In this discussion, education lawyer and expert Nicola Simmons will discuss ways that School Leadership Teams can understand whether they have a legal issue. Principals and Administrators often encounter a variety of issues that may be solvable by them, members of their team or require outside legal counsel. In this talk, Nicola will discuss ways that teams can understand what constitutes a legal issue and how to handle one that comes your way. A time for Q&A will also be held at the end.
Nicola Simmons is a partner at Keel Cottrelle LLP. She has a broad administrative law and advocacy practice, which includes human rights, human resources, privacy, civil litigation, and commercial disputes. She provides counsel in respect of a variety of legal issues specific to the education sector, including student discipline, student transportation, special education, family law issues, and school board governance. Nicola has appeared before various levels of court in Ontario, and has represented clients and appeared before a variety of administrative tribunals (HRTO, CFSRB, IPC, SET, OCT) and commercial arbitrators. Nicola is a contributing author to the book, Education Law, 5th Edition (Brown, Zuker, Simmons & Keel, Thomson Reuters 2019), co-authored the Annual Review of Education Law of the Education and Law Journal 2015-2018, and is an editor of the Firm’s newsletters. She is a frequent presenter at the Ontario Bar Association and Osgoode Continuing Professional Development Centre, where she is a member of the faculty of the Education Law Certificate Program and co-chairs multiple programs including Critical and Emerging Issues in School Law for K-12 Education Professionals, Legal Guide to Special Education Law, Advanced Issues in Special Education Law, and Human Resources Law for Education Professionals. She also frequently provides professional development for client groups. Nicola is the immediate past Chair (2020-2021) of the Constitutional, Civil Liberties and Human Rights Section of the Ontario Bar Association.