• Joanne L. Butler represents numerous boards of education as general or special counsel. In addition to providing daily counsel to her school district clients, Joanne conducts in-service training at all levels and represents her clients in investigations and litigation before the Department of Education, the Office of Administrative Law, the Public Employment Relations Commission, the Division on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state and federal courts. Joanne also offers employment counseling to private employers.

    Joanne frequently shares her knowledge and experience in the areas of school law and labor and employment law through lectures and in-service training on various education and employment issues. Topics have included harassment/intimidation/bullying; student discipline; expulsion and alternative education; residency issues; student records; student surveys; Individualized Education Program (IEP) preparation; special education; avoiding/surviving due process; Section 504; New Jersey Family Leave and Federal Family and Medical Leave; sexual harassment; search and seizure; technology on and off school grounds; and school safety concerns.

    Prior to joining Schenck Price in 1996, Joanne was a partner with the West Orange firm of Young, Dimiero & Sayovitz. Early in her law career, she served her judicial clerkship with the Honorable Clarkson S. Fisher, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

    • Selected to the New Jersey Super Lawyers® * list, featured in New Jersey Monthly magazine, in the field of Schools and Education
    • Trustee, New Jersey Association of School Attorneys
    • Presenter, "Key Considerations for Implementing IEPs" and "Discipline and Expulsion Essentials Under IDEA and Section 504," NBI webinar, IEP and 504 Plan Legal Workshop, June 30, 2021
    • Co-presenter, "Update on USDOE's Title IX Student-to-Student Sexual Harassment Regulations," ICLE School Law Conference, February 25, 2021
    • Speaker, "School Law: Mental Health Issues," NBI online seminar, November 20, 2020
    • Co-author, "The Role of Advocates in Special Education Matters Clarified," October 6, 2020
    • Presenter, "Navigating Legal Issues of Remote Learning: Challenges for Educational Institutions," Lawline, August 3, 2020
    • Speaker, "Improper Evaluations and Child Find Mistakes" and "The IEP Development Process and Implementation Disasters," February 5, 2020, NBI
    • Speaker, NJSBA Spring Law Forum Trauma, Anxiety and School Refusal, June 12, 2019
    • Speaker, NBI Evaluations & Eligibility, and Defesible IEPs, May 1, 2019
    • Speaker, DKG Webinar Discipline Under IDEA and Section 504, March 19, 2019
    • Speaker, National Webinar on School DisciplineLawline, August 13, 2018
    • Speaker, "Human Resource Law from A to Z," NBI, July 17-18, 2018
    • Speaker, "Providing for Mental Health Services in Schools," NJICLE, February 28, 2018
    • Speaker, "Key Considerations for Implementing IEPs," NBI, December 11, 2017
    • Speaker, “IEP Development Process: Handling Difficult Issues” and “Key Considerations for Implementing IEPs”  at NBI IEP and 504 Plan Workshop, December 11, 2017
    • Speaker, "Ethical Issues in Education Law," Lawline, August 17, 2017
    • Speaker, "Ethical Issues for School Law Practitioners," PLI Institute, June 8, 2017
    • Speaker, "Harassment, Intimidation and Bullying (HIB)," ICLE Administrative Law Forum, April 5, 2017
    • Speaker, "Evaluations and Eligibility" and "Developing and Implementing Defensible IEPs," NBI, February 22, 2017
    • Speaker, "Disciplining Students with Disabilities: Rules for Students with IEPs and Section 504 Plans," DKG Media, January 26, 2017
    • Speaker, "ESSA - Every Student Succeeds Act and Its Impact on Students with Disabilities," ICLE Hot Topics in Special Education Forum, October 18, 2016
    • Speaker, "K-12 Athletics: How to Avoid Liability Associated with Misconduct, Discrimination, Injuries and More," DKG Media, September 22, 2016
    • Speaker, "Disciplining Students with Disabilities: Rules for Students with IEPs and Section 504 Plans," DKG Media, August 25, April 27 and January 21, 2016
    • Speaker, "Staff Communications with Parents, Students and Colleagues: Guidance to Avoid Pitfalls and Possible Liability," DKG Media, January 14, 2016
    • Speaker, "Avoiding and Surviving Special Education Due Process Litigation," DKG Media, December 17, 2015
    • Speaker, "Individualized Education Program (IEPs)" and "Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE)," NBI, December 10, 2015
    • Member, New Jersey Council on Juvenile Justice System Improvement - Education Subcommittee
    • Member, New Jersey State Bar Association—Labor & Employment Sections, and School Law Committee 
    • Secured tenure dismissal of special education teacher for physical and verbal abuse of students, and for inappropriate and offensive statements to staff members. In the Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Curtis Robinson
    • Secured tenure dismissal of teacher for insubordination to building administrators, falsification of leave request and sleeping during State standardized testing. In the Matter of the Tenure Hearing of Christopher Molokwu
    • Successfully defended board against challenge to non-renewal of non-tenured teacher alleging improper papering of personnel file. Victor Eisenberg v. Fort Lee Board of Education
    • Successfully petitioned for due process relief on behalf of boards rejecting requests for independent evaluations
    • Successfully defended school districts in domicile and affidavit pupil disputes, including vacation of special education due process settlement for residential placement due to parent’s change of domicile
    • Secured dismissal of civil rights complaints against boards of education on issues of race, gender, age and disability discrimination

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