RFP for Legal Services – School Year Ending June 30, 2023

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CANAJOHARIE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS FOR LEGAL SERVICES
FOR SCHOOL YEAR ENDING JUNE 30, 2023
RFP 2223-02

CANAJOHARIE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
BUSINESS OFFICE
136 SCHOLASTIC WAY
CANAJOHARIE, NY 13317

 

CANAJOHARIE CENTRAL SCHOOL DISTRICT
REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS
TABLE OF CONTENTS

  1. INTRODUCTION 
    1. Purpose of RFP 
    2. Description of District 
  2. NATURE OF SERVICES REQUIRED 
    1. General 
    2. Terms of Engagement 
    3. Qualifications of the Firm and Firm’s Staff 
    4. Board of Education Process
  3. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS 
    1. Criteria for Selection 
    2. Requirements for Proposal 
    3. Proposal Information 
  4. OTHER
    1.  Additional Information  
    2.  Inquires 

    1. INTRODUCTION:

    Purpose of the RFP:

    The purpose of the proposal is to consider arrangements to retain school district general legal representation including collective bargaining law from qualified law firms. Although the areas of bond counsel, and tax certiorari claims are already provided to the district by separate counsel, we request any firms that also have expertise in these areas to submit this information as well so that the district has a full picture of the firm’s capabilities. 

    Such Requests for Proposals may be obtained at the District Office. Proposals will be received until 2:00 p.m. on April 28, 2023. Each proposal is to be submitted in a sealed envelope, plainly marked on the outside as “Proposal for District Legal Counsel.” Proposals may be submitted by mail or in person at the Canajoharie Central School District, 136 Scholastic Way, Canajoharie, NY 13317, Attn: Leah Schaffer, Director of Finance and Accounting 

    Description of the District

    • Enrollment: 850+ students K-12 
    • Number of Employees:  174- Full/Part Time Faculty, Staff and Administration 
    • Bargaining Units: CUSE Faculty, CUSE Staff and CSD Administration 
    • BOCES: Hamilton Fulton Montgomery 
    • Schools:  1 High, 1 Middle and 1 Elementary School 
    • Board of Education: 5 member board – 5 year terms
    • Budget:  2022-23 Budget of $23,341,000 
    1.   NATURE OF SERVICES REQUIRED:

    General:

    The School District Legal Counsel serves as chief legal advisor to the Board of Education and its administrative staff. Services shall include, but not be limited to the following: 

    • Act as School Board Attorney and chief legal officer of the district, including but not limited to, matters involving: 
    • Employment law, including Civil Service Law Section 75 and Education Law Section 3020-a disciplinary proceedings, Public Employee Fair Employment Act, Public Employment Relations Board hearings, employment contract interpretation,harassment and discrimination investigations and report preparation
    • Representing the District before the Public Employment Relations Board, the Division of Human Rights, the EEOC, state and federal courts, and administrative agencies
    • Student matters, including student discipline and superintendent’s hearings; 
    • Federal and State special education laws and procedures, including conducting impartial hearing
    • Appeals to the Commissioner of Education; 
    • Construction law; Real Property law; Contract law; and General Municipal law
    • Personnel policies and employment handbooks
    • To provide training on topics such as student and employee discipline, sexual harassment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and Family Medical Leave Act, among others
    • Act as legal counsel for the School District and/or its officers, agents, and employees, including being present at meetings as may be requested by the Board of Education and/or the Superintendent of Schools and/or designee
    • Provide a status report to the Superintendent during July of each year on all pending legal matters 
    • Act as legal counsel for the School District in all actions and proceedings brought against the School District 
    • Cooperate with the School District’s insurance carrier in all matters. 
    • Coordinate and monitor representation of matters assigned to outside counsel

    Term of Engagement:   

    The School District is seeking a five-year engagement. This engagement is contemplated subject to annual review by the Board of Education. This agreement may be terminated upon 30 days notice by the Board of Education without cause subject solely to payment of fees and disbursements as of the date of termination. 

