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

Blog

IRS Allows Tax-Advantaged Leave Donation to COVID-19 Relief Organizations

Under new guidance, the IRS will give favorable tax treatment to employees who donate leave to COVID-19 relief organizations. In IRS Notice 2020-46 , the agency announced that employees who donate paid leave for...

Publication/Podcast

PPP: How is Maine Faring?

Originally enacted on March 27, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) offers loan support and (potentially) loan forgiveness to qualifying small businesses – generally defined as those with not more than 500 employees. According to...

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

FDA Issues Guidance on IRB Review of Non-Emergency Individual Patient Expanded Access Requests for Investigational Drugs and Biological Products to Treat COVID-19

Prompted by a substantial increase in requests for individual patient access to investigational drugs and biologics to treat COVID-19, the U.S. Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) issued guidance on June 2, 2020 that outlines...

Blog

Proposed Regulations Clarify Application of Excise Tax under Code Section 4960

Proposed Regulations published by the Treasury Department last month provide helpful clarifications regarding the application of the excise tax under Section 4960 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”). The...

Matter

2017 Emera Distribution Rate Case

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...

News

Paycheck Protection Program Focuses on Short-Term and Misses Long-Term Damages

On June 8, the Portland Press Herald published an article, "Revamped emergency loan program remains a short-term fix," discussing the Paycheck Protection Program's (PPP) extended deadlines and loosened restrictions, but lack of solutions to...

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...

Blog

Support for the Black Lives Matter Movement: Third-Party Intervention Training

This is the fifth post in a 12-part series on how companies can show support for the Black Lives Matter movement by changing company policies and practices. This post focuses on the importance of...

News

Verrill Welcomes Esteemed Corporate and Securities Attorney Edward Rosenthal

(June 10, 2020) – Verrill is pleased to welcome corporate and securities attorney Edward Rosenthal to the firm as a member of the Business Law Group. Rosenthal brings with him more than 40 years...