Category Archives: Education Law

New CLE Courses Added!!!

At Attorney Credits, we recognize that we live in a fast paced, ever-changing world.  Every new day brings new inventions, new fads and emerging trends in the practice of law – from utilizing cloud technology to drone law.

New CLE Courses:

  • A Practical Approach to 1031 Exchanges
  • A Sneak Peek at the Possible New Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Appellate Oral Arguments: Nuts and Bolts and “Do’s and Don’ts”
  • But I Only Had Two Beers!!
  • Civility and Professionalism: Gender and Culture Bias in the Legal Profession
  • Counseling Your Business Clients on Trademarks
  • Crafting a Simple and Effective Closing Argument
  • Dealing with Cognitive Bias in Trial from Voir Dire to Deliberations
  • Don’t Give Up 5 Minutes Before the Miracle
  • Estate Planning 101
  • Evidence: Advocacy and Artistry in the Courtroom
  • From Harry Ellis to Trump: The Ethics of Federal Disqualification Motions
  • How to Negotiate with the IRS in Collections and For Audits
  • Prosecuting Trademark Applications
  • Representing Disabled Veterans Before the Department of Veterans Affairs
  • The Phone Knows All: Cell Phones, CDR Reports and GPS Tracking for Attorneys

For that reason, we are constantly adding new CLE courses to keep up with new changes and developments in the law.  Our goal is to keep you as current as possible so you can best serve your clients!  For more information about Illinois CLE please click here: IL CLE.

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CLE Course on Education & Student Data Privacy

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BYOD, sexting, facial recognition software, security cameras, online learning portals – welcome to the 21st century classroom!! Technology has dramatically changed the landscape of education – school is definitely not the same place that we went to. One major result of technology in schools has been the massive proliferation of student data and information collected about students by third party vendors such as Google.

Education & Data Privacy

Today’s classrooms increasingly employ the on-demand delivery of personalized content and virtual online forums to facilitate student and teacher interaction, in addition to a wealth of other interactive technologies that help to enhance the learning process. While these technologies have the potential to revolutionize the educational process, they also create a myriad of new questions about how to best protect student privacy.

In this incredibly timely course, Gretchen Shipley discusses data privacy issues faced by schools and school districts in our era of burgeoning digital technology. A respected legal leader in education law & technology, Gretchen mainly discusses student privacy, the 21st century classroom, data collected by school districts, key student privacy laws and specific data privacy issues faced by schools. To access the course please click here: Let’s Talk About Private Parts: Education & Data Privacy.

Further topics covered in this CLE course:

  • Integrated data systems
  • Security cameras & video
  • Educational websites & software companies
  • Educational software provider agreements
  • BYOD policies in schools
  • Sexting
  • Search & seizure
  • Live video feeds in the classroom
  • Online threats by students
  • Data breaches
  • Cyber insurance
  • Privacy Information Assessment (PIA)
  • Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA)
  • FERPA
  • COPPA
  • CEPA
  • FOYA
  • HIPAA

Gretchen M. Shipley is a partner in the San Diego area office of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost and co-chair of the firm’s eMatters Practice Group. A respected legal leader in education law and technology, Mrs. Shipley advises school districts and presents workshops to students, employees and district leaders nationwide on the promotion of digital citizenship in the school community and the implications of cyber-misconduct in the classroom and workplace. She has also collaborated with the Association of California School Administrators to co-produce the popular “Logged On” seminars, created to offer guidance on employee and student issues that stem from embedding technology into public education.

This CLE course is offered in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Delaware (DE)
  • Florida (FL)
  • Georgia (GA)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • Missouri (MO)
  • New Hampshire (NH)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • North Dakota (ND)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)
  • Washington

Attorney Credits offers CLE for attorneys in Illinois and around the country. For more information about CLE in Illinois please click the following link: IL CLE.

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Digital Citizenship in Schools: From Policy to Practice

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The schools of today are very different than the schools of our youth. Students today are faced with cyberbullying, sexting, Facebook and all the novel problems that our new digital world has created over the last decade. Schools and school districts must know how to address and respond to these new issues created by digital technologies so they can best help students and avoid potential liability.

