Verrill's Higher Education Group has served as trusted legal counsel to some of the region's most respected educational institutions. Our attorneys are well-prepared to meet the diverse legal needs of colleges and universities of all sizes, ranging from small liberal arts schools to community colleges to large and complex university systems.

We provide services in a cost-effective, efficient manner and are cognizant of the economic realities facing educational institutions. We work closely with college and university counsel or directly with the school's management and other staff on a broad range of issues, including transactional, bond financing, litigation, regulatory, patent and intellectual property, student affairs, and risk management issues. Our group is composed of attorneys from a variety of legal disciplines, all committed to providing individualized advice, advocacy, and counsel to the educational institutions we represent.

Student Health and Safety

  • Compliance with Title IX, FERPA, Clery Act, HIPAA, ADA, HEOA, Section 504 of Rehabilitation Act, etc.
  • Review, revision, and development of policies for student health functions, including student medical leave policies and procedures (voluntary and involuntary)
  • Development of behavioral intervention teams and consultation on issues of team composition and function
  • Confidentiality, state law, and professional licensing compliance advice
  • Guidance regarding parental notification and disclosure of student information
  • Guidance on student mental health issues, including risk management and disclosure matters
  • Advice on consent-to-treatment issues
  • Development of best practice guidelines relative to student eating disorder issues
  • Provision of on-campus education and training to inform campus community of rights and responsibilities relative to student health and safety
  • Facilitation of discussions between student health services and other campus functions such as counseling centers, dean’s offices, campus police, etc.

Student Affairs

  • Student privacy and confidentiality, including the retention, maintenance, and disclosure of education records in compliance with FERPA
  • Compliance with Title IX and Clery Act
  • Sexual assault, misconduct, and harassment policies and training
  • Academic honor code policies
  • Student handbook and social code policies relating to hazing, alcohol, student organizations, freedom of speech, political activity, and medical leaves of absence
  • Counsel during investigations, judicial procedures, hearings, and appeals
  • IT security matters
  • Blogging (risks, best practices, legal and regulatory guidelines)
  • Issues related to student criminal activity and involvement with local law enforcement
  • Diversity issues
  • Liability related to experiential learning and student study-abroad programs
  • Academic freedom and related issues

Sustainability and Environmental Compliance

  • Environmental permitting and compliance
  • Construction and real estate disputes
  • Sustainability compliance and green design
  • Land use
  • Permitting
  • Historic preservation

Labor and Employment

  • Discrimination issues
  • Hiring and termination
  • Tenure issues
  • Union/management issues
  • OSHA matters
  • Senior administration contracting and negotiation

Governance

  • Not-for-profit and tax-exempt corporation law
  • Board governance and development
  • Sarbanes-Oxley Act compliance and fiduciary best practices

Academic Medical Center Representation

  • Corporate and regulatory compliance
  • Accreditation matters
  • JCAHO compliance
  • HIPAA and state privacy law compliance
  • Institutional structure and organization matters
  • Research and research misconduct matters

Intellectual Property and Technology

  • Patent, trademark, and copyright
  • Technology transfer arrangements
  • Licensing of copyrighted materials

Corporate and Tax

  • Joint ventures
  • Financing and investments

Estate Planning, Charitable Trusts, and Exempt Organization Taxation

  • Trust documentation
  • Representation in estate and trust disputes
  • Charitable giving plans and procedures
  • Compliance with private inurement rules
  • Federal and state tax reporting and other disclosures
  • Institutional financing
  • Tax-exempt bonds as financing tools
  • Capital financing advice
  • Lender and borrower representation

Employee Benefits

  • Employee retirement plans
  • Employee health benefit plans
  • Executive and special compensation arrangements
  • Compliance with intermediate sanctions rules

Firm Highlights

News

Enforcement Issues with SJC Ruling for the Rockweed Industry

Environmental attorney Gordon Smith was quoted in the Machias Valley News Observer article, "One year after SJC ruling, enforcement issues plague rockweed industry," discussing the Ross v. Acadian Seaplant's decision in Maine. Questions about...

Matter

Management Inefficiency

Verrill represented Emera in its 2017 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC, which included: defeating Staff's proposed reduction to allowed return on equity for "management inefficiency;" approval of new expenditures, such as an...

Event

2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop

Health care attorney Emily Fogler will be presenting at the 2020 OHRP Exploratory Workshop in the third session, discussing sharing responsibilities and protecting participants - redefining roles in the single IRB era. Stay tuned...

Publication/Podcast

PPP Forgivable Loan Program: An Update from the SBA

The SBA has published an interim final rule that describes the Paycheck Protection Program. This includes a useful explanation of various elements of the Program. The rule can be found online: https://home.treasury.gov/system/files/136/PPP--IFRN FINAL.pdf...

News

Verrill Signs Pledge in Support of Advancing Diversity & Inclusion in Connecticut Legal Community

(March 10, 2020) – Verrill has officially joined the Connecticut Bar Association in its ongoing commitment to advancing diversity and inclusion in the region’s legal community by signing “The Connecticut Legal Community’s Diversity &...

Blog

CARES Act Imposes Limits on Executive Pay over $425,000 for Businesses Seeking Financial Assistance

On Friday, March 27, 2020, the $2 trillion assistance package known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (the “CARES Act”) was signed into law. The CARES Act provides a variety of...

Matter

Management Audit

Verrill represented Emera in its 2016 distribution rate case before the Maine PUC. The case involved issues relating to significant new capital investments, including Emera's new customer information system and a controversial substation investment...

Publication/Podcast

PPP Forgivable Loan Program: How to Do the Math

(Originally published 4/2/2020, revised 4/3/2020) Thousands of articles are circulating about the new Paycheck Protection Program under the CARES Act signed into law on March 27. Having a general idea about how this Program...

Event

Central Maine Human Resources Association Chapter Meeting: Flexible Work Options

Employment and labor attorney Tawny Alvarez will be presenting at the Central Maine Human Resources Association Chapter Meeting. This month's chapter meeting will focus on flexible work options. Tawny will discuss how policy impacts...

Blog

With CARES Act, Congress provides retirement plan relief and group health plan changes

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law on March 27, 2020, includes a number of provisions that affect retirement plan sponsors and participants. These provisions are designed to provide...