By: Brittany Flaherty Theis

The attorneys at Whitt Law LLC have had a busy year in 2017. One way that the attorneys at Whitt Law LLC give back to the clients they serve is by speaking at industry events designed to share best practices, common experiences, and professional development. Each of the attorneys has presented on topics relevant to school districts and units of local government at a variety of conferences and workshops. Below you can read about some of the presentations and the attorneys involved in each. Please feel free to reach out to any of the attorneys if you would like to learn more about any of the topics discussed below.

Attorney Brian Wojcicki has presented to a number of professional groups that represent the interests of our clients or to which our clients belong. First, he spoke at IASA and IASBO’s Joint Lobby Day regarding communicating with legislators, education spending pressures, and electoral predictions. He also presented to the Chicago Bar Association’s Election Law Committee regarding local government consolidation, Regional Board of School Trustees, apportionment of county boards, and public question referenda. Mr. Wojcicki also spoke at the State Universities Annuitants Association Fall Directors’ Meeting, where he described the Illinois political landscape and discussed money in politics and shifts in voter preference from presidential to non-presidential election years.

Attorney Brittany Flaherty Theis presented at seminars and conferences held by IASBO, including NextGen and the Regional Conferences held in Decatur and Mt. Vernon. At NextGen, Ms. Theis moderated presentations titled “The Basics of Borrowing” and “Investments 101.” In Decatur and Mt. Vernon, Ms. Theis presented with another attorney in two separate breakout sessions: one titled “The Assessment Squeeze: Property Tax Objections, Appeals, and Refunds” and one titled “Interfund Transfers – Do You Know the Rules?” These regional conferences are designed to meet the professional development needs and interests of superintendents and school business officials in central and southern Illinois, where many of Whitt Law’s school district clients are located. The Interfund Transfers presentation outlined the various fund transfers and loans that are provided for in the Illinois School Code, as well as other means of fund management. The Assessment Squeeze presentation described the property tax system in Illinois, the Property Tax Extension Limitation Law, and property tax appeals. A significant portion of the presentation focused on the ways intergovernmental cooperation can enhance taxing bodies’ interests, a topic with which Whitt Law LLC has vast experience.

Attorneys Stuart Whitt, Joshua Whitt, and Brian Wojcicki presented at the IASB-IASA-IASBO Joint Annual Conference held in Chicago, Illinois in November. Together with Todd Drafall and Michael DeBartolo, they described the legislative process to school board members and school administrators. The audience was given the opportunity to participate in the legislative process from introduction through a final vote.

Attorneys James Dougherty, Brian Bare, and Brittany Flaherty Theis also presented at the IASB-IASA-IASBO Joint Annual Conference, along with Dr. Kristin Humphries. Their presentation was called “From Investigation to Discipline or Dismissal: A Primer” and took the audience through the steps involved in investigating reports of misconduct through recommending a course of action to the Board of Education. The audience members walked away with a better understanding of the considerations and steps to take at each stage of the process, as well as a flow chart to facilitate their work in the future.

Additionally, Attorney Brian Bare also presented on behalf of the Education Law section of the Illinois State Bar Association regarding transgender students. His presentation was titled “Vulnerable Students: A Review of Student Rights.” During this presentation, Mr. Bare educated the audience regarding appropriate terminology, current case law, and statutory law, as well as common topics of concern for administrators, lawyers, and students when addressing transgender students’ rights. You can also review Ms. Theis’s prior blog posts regarding this topic.

Each of the attorneys at Whitt Law would be happy to answer your questions regarding the presentations discussed above. Please contact the attorney listed above or Ms. Theis if you have any questions. The attorneys at Whitt Law are ready to assist you.