2020

Four Schwartz Hannum PC Attorneys Named To 2020 Super Lawyers® List; Four Named To 2020 Rising Stars®

Schwartz Hannum PC is thrilled to announce that four attorneys have been named to the 2020 Massachusetts Super Lawyers® list, and four have been named to the 2020 Massachusetts Rising Stars® list.

Sara Goldsmith Schwartz, William E. Hannum III, Matthew D. Batastini, and Brian D. Carlson have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 Massachusetts Super Lawyers® list in the area of Employment & Labor Law. Sara and Will were first acknowledged by Super Lawyers® in 2004. This is the first year Matt and Brian have been named to the Super Lawyers® list.

Brian B. Garrett, Sarah H. Fay, Laura Deck Stones, and Jacqueline M. Fogg have been selected for inclusion in the 2020 Massachusetts Rising Stars® list. This is the first year Laura has been named to the Rising Stars® list. Sarah was first acknowledged by Rising Stars® in 2017. Brian and Jacqueline were first acknowledged by Rising Stars® in 2019.

Schwartz Hannum PC is proud of its Super Lawyers® and Rising Stars® and congratulates each of them on this achievement. We also extend our congratulations and gratitude to the entire Schwartz Hannum PC team for their part in this achievement through their continued hard work and excellent client service!

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Schwartz Hannum PC Welcomes Attorney Elizabeth L. Sherwood

Schwartz Hannum PC is thrilled to announce that Elizabeth L. Sherwood has joined the Firm's Education Practice Group and Labor and Employment Practice Group. Beth advises independent schools, colleges, and universities on all aspects of school operations and employee matters.

Beth regularly partners with school leadership to address student and parent issues including accommodating applicants, employees, and students with disabilities, hiring and managing faculty and staff, and risky terminations. She also assists clients with myriad governance and compliance documents such as student and employee handbooks.

Prior to joining the Firm, Beth was an associate at Murphy Hesse Toomey & Lehane, LLP, where she primarily represented public school districts before state and federal courts and in matters pending before or otherwise involving administrative agencies, including the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Department of Unemployment Assistance, the Department of Children and Families, the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office, and the Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights. She advised clients on a wide variety of matters involving special education and general liability, investigated claims of discrimination and employee misconduct, drafted contracts, policies, school forms, and handbooks, and conducted trainings on various topics including civil rights, state and federal student privacy laws, student and employee discipline, and compliance with state and federal special education laws.

Previously, Beth worked as a public defender with the Committee for Public Counsel Services, litigating Care and Protection and Child Requiring Assistance cases on behalf of indigent clients before the Massachusetts Juvenile and Appeals Courts. As the trial and interlocutory appeals attorney, she was partially responsible for the father's successful appeal in the Supreme Judicial Court case, Care and Protection of Walt.

Beth received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at San Diego, and her J.D. from Vanderbilt Law School. While in law school, she participated in a domestic violence and family law clinic and prosecuted criminal cases in the District Attorney's Offices in Nashville, TN and San Francisco, CA.

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Sarah H. Fay Selected As An "Up & Coming Lawyer" By Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly

Schwartz Hannum PC is thrilled to announce that Sarah H. Fay has been selected by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly as a 2020 Excellence in the Law “Up & Coming Lawyer” Honoree. This annual award recognizes rising stars in the legal community who have practiced for 10 years or less, but who have already distinguished themselves in their firm and practice.

Sarah is Of Counsel at Schwartz Hannum PC and is a member of the Firm’s Education Practice group. She focuses on the unique legal needs of early child care programs, independent primary and secondary schools, and colleges and universities. Sarah advises these clients on all aspects of school operations, including student and parent issues, employment matters, governance issues, and crisis management.

Sarah routinely advises the Firm’s education clients on the legal framework for admissions processes and enrollment contracts; accommodating students with disabilities; responding to and investigating student interpersonal misconduct; disciplinary matters; student health and safety; risk management strategies for off-campus trips; student records and confidentiality issues; and policies and practices for promoting an inclusive community. For educational institutions that receive federal funding, Sarah assists with Title IX compliance. Sarah also represents schools against breach of contract, consumer protection claims, and disability discrimination claims.

In addition, Sarah counsels clients on the full spectrum of employee matters, including conducting reference and background checks; faculty contracts and offer letters; implementing performance improvement plans; managing leaves; and voluntary early retirement plans, reductions in force, and terminations. Sarah works closely with clients to develop strategies that comply with applicable laws and reflect best practices while maintaining the unique culture of each school.

As part of her practice, Sarah educates students on the evolving definition of consent, anti-bullying and anti-hazing training, acceptable use of technology and social media risks, and other key issues students may confront. In addition, she provides training for faculty, staff, and school administrators on topics ranging from professional boundaries, child abuse and neglect reporting, conducting investigations into student and employee misconduct, accommodating students with disabilities, and other topics unique to the school setting. Sarah is also a frequent presenter at national and local independent school conferences on education law issues.

Sarah is a 2008 graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she was a Women’s Swimming and Diving Co-Captain, and received her J.D., cum laude, in 2014 from New England Law, Boston, where she was a recipient of the New England Scholar Award. She is admitted to practice in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the State of Rhode Island, the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, and the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. She is a member of the American Bar Association, the Boston Bar Association, and the Rhode Island Bar Association. Sarah was selected as a Massachusetts Super Lawyers® Rising Star in 2019, 2018 and in 2017.

Sarah was honored at the 2020 Excellence in the Law event, which was held virtually on July 22.

See more information and a complete list of honorees on the MLW website: https://masslawyersweekly.com/excellence-in-the-law/honorees/

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Schwartz Hannum PC COVID-19 Update

Schwartz Hannum PC will continue to operate fully during this time of disruption and uncertainty caused by COVID-19. As always, our top priorities are the health and safety of our staff, community, and clients, and our continued accessibility to our clients.

All Schwartz Hannum attorneys have the technology and ability to operate remotely and, consistent with the recent guidance from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, will be doing so until further notice. Our office will remain staffed by essential personnel to ensure our systems continue to run smoothly.

If you have questions about COVID-19 or any other matter, please do not hesitate to contact your SHPC attorney.

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Sara Schwartz Quoted In Inside Higher Ed Article Regarding CDC Guidance On Coronavirus And Exchange Programs

On March 1, 2020, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”) issued guidance recommending that colleges and universities consider asking foreign exchange students in the United States to return to their home countries, and consider asking American students studying abroad to return home. Sara Schwartz was quoted in the Inside Higher Ed article “CDC to Colleges: 'Consider' Canceling Exchange Programs” on March 3, 2020.

“My takeaway from the CDC guidance is that every educational institution, whether it is an independent school or a higher ed entity, needs to take seriously the mandate to ‘consider,’” said Schwartz, whose firm represents more than 250 educational institutions. “I think prior to this guidance, we had a lot of flexibility from a risk-management perspective, but the guidance increases the institutional risk of proceeding with these programs. The CDC is saying you better think twice.”

"I’m telling all my schools that this is day to day," said Schwartz. "If they want to keep going on their trips, they can. There's an increased risk from a liability perspective, but they can keep going. They have a green light as long as it’s a level 1 country. But it's riskier. But it’s day to day."

Read the complete article on the Inside Higher Ed website