In an era of sexting, cyberbullying, and Facebook, school administrators walk a fine line in trying to provide a safe school environment and at the same time, trying not to infringe on student first amendment rights. – Gretchen Shipley

If you would like to learn more about emerging legal issues in schools created by technology please join Gretchen Shipley as she uses a hypothetical fact pattern to discuss these emerging issues. The main topics covered by Mrs. Shipley include search & seizure, mandatory reporting of abuse & neglect, sexting, social networking, teacher-student online communication, teachers’ cyber conduct, student discipline for online speech, bring your own device & equal access, cyberbullying, student privacy rights and potential breaches of privacy law.  To access the course please click here: Digital Citizenship in Schools: From Policy to Practice.

Further issues discussed include:

  • eMatters
  • Klump v. Nazareth
  • Sexting by students
  • Freedom of association
  • “Fitness to teach”
  • The “related to school activity” standard
  • The substantial disruption standard
  • S. v. Blue Mountain
  • FERPA
  • CIPA
  • J.C. v. Beverly Hills
  • The Fourth Amendment
  • COPPA
  • GeoLocation & iPad tracking
  • School video cameras
  • Pictures on school websites
  • Data mining by technology vendors
  • Social media monitoring (GeoListening)
  • Device search & seizure

Gretchen Shipley is a partner in the San Diego office of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost and co-chair of the firm’s eMatters Practice Group. A respected legal leader in education law and technology, Mrs. Shipley advises school districts and delivers workshops to students, employees and district leaders nationwide on the promotion of cyber-citizenship in the school community and the implications of cyber-misconduct in the classroom and workplace. She has also collaborated with the Association of California School Administrators to co-produce the popular “Logged On” seminars, created to offer guidance on employee and student issues that stem from embedding technology into public education.

This CLE course on digital citizenship in schools is currently accredited in the following states:

  • Alaska (AK)
  • Arizona (AZ)
  • California (CA)
  • Connecticut (CT)
  • District of Columbia (DC)
  • Illinois (IL)
  • Maryland (MD)
  • Massachusetts (MA)
  • Michigan (MI)
  • New Jersey (NJ)
  • New York (NY)
  • Pennsylvania (PA)
  • South Dakota (SD)

Attorney Credits offers continuing legal education (CLE) for attorneys in California and around the country. For more information about CLE in California please click the following link: CA CLE.

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California Enacts Social Media Privacy Law

Social media privacy has been at the forefront of the headlines recently. Over the last few years, universities and employers have started turning to Facebook to check up on existing and potential students and employees.[1]

However, universities and employers in the Golden State no longer have that option starting January 1.  Two bills signed into law last week will soon prohibit California businesses and schools from requiring applicants, students and employees to turn over social media passwords and related private content.[2]

The bottom line is that California is leading the way in the enactment social media privacy legislation that protects schools, students, prospective students, employers, employees, and job applicantsBradley Shear [3]

The vetting of social media accounts first national drew attention last year in Maryland. In that case, a Maryland corrections officer was required to provide his Facebook user name and password as part of his recertification process.[4]  Since this case made it into the national headlines, more states have sought to protect student’s and employee’s privacy online – although some commentators claim there is no precedent for this type of employee and student privacy.  Once Maryland became the first state to pass this type of legislation Illinois, Delaware, Minnesota, New Jersey, Washington, Massachusetts and California are also began considering and passing similar legislation.

Bradley Shear, a Washington, D.C. based attorney specializing in social media law, has helped a number of states draft their online privacy laws to combat social media monitoring. It’s not surprising that Mr. Shear also served as an adviser to the two California bills’ respective authors and is frequently cited when it comes to the intersection of social media and the law.

