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Solicitors’ Symposium

Jul 12, 2018 • 9:00 am - Jul 13, 2018 • 12:00 pm

7.5 CLE credits (6.5 substantive, 1 ethics)


Thursday, July 12

8-9 a.m. – Registration and continental breakfast (included in program fee) 

9-9:10 a.m. – Welcoming remarks, introductions and administrative announcements
Erin D. Gilsbach, Esq., President, Pennsylvania School Board Solicitors Association, Steckel & Stopp, Slatington, PA

9:10-10:10 a.m.
Seeking Clarity in the Haze: The Law and Medical Marijuana in Schools –
In April of 2016, Pennsylvania joined the growing number of states that are permitting medical marijuana, and this past spring, dispensaries started to open around the state. However, because it is still illegal under federal law, the medical marijuana law raises a number of tricky legal issues for school districts. During this session, we will discuss Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Law to help you navigate your clients through this hazy issue and answer these difficult questions: Are schools required to allow employees to use it at work? What happens if an employee requests it as an ADA accommodation? What should administrators do if they find out that an employee is using it outside of work? Can schools refuse to allow students to use marijuana in school? What are the legal ramifications under the IDEA and/or Section 504 if permission is denied?
Timothy E. Gilsbach, Esq., King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul, LLC, Bethlehem, PA

10:10-10:30 a.m. – Refreshment Break

10:30-11:30 a.m.
School Construction: How Solicitors Can Add Special Value
– 2017 revisions to the standard AIA contract documents offers a timely opportunity to reflect on how school solicitors can add value to their clients’ construction projects. This presentation will focus on key contract terms to modify for the benefit of school districts, and other important legal considerations concerning school construction.
Howard Kelin, Esq., Kegel Kelin Almy & Lord LLP, Lancaster, PA

11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Current Trends and Issues in Special Education
– Back by popular demand, veteran special education practitioner Andy Faust will offer his insights and wit in a fast-paced review of recent developments, trends, challenges and preventative law strategies relating to special education services, administrative due process and related litigation.
Andy Faust, Esq., Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, New Britain, PA

12:30-1:30 p.m. – Luncheon (included in program fee)

1:30-3:20 p.m. (there will be a 20 minute refreshment break at about 2:30 p.m.)
School Law Update – Who’s getting sued and why? Always a favorite feature of the Symposium, PSBA General Counsel Michael Levin’s School Law Update provides a lively overview of what’s happening in the courts, new statutes and regulations, and other developments directly impacting public school operations and liability exposures, accompanied by his comprehensive written summary of the past year’s legal developments in school law.
Michael I. Levin, Esq., PSBA General Counsel, Levin Legal Group, Huntingdon Valley, PA

3:20 – 3:30 p.m. – Administrative announcements

3:30 p.m. – Adjournment until 8:30 a.m. Friday

5 p.m. – Solicitors’ social hour and “Dutch Treat” dinner outing, Happy Valley Brewing Company
137 Elmwood St, State College, PA 16801 (directions are available at the registration table)
[Relax with colleagues afterwards at Whiskers Lounge located on the First Floor]

Friday, July 13

7:30-8:30 a.m. Full buffet breakfast (included in program fee)

8:30-9:15 a.m.
Taxing Authority Assessment Appeals After Valley Forge Towers
– A panel of assessment appeal veterans reviews how taxing authority appeals have been affected in the first year since the Supreme Court’s decision in Valley Forge Towers, and offers insights on how appeal practices can weather judicial scrutiny going forward.
John T. Vogel, Esq., Tucker Arensberg, Pittsburgh, PA; Howard Kelin, Esq., Kegel Kelin Almy & Lord LLP, Lancaster, PA; and Raymond P. Wendolowski, Esq., Fellerman & Ciarimboli, Wilkes-Barre, PA

9:15-9:45 a.m.
Bagging the Unicorns, Leprechauns and Bigfoots of School Law, Vol. I
A hunt for elusive creatures infesting the landscape of our practice, whether mythical or only ever seen in grainy photos. What precious hours are spent in pursuit of “Due public notice,” ten-year and ten-hour rules, fireproof safes and similar quarry? Is it or isn’t it the law? A brief review of frequent sightings.
Stuart L. Knade, Esq., Pennsylvania School Boards Association, Mechanicsburg, PA

9:45-10:00 a.m. – Refreshment Break

10-10:45 a.m.
The Solicitor’s Role in Balancing Efficient Educational Atmospheres with Student Free Speech Rights –
With a recent groundswell of young high school minds speaking out against all manners of injustice, how should public schools respond? This presentation will highlight recent developments across the Commonwealth and the nation, including the varied responses to the mass walkouts against gun violence from March and April of 2018, as well as look at future issues that could reasonably arise from these protests.
Jennifer L. Dambeck, Esq., and Carl P. Beard, Esq., Beard Legal Group, Altoona, PA

10:50-11:50 a.m.
Ethics for the Modern Solicitor
– Organizations as clients present unique ethical challenges for lawyers. Add technology, split boards, the Sunshine Law, and the First Amendment, and the Solicitor becomes an adept ethical acrobat. This presentation will set the stage with a discussion of traditional and proposed ethical rules affecting school solicitors and will then call upon participants to pool their collective knowledge and experiences to share strategies and solutions using real-time meeting polling.
Megan M. Turnbull, Esq., Weiss Burkardt Kramer LLC, Pittsburgh, PA

11:50 a.m.-Noon – Closing remarks

Noon – Program Adjourns

Noon-1:30 p.m. – Working lunch meeting of the PSBSA Board of Directors

Registration, Full Symposium (Thursday & Friday)

  • Early Registration (through June 20) – $380
  • Registration (after June 20) – $400

(Fee includes beverage breaks on Thursday and Friday, continental breakfast and lunch on Thursday, full breakfast on Friday, registration fee, facilities charge, materials and CLE credit fees. The fee does not include hotel room.)

“Dutch Treat” dinner outing at Happy Valley Brewing Company (Thursday evening)

AFTER JULY 6, all new registrations or changes must be handled on site at the symposium registration desk.

Register online at MyPSBA. (Members must log in to access!)

Contact Katherine Fitz-Patrick if you have trouble accessing the Members Area. If multiple attorneys from your firm plan to register for the Solicitors’ Symposium and you have a staff member responsible for all registrations, please have the staff member contact Katherine Fitz-Patrick in order to receive a username and password for such purposes.

CANCELLATION POLICY: All cancellations before July 3 are subject to a $50 per person administrative fee. NO REFUNDS ON REGISTRATIONS OR MEALS CAN BE MADE AFTER JULY 3.

Hotel Reservations

Penn State Hospitality Services, (800) 233-7505; www.pennstatehotels.com (make sure to select The Nittany Lion Inn). Group Reservation Identification Number: SCHG18A

Deadline for PSBA block rate is June 10.



Jul 12, 2018 • 9:00 am
Jul 13, 2018 • 12:00 pm
Event Category:


The Nittany Lion Inn
200 W Park Ave
State College, PA 16803 United States
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