Colorado Association of School Boards

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Legal Services Program

CASB Legal Services Program Team

Kathleen Sullivan, director of legal programs, biography

Beth Friel, staff attorney, biography

Robin Marlow, executive assistant, legal

Michelle Murphy, of counsel, biography

LSP's mission is to provide high quality, affordable legal representation to CASB members and related public education organizations.

In 2005, CASB created the Legal Services Program (LSP) to better assist our members with their legal needs. LSP provides you with attorneys who have extensive experience in many complex areas of education law.

CASB’s Legal Services Program (LSP) provides legal services to CASB members at discounted rates. By participating in the LSP, districts establish a formal attorney-client relationship with CASB’s LSP attorneys. This allows CASB to provide direct legal advice and representation that is beyond the scope of the information received under the member legal resources program.

LSP attorneys have extensive experience in:
  • special education and disability matters
  • employee discipline and dismissal
  • student rights, discipline and expulsion
  • real estate transactions (including BEST financing)
  • constitutional and civil rights
  • board governance
  • athletic eligibility
  • contract negotiation
  • dispute resolution
LSP attorneys work collaboratively to identify and deliver services tailored to each client’s individual needs. LSP attorneys may serve as general counsel handling all legal matters for a client, or as co-counsel or special counsel. In the co-counsel or special counsel role, CASB’s LSP attorneys may handle a matter directly, assist a school district’s attorney by contributing specialized knowledge and expertise, or serve as an impartial hearing officer.

LSP attorneys work collaboratively to identify and deliver services tailored to each client’s individual needs.
  • CASB’s Legal Services Program (LSP) offers a Special Education Practitioners’ Manual that can be provided digitally or in print form to special education professionals, from administrators to classroom teachers and service providers. The Manual provides practitioners with a single source that compiles the essential sources of law, board policies and state guidance.  The purpose of this Manual is to equip building level service providers with the knowledge and resources to guide compliant special education processes in their building and to know when to appropriately access district-level resources.  Particular attention is paid to:

    • Understanding the requirements of the IDEA and how it functions in Colorado;
    • Understanding the FAPE and Least Restrictive Environment requirements, and how they are related;
    • Developing a procedurally and substantively appropriate IEP;
    • Navigating the minefield of student discipline for students with disabilities;
    • Understanding the relationship between the IEP and behavioral interventions;
    • Practical tips and recommendations for addressing practitioners’ most frequent pitfalls and challenges.

    Sample content from the manual can be found below in PDF format. These excerpts come from the chapter on FAPE and consist of law, policies and guidance.

    For a specific discussion of your district or organization’s needs and pricing, please contact Kathleen Sullivan.
  • Acting as a hearing officer to convene required hearings in accordance with applicable laws, policies and regulations, making necessary findings and recommendations, and issuing decisions where appropriate.
  • Inservice training sessions and seminars on school law topics to educate board members and staff about the legal issues affecting their school district or organization.
  • Legal assistance, research and support for CASB's participation as amicus curiae ("friend of the court") in important cases affecting Colorado school districts, as long as it is not contrary to LSP's ethical and professional obligations to its clients.
  • Legal assistance, research and presentations at CASB sponsored functions in areas such as advocacy, board member training and policy.

If you would like more information about CASB's Legal Services Program, please contact Kathleen Sullivan.