Panel: Higher Education Legal Update

Panel Description

This webinar is the National Center’s annual legal update panel, which will examine issues and cases over the past year including legal subjects related to the pandemic and to state legislation restricting the teaching of history.

Panelists Bios

Henry Morris, Jr., Partner at Arent Fox, focuses his practice on counseling clients and litigating education, employment, and labor law cases. The matters he covers involves student rights, faculty rights, fair labor standards (including collective and class actions), equal employment opportunity, employee discipline and discharge, employment torts, breach of contract, trade secrets, non-compete agreements, plant closings, reductions-in-force, successor employer responsibilities, workers’ compensation, and unemployment compensation. Henry is a member of Arent Fox’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee. He represents clients in a wide range of industries, including education, healthcare, retail, construction, property management, broadcast, communications, entertainment, building service contracting, and hospitality. He also has represented several governmental entities.  Henry is a member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. Henry is a frequent lecturer and has written articles on a wide range of education, employment, and labor issues. He has received the Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent rating, and has been recognized by the Washington, DC edition of Super Lawyers.

Monica C. Barrett joined the firm Bond, Schoeneck & King PLLC, as a member in 2016 after having served as Interim General Counsel at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.  She provides legal advice and counsel to colleges and universities, public school districts, and independent schools in all aspects of education law, including student affairs, faculty tenure and promotion, governance issues, athletics, and academic affairs.  Monica advises on staff and student employment, grievances, student conduct and discipline, Title IX policies and investigations, threat assessment and behavior intervention, FERPA, public-records, accreditation, regulatory and nonprofit compliance, bylaws, and policy handbooks. She counsels clients on a variety of employment law issues, such as executive contracts and compensation, severance agreements, disability accommodations, FMLA and other leave issues, and misconduct investigations.  Monica partners with other attorneys at the firm to conduct investigations at all levels of client institutions.  She also defends institutions before state and federal agencies and courts.  Monica’s responsibilities at Rutgers encompassed the full range of legal and compliance issues facing a state-wide research university with major professional schools and 29 labor unions, 20,000 employees, and a student body of approximately 65,000. As a key member on the President’s Cabinet she was responsible for advising the President and members of the Boards on all legal issues, and supervising a staff of 18 lawyers.  Monica is a frequent presenter at National Association of College and University Attorneys (NACUA) national conferences and she has been widely published on a variety of higher education topics. Previously, she was employed as Executive Deputy General Counsel at the State University of New York; Associate General Counsel at Cornell University; and Assistant General Counsel at Barnard College.

Angela Thompson is General Counsel at the Communications Workers of America (CWA).  She organizes campaigns, litigates before the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB), and provides legal advice to CWA District counsel, staff, and national officers. Her expertise is the National Labor Relations Act, but she also deals with other federal statutory regimes as well as issues of state law, contract interpretation, and internal union governance. Prior to her position at the CWA, Angela was an associate director in the legal department of the American Federation of Teachers. She also spent seven years at the NLRB in the Division of Advice, where she drafted legal memoranda on complex or novel issues, and provided litigation assistance in injunction proceedings. She was previously a law fellow with the Service Employees International Union and worked briefly at the Department of Labor, Bredhoff & Kaiser, and the Immigration Assistance Program of the Diocese of Kalamazoo in Michigan. Before law school, Angela worked in a Verizon call center, where she was a CWA member, shop steward, and picket line captain during multiple strikes. She holds a law degree from Yale Law School, a master’s degree in labor and employment relations from Rutgers University, and a bachelor’s degree in music performance from Webster University in St. Louis, Missouri. In her spare time, Angela performs with various music ensembles in the DC area, including the Columbia Orchestra and the DC Concert Orchestra. She lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her partner Tyshon and their 10-year-old daughter, who proudly attends public school like her parents did before her.

Aaron Nisenson is Senior Counsel and Director of the Legal Department for the American Association of University Professors. He joined AAUP in January 2013 and speaks and writes extensively on higher education, constitutional, labor and employment law. Aaron has litigated employment and First Amendment cases in Federal and state courts, and has retained and directed the litigation and representational work of dozens attorneys. He has extensive experience representing unions, employers, and individuals before the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state and local labor relations authorities, and in collective bargaining negotiations and arbitrations. Aaron has authored amicus briefs submitted in the U.S. Supreme Court, and in Federal and State appellate courts on constitutional, labor and employment law issues. Aaron has served as a member of the executive management team and chief legal advisor to AAUP and several other non-profit organizations and has been responsible for providing guidance on legal compliance, non-profit governance, contracts and other institutional matters. Aaron’s publications include “Constitutional Due Process and Title IX Investigation and Appeal Procedures at Colleges and Universities,” Pennsylvania State Law Review, Fall 2016 and “Faculty Rights in the Classroom,” Academe, September-October 2017. Aaron received his B.A. in Economics from the State University of New York at Albany and his J.D. from Boston College Law School.