Premier Court Litigator for Student Discipline Cases

National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm student defense team offer the premier litigation skills and substantial court experience to take your student discipline case to virtually any federal or state court across the U.S. The Lento Law Firm's highly experienced litigators have pursued court actions from California to New York, from Texas to Illinois, and even from Alaska to the Caribbean, and all points in between. Your student discipline matter may be in Wyoming or Wisconsin, Colorado or Connecticut, Alabama or Arizona, or Vermont or Virginia. Attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm's other skilled litigators are available in all those states and jurisdictions. Attorney Lento has successfully represented hundreds of students nationwide in all kinds of student discipline defense cases.

Choice of Court and Location

Where to file a student discipline defense case, in which court in which state and district, depends on several factors. Lawyers and judges call that question one of jurisdiction. Jurisdiction involves a court's power, including its subject matter authority and geographic reach. Courts don't have the power to hear just any case. Constitutions and legislatures instead empower certain courts only to hear certain kinds of matters. That's the question of subject matter jurisdiction. But constitutions and legislatures also empower certain courts only to reach certain parties having contacts with the court's geographic region. That's the question of personal jurisdiction over the parties, meaning in discipline cases over the student and school. For personal jurisdiction, the parties must generally have minimum contacts with the court's state. Courts also deal with venue questions of which county or district within a state the case should proceed. National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento can help you determine the courts available for your student discipline defense case.

Favorable Jurisdictions

You may have choices in which court, state, or district to file your student discipline defense case. Sometimes, more than one court has proper venue and permissible jurisdiction. Your retained school discipline defense attorney may be able to file your case in one state or another, or in federal or state court, or in one county or district or another county or district within the state. Although in a perfect world, it wouldn't be so, in fact, your choice of courts can make all the difference in the outcome of your case. Justice should be blind. It's often not. Different judges and juries in different courts, states, districts, and cities can take different views of parties and their claims. And even if all judges and juries would make the very same decision, the choice of courts can still offer conveniences or costs and inconveniences to parties, their attorneys, their consulting experts, and their witnesses. National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento knows how to evaluate court options to help you make the best choice. A court in your backyard is sometimes your best option, but other times it's not. Trust attorney Lento to help you make that judgment.

Court Claims and Theories

Getting to court requires having a legal claim that the court can accept. A student's legal claims and theories vary depending on the nature of the disciplinary charge, the involved facts, and sometimes also the school's student code of conduct and other policies or the law of the state or local jurisdiction. You may have several claims that one or more courts could recognize, or you may have only one claim to litigate in one court. And you may have several fact theories to support a claim, or you may have only one theory. Even if you have several claims and theories, some of those claims and theories may be strong while others are weak, so that you best assert only certain of those claims and theories. National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's other highly experienced litigators know how to research, evaluate, and assert the best available legal claims and theories. Depending on the facts and circumstances of your case, your legal claims could include:

  • breach of contract based on handbook, policy, and procedure assurances;
  • interference with contract or prospective economic advantage;
  • violation of constitutional rights to due process and equal protection;
  • Section 1983 damages actions for violation of constitutional rights;
  • violation of Title IX law and regulations;
  • violation of federal and state anti-discrimination and civil rights laws;
  • intentional infliction of emotional distress;
  • slander and libel under the state's law of defamation;
  • public disclosure of private facts and other invasions of privacy.

Federal or State Court

One of the bigger choices you face in pursuing court litigation over student discipline is whether to file your case in federal or state court. Depending on your case's legal claims and theories, you may not have a choice. You may only be able to file your case in federal court. Or you may only be able to file your case in state court. National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento can tell you whether you must go only to federal court, must go only to state court, or may go to either federal or state court at your option. Attorney Lento will also recommend the better forum, whether state or federal. The evaluation can depend on any number of subtle and subjective factors including evaluation of the likely assigned judge, the probable jury pool, the available court procedures, the open or crowded nature of the court docket, the timeline for resolution in each court, or even the location, costs, and conveniences of the court. Retaining attorney Lento and the Lento Law Firm's other highly experienced litigators ensures that you make the right choice of federal or state court.

