government litigation

BLF’s litigation group has represented and advised regional and local government entities, including a large public school district in Pennsylvania as well as the Commonwealth itself.

The issues presented in these governmental litigation matters involve complex questions, including questions of statutory interpretation and issues arising under the School Code, the Charter School Law, and the Constitution of Pennsylvania.

Representative cases in our government litigation practice include:

  • Successfully defending a school district against a charter school’s appeal to Commonwealth Court, and against the charter school’s subsequent declaratory judgment action in the Court of Common Pleas, each arising out of the district’s governing authority’s vote not to renew the school’s charter.
  • Representing a school reform commission in emergency proceedings brought by a public employee union, seeking a TRO and preliminary injunction related to the school district’s decision to exempt certain teachers from layoffs.
  • Preparing and filing pleadings with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court seeking an exercise of the Court’s King’s Bench and exclusive jurisdiction pursuant to a state statute.
  • Advising a school district regarding management rights in the context of authority to make changes to work rules and practices, under provisions of the Public School Code concerning districts in financial distress, that had never been interpreted by the courts and presented multiple issues of first impression.
  • Advising and providing legal analysis and briefs in support of a school district’s appeal of an arbitration award that sustained grievances arising out of the school district’s decision to recall certain employees from layoffs.
  • Advising a school district and school reform commission regarding the cancellation of an expired collective bargaining agreement with a public employee union, and moving for a declaratory judgment regarding the school district’s statutory authority to take such action, on behalf of the school district, the school reform commission, and the Pennsylvania Department of Education, in a complaint filed in the Commonwealth Court’s original jurisdiction.
  • Representing the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, Department of General Services, and the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Philadelphia, in a condemnation action arising out of the expansion of the Convention Center in Philadelphia.

Our attorneys have appeared as lead counsel and co-counsel in governmental litigation before the Courts of Common Pleas, the Commonwealth Court, and the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania.

Representative cases:

League of Women Voters of Pennsylvania v. Commonwealth.  BLF served as local counsel for Amicus Curiae The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, in this case which challenged the Pennsylvania Legislature’s Congressional district map as an extreme and unconstitutional partisan gerrymander. ... Read More

Community Academy of Philadelphia Charter School v. School District of Philadelphia. BLF represented the School District in litigation brought by a charter school after the SRC voted not to renew the charter. ... Read More

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers v. School Reform Commission. BLF represented the School District in litigation brought by its largest union regarding the District’s decision to exempt some teachers from layoffs. ... Read More

School District of Philadelphia v. Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. BLF represented the School District in litigation regarding the right of a school district in financial distress to make changes to non-mandatory bargaining topics after the expiration of a collective bargaining agreement. ... Read More

Philadelphia Federation of Teachers v. School District of Philadelphia. BLF advised the School District in connection with a grievance arbitration, and represented the School District on its appeal from the award, in matters arising from recalls of employees from layoff. ... Read More

School District of Philadelphia v. Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. BLF advised and represented the School District in litigation arising out of the SRC’s October 2014 cancellation of the collective bargaining agreement and imposition of new economic terms. ... Read More

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