Legal Counsel

Legal Counsel
Our Vision is to be a World Class School System

Kristine Shrode, Esq.
Staff Attorney

Ryan Hudak, J.D.
Coordinator, Equity and Civil Rights 

Main Number: 239-335-1447
Fax: 239-335-1530

The Office of Legal Counsel (OLC) supports student success and achievement in Lee County by providing, accurate legal advice and quality legal representation to the Superintendent and School District Administrators. Moreover, the OLC strives to deliver comprehensive feedback and alternatives to District Staff while also proposing risk avoidance measures through early identification of legal issues and strategic planning.

The Role of the Office of Legal Counsel

With an emphasis on education, operations, employment, and labor law, the Office of Legal Counsel 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 Counsel 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 Counsel 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.