     

    Qualifications and Experience of the Firm and Firm’s Staff: 

    Proposals should detail the firm’s/individual’s experience and capacity in Education and Municipal Law including information on specific attorney(s) (partners and associates) to be assigned to the district. Include information and experience in specific areas of law. For example: 

    Experience in representing similarly situated school districts in the field of education law. 

    Litigation experience, including any specifically related to school districts or Education Law. 

    Experience in participating in and presenting workshops and seminars in the Education Law area. 

    Each proposal submitted must include a list of current school district clients or similar clients including any municipalities. The information should include contact name, title, address, and telephone number. If the firm represents fewer than five school districts, the applicant should include additional references and contact information relating to other similar clients. 

    Board of Education Process:

    THE BOARD OF EDUCATION RESERVES THE RIGHT TO ACCEPT OR REJECT ANY OR ALL PROPOSALS OR ANY PARTS OF PROPOSALS. 

    The original copy of all proposals received will be kept on file in the District Office. 

    The Board of Education and District Administration will evaluate proposals. During the evaluation process, the Canajoharie Central School District reserves the right, where it may serve the District’s best interest, to request additional information or clarifications from those submitting proposals. After review of submitted written proposals, finalists will be selected and invited for an interview session. 

    It is anticipated that the selection of a firm will be completed by May 5, 2023. Following the notification of the selected firm, a retainer agreement will be executed between both parties as soon as possible thereafter to commence July 1, 2023. 

    1. PROPOSAL REQUIREMENTS:

    Criteria for Selection: 

    The selection process will include, but not be limited to evaluation in the following areas: 

    Fee amount and structure, extent of experience in Municipal and Education Law with clients of similar size and complexity, demonstrated education law expertise and capacity, and the assessments of references. 

     

    Requirements for Proposals: 

    All proposals must be received by Leah Schaffer, Director of Finance and Accounting, no later than 2:00 p.m. on April 28, 2023. Any proposals received after this deadline will be returned unopened to the firm. 

    Each firm shall submit one original proposal and two copies to the following address: 

    Canajoharie CSD, 136 Scholastic Way, Canajoharie, NY  13317, Attn:  Leah Schaffer, Director of Finance and Accounting

    Proposals are to be submitted in a sealed envelope clearly labeled School District Legal Counsel Proposal

    All proposals and accompanying documentation become the property of the Canajoharie Central School District. The District shall not divulge any information presented in the RFP to anyone outside the District without the written approval of the firm. 

    Proposal Information:

    Each proposal will clearly state the fees to be charged to the District. The District will entertain fee structures of a comprehensive retainer, retainer plus hourly rates, or straight hourly rates. The District, for budgeting purposes, would prefer that proposals present a fixed retainer proposal including any cap for general and routine legal representation. The fee proposal should specify what, if any, legal services will be outside of that fixed retainer and the specific hourly rates (or other fee arrangement) that would be applicable to those services outside of the fixed retainer. In addition, the fee proposal should state any reimbursables, out-of-pocket expenses, routine office costs, or surcharges that will be charged to the district. 

    Names and resumes of attorney(s) to be assigned as School District Legal Counsel, including the specific attorney who would be principally responsible for the provision and/or coordination of the firm’s representation. 

    A listing of experience in the performance of the requested services for school districts or municipalities in New York State and the years of such experience. 

    Responses to this request for proposals should include an affirmation that there are no conflicts of interest between the firm and the Canajoharie Central School District. 

    Each proposal should include the firm name, address, telephone, signature of official, and date. 

     

    1. OTHER

    Additional Information Submittal:

    It is requested that those firms that also offer services in the area of bond counsel, tax certiorari claims, and/or Labor Relations Counsel/Chief Negotiator separately include a description of one or more of those services using the same format described herein (fee structure, resume of staff and experience). The District may not decide to contract pursuant to this proposal for those services, it would consider proposals by responding firms to provide these services as well. 

    Inquiries: 

    All inquiries concerning this RFP should be directed to: 

    Canajoharie CSD, 136 Scholastic Way, Canajoharie, NY  13317, Attn:  Leah Schaffer, Director of Finance and Accounting

    (518)673-6340