In a display of the firm’s prowess in a courtroom setting, F&W partner, Matt Weinick, obtained a decision after a hearing, dismissing all disciplinary charges issued against a New York City public school student. The remarkably favorable decision dismissed the charges, returned the student to his original school from suspension, and “immediately” expunged all records of the suspension from the school’s records.
F&W’s client was charged with inappropriate conduct in school, allegations severe enough that police were involved. The school obtained a written statement from the student-accuser and also elicited a written statement from the client, which the school argued constituted an admission of the allegations. The student was suspended pending a hearing on the charges.
On November 22, 2016, Weinick appeared at the Department of Education hearing on behalf of the accused student. The school presented its evidence, including three written statements, and the live testimony of the school’s dean, the student-accuser and her mother. Weinick objected to the introduction of the client’s statement, arguing it was not obtained voluntarily. He also cross-examined the witnesses, calling into question their credibility, and objected to the introduction of exhibits.
At the end of the school’s case, Weinick argued that the school’s investigation was flawed and handled inappropriately. He further argued that the witnesses’ accounts were not credible and that the school wholly failed to present sufficient evidence to sustain the charges.
At the penalty recommendation phase, the school asked for a suspension of 30 days. The school further asked to amend the charges, a request fiercely objected to by Weinick who argued such an amendment would be highly prejudicial to the student since the proceedings were essentially concluded at that point.
As noted, the DOE ultimately dismissed the charges finding that the school did not present substantial and credible evidence to support the charges.
If you have questions about student suspensions or discipline or if you have a child facing a disciplinary matter, contact the lawyers at Famighetti & Weinick, PLLC at 631-352-0050 or visit our website at https://www.linycemploymentlaw.com.