In the long run, these two bills will reduce liability and save businesses and universities millions of dollars because it now means that there is no legal duty to monitor their employees’ and student’s personal password protected digital content.[5]

Fore more information, please click the links below:

California Social Media Privacy Laws Give Students, Employees Online Rights

Facebook, Twitter, email passwords made private under California law

No password for you: california enacts social media privacy laws affecting employers and postsecondary educational institutions

Should States Enact Social Media Privacy Legislation?


[1] A number of employers have began asking applicants for social media passwords and some Universities have begun monitoring student athletes.

[2] The bills AB-1844 (bars employers from demanding social media-related material) and SB-1349 (similar legislation for colleges and prospective students) – will go into effect January 1.

[4] A CareerBuilder survey found that roughly 2/5 of polled employers were using social networking tools to screen candidates as of last spring.  See California Passes Tough Social Media Privacy Laws

[5] Universities are already utilizing reputation monitoring services like UDiligence and Varsity Monitor to monitor certain high-profile student athletes.

The Digital Age Brings New Legal Challenges For Schools

Guest post by Gretchen Shipley

With fewer resources than ever before, school district administrators are overwhelmed with trying to keep up with and respond to on-line misconduct by students and teachers. In an era of sexting, cyberbullying, and Facebook, school administrators walk a fine line in trying to provide a safe school environment and at the same time, trying not to infringe on student first amendment rights. Unless on-line misconduct by a student causes a “substantial disruption” on campus, school districts may not actually have jurisdiction to intervene.  Three recent federal court decisions have all sided with student first amendment rights when school districts took action to discipline students for cyberbullying, posting sexual images on-line, and a MySpace parody of a principal, where the defendant school districts were unable to cite to substantial disruption on campus to warrant school district intervention.

Teachers, however, are typically held to a higher standard for on-line conduct. There has been a surge of teacher misconduct and inappropriate relationships created as a result of teachers and students “friending” via social networking sites. One recent case upheld the dismissal of a teacher for lewd on-line conduct that was not viewed or known to students.  The content of the on-line text and photos that were anonymously reported to the school principal caused the principal to lose confidence in the teachers ability to serve as a role model to students. The court found this nexus sufficient to warrant school district discipline for immoral and unprofessional conduct.

Finally, everyone in the school community should be educated on the dangers of sexting. Not only has sexting lead to a sharp increase in bullying and student suicide, sexting may be grounds for criminal charges for child pornography. The unusual result is that the student who took the sexting self-portraits may be the victim and perpetrator of their own crime. In many jurisdictions, the transmission of a nude, sexual or lewd photo of a minor qualifies as the distribution of child pornography, which carries harsh penalties, including possible lifetime registration as a sex offender.  Therefore, it is important that anyone who comes across a sexting image of a minor, not show the picture to anyone, but rather, seal up the phone and report the incident to the authorities.

For more information about legal issues related to technology in schools, board policies aimed at promoting responsible use of technology, and school campaigns to educate the school community on cyber citizenship, please do not hesitate to contact me at gshipley@fagenfriedman.com.  As co-chair of Fagen Friedman & Fulfrost’s eMatters Practice Group dedicated to education technology, we represent over 400 school districts and community colleges and regularly conduct workshops and presentations throughout the country on cybercitizenship.

About the author: Gretchen M. Shipley is a partner in the San Diego area office and co-chair of the firm’s eMatters Practice Group.  In this leadership role, she keeps the firm and its clients in front of the legal issues that stem from technology in today’s education environment.  A respected legal leader in education law and technology, Ms. Shipley advises school districts and delivers workshops to students, employees and district leaders nationwide on the promotion of cyber-citizenship in the school community and the implications of cyber-misconduct in the classroom and workplace.  Ms. Shipley has collaborated with the Association of California School Administrators to co-produce the popular “Logged On” seminars, created to offer guidance on employee and student issues that stem from embedding technology into public education.  Ms. Shipley also advises clients on the acquisition process of new technology, online instruction, E-Rate compliance and the business aspects of school technology.

If you need further information please view Gretchen’s CLE course on the AttorneyCredits.com website:  Sexting, Texting & Facebook: First Amendment Issues in Schools.