Office of Legal Services

Office of Legal Services
Our Vision is to be a World Class School System

Kathy Dupuy-Bruno, Esq.
School Board Attorney and General Counsel

Shaina Zuppke, Esq.
Assistant School Board Attorney

Benerita Brophy, LLM
Paralegal to the School Board Attorneys

Ryan Hudak, Esq.
Assistant School Board Attorney

Kristine Shrode, Esq.
Staff Attorney

Yaima Chaoui
Paralegal to Staff Attorney

Sharsloda Wilson
Executive Secretary to the Office of Legal Services

Main Number: 239-337-8512
Fax: 239-337-8683

The School Board Attorney provides legal advice and counsel to the Lee County School Board. The Board Attorney serves as the lead counsel on all matters involving the School Board. Specifically, the Board Attorney:

  • Coordinates legal representation for the School Board including all litigation matters involving civil matters, federal and state issues, and constitutional issues.
  • Prepares and renders legal opinions and gives advice to the Board.
  • Serves as Parliamentarian at School Board meetings.
  • Coordinates School Board and District Administration in service training on legal matters which pertain to the overall administration of the school system.
  • Assumes responsibility for drafting and/or reviewing School Board policies and resolutions.
  • Keeps the School Board informed of changes in statutes and relative court decisions.
  • Prepares or approves as to form all contracts entered into on behalf of the School Board and/or District as presented by a Staff Attorney.
  • Request opinions from the Attorney General as necessary.
  • Corresponds with the Department of Education on behalf of the Board.
  • Represents the Board in all matters regarding Charter Schools.
  • Serves as a School Board advocate to support the legislative platform, Board goals, initiatives, and other matters determined by the Board.
  • Undertakes proactive action to protect the School Board from exposure to litigation and other risk.
  • Acts as legal advisor to the School Board at quasi-judicial hearings.
  • Maintains final responsibility and control for all matters under the auspices of the School Board.

The Role of the Office of Legal Services

With an emphasis on education, operations, employment, and labor law, the Office of Legal Services provides a variety of legal services including, but not limited to advisory and/or representing the district:

  • In negotiations, arbitrations, and representation issues with district bargaining units
  • As the primary legal resource for all education, operations, labor, and employment matters
  • In managing outside legal services provided to the district
  • In contract and policy review and compliance
  • In student custody and enrollment matters
  • In student due process hearings
  • In employee due process hearings
  • In complaints and charges of discrimination and/or harassment
  • On matters involving interpretation of Florida Public Records Laws and the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA)
  • On matters involving the American with Disabilities Act (ADA)
  • On matters involving Title IX
  • On matters involving the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  • On matters involving the Florida High School Athletic Association (e.g. student eligibility, releases for participation in athletics)
  • On matters involving Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • On matters of risk management

In addition, the Office of Legal Services also provides comprehensive training to District Staff on a variety of topics including but not limited to: Discrimination/Harassment, Title IX, Transgender/LGBTQ Student Rights, FMLA, and ADA.

Department Statement

This page has been prepared by the Office of Legal Services to provide relevant information to employees of the District. It is not meant as a substitute for legal advice from an attorney, nor does it constitute legal advice. The material on this website represents general legal concepts. Since the law is continually changing, some aspects of the law covered in this website may change before it can be updated. It is always best and we recommend that you consult an attorney concerning your legal rights and responsibilities.