Judge or Jury

You may also have a choice of whether to have a judge or jury decide your case. Some legal claims, like ones for a temporary or permanent injunction, usually permit only a judge to decide them. But other claims, like many ones for money damages, may permit either a judge or jury to decide them at the parties' option. If that's your case, the choice won't be entirely yours. The school defendants in your case may demand a jury if the law authorizes the choice of one. But if the school defendants don't demand a jury, and you don't choose to have a jury hear your case either, then your case would go before the judge alone in what lawyers call a bench trial. The better option can depend on several subtle and subjective factors including the judge's record and tendencies in similar cases, the reputation of the jury pool from prior verdicts, and the relative costs and timetable for resolution under either judge or jury. National school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's other highly experienced litigators can help you make the best decision of a judge or jury if you have that option.

The Course of a Court Case

Before you decide whether to pursue court litigation over your student discipline matter, you should understand something of the course of a court student discipline case. Student discipline cases are civil, not criminal, cases. The rules of state and federal civil courts vary somewhat. But typically, a civil court case over student discipline begins with a thirty- to a sixty-day period of pleading and amending pleadings, during which the attorneys' filings determine the scope of and claims in the case. Your retained school discipline defense attorney may file a motion for a preliminary injunction at the pleading stage to see if you can gain early temporary reinstatement or similar relief. The court may then issue a scheduling order giving the parties something like six to nine months of discovery, during which the attorneys will exchange documents and depose witnesses to evaluate the evidence in the case. Each side may file and argue court motions during or at the end of the discovery period. A trial may then occur, lasting several days, at the conclusion of which you should receive a verdict or judgment of the court. Post-trial motions and appeals may follow over the course of the following weeks and months. Court litigation can be long, complex, and time consuming. But it can also force an intractable school into reinstating you, compensating you, and providing other relief. Retain national school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento to pursue your student discipline court case.

Investigating Student Discipline Court Cases

Fools rush in where angels fear to tread, as the saying goes. Your skilled and experienced school discipline defense attorney should help you investigate your court case before you decide whether to file it. Students wishing to sue their school must ordinarily first exhaust the school's administrative procedures. In student discipline cases, the school's prior administrative procedures would ordinarily have revealed the evidence on which the school proceeded. The student would also ordinarily have identified, gathered, and presented exonerating and mitigating evidence. So in the usual student discipline case, the student and retained school discipline defense attorney already have the information they need to evaluate and file the court case. But some students exhaust school administrative remedies, or ignore the charges and default in those procedures, without having retained a school discipline defense attorney. Some student discipline cases require thorough investigation before the retained attorney will have the information and evidence to evaluate, prepare, and plead the court case. Retain national school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team to thoroughly investigate your court case. Don't rush in without first knowing everything about your case.

Your best move to evaluate and pursue court litigation over your student discipline defense matter, and to gain reinstatement to your school, is to retain national school discipline defense attorney Joseph D. Lento and the Lento Law Firm's student defense team. Attorney Lento offers you not only aggressive and effective academic administrative representation but also skilled and experienced court litigation representation. Call 888.535.3686 or go online now to retain attorney Lento for your student discipline court case.

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If you, or your student, are facing any kind of disciplinary action, or other negative academic sanction, and are having feelings of uncertainty and anxiety for what the future may hold, contact the Lento Law Firm today, and let us help secure your academic career.

This website was created only for general information purposes. It is not intended to be construed as legal advice for any situation. Only a direct consultation with a licensed Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York attorney can provide you with formal legal counsel based on the unique details surrounding your situation. The pages on this website may contain links and contact information for third party organizations - the Lento Law Firm does not necessarily endorse these organizations nor the materials contained on their website. In Pennsylvania, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout Pennsylvania's 67 counties, including, but not limited to Philadelphia, Allegheny, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Dauphin, Delaware, Lancaster, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northampton, Schuylkill, and York County. In New Jersey, attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New Jersey's 21 counties: Atlantic, Bergen, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Essex, Gloucester, Hudson, Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Ocean, Passaic, Salem, Somerset, Sussex, Union, and Warren County, In New York, Attorney Joseph D. Lento represents clients throughout New York's 62 counties. Outside of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and New York, unless attorney Joseph D. Lento is admitted pro hac vice if needed, his assistance may not constitute legal advice or the practice of law. The decision to hire an attorney in Philadelphia, the Pennsylvania counties, New Jersey, New York, or nationwide should not be made solely on the strength of an advertisement. We invite you to contact the Lento Law Firm directly to inquire about our specific qualifications and experience. Communicating with the Lento Law Firm by email, phone, or fax does not create an attorney-client relationship. The Lento Law Firm will serve as your official legal counsel upon a formal agreement from both parties. Any information sent to the Lento Law Firm before an attorney-client relationship is made is done on a non-confidential basis.

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