Mr. Pape’s practice is almost solely focused on guiding boards of education through complex governance, policy, civil rights, special education, and employment issues; and, when those issues result in litigation, he defends boards of education.
A large part of his practice consists of assisting boards of education navigate complex, modern constitutional and equity matters. Mr. Pape has extensive expertise in the area of modern school desegregation. Between current and past matters, he has participated in or advised on over 10 school desegregation cases including Hereford and the United States v. Huntsville City Board of Education. Mr. Pape also regularly trains boards of education on emergent issues of equity like those presented by Title IX of the Civil Rights Act, LGBTQ+ issues generally, and those pertaining to matters of racial equity and school climate. He frequently trains boards of education on these equity issues and related constitutional issues, such as student and employee speech under the First Amendment. Mr. Pape also regularly represents boards of education in responding to claims under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Mr. Pape also regularly assists boards of education on employment matters such as reviewing and drafting policy manuals for legal compliance, developing policies and procedures to prevent inequitable and unlawful employment practices, and counseling administrative employees to ensure implementation of these practices. He has expertise with federal and state employment laws including the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act (WARN), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.