Michael Blacher

Michael Blacher Partner

Michael Blacher is the Chair of the firm's Private Education Practice Group. He represents educational institutions in all aspects of labor, employment, and education law. Michael has successfully defended claims involving alleged harassment, discrimination and retaliation, disability accommodation, First Amendment, and alleged violation of wage and hour laws. Michael also advises educational institutions in Office of Civil Rights investigations and has handled a number of Title IX cases. Michael often advises boards on governance and other issues, including updates to bylaws. He works extensively on contractual matters such as employment and enrollment agreements as well as employee and student handbooks. Michael also represents clients during arbitrations and administrative hearings.

A frequent presenter, Michael has provided a number of individualized trainings for schools, such as AB 1825 training. He also regularly presents at the California Association of Independent Schools (CAIS) Trustee/Head of School conference, the National Association of Independent School (NAIS) annual conference, and the National Business Officer (NBOA) annual meeting. He is one of the firm's most popular trainers.

Prior to joining Liebert Cassidy Whitmore, Michael worked on documentary films, including the Academy Award winner, The Long Way Home. He also worked at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles.

Education

  • JD, Loyola School of Law, Los Angeles

  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles

  • BA, University of California, Riverside

LITIGATION

Wrongful Termination Claim (2015) - A private university obtained summary judgment against a former employee who alleged harassment and discrimination. The University's former Director of Student Recruitment claimed that the University terminated her in violation of the California Fair Employment and Housing Act. Specifically, she alleged that her termination was motivated by her race and disability. The Court granted summary judgment in favor of the University. The Court determined the documented complaints, and verified attempts by plaintiff's supervisor to improve her performance, constituted legitimate, non-discriminatory reasons for separating her. Plaintiff could not proffer sufficient evidence to support her claims of harassment or discrimination.

Discrimination Claim (2011) - A private school terminated employee for misconduct. He then filed a claim with the EEOC and threatened litigation based on a claim of discriminations. The School put forth legitimate, nondiscriminatory basis for terminating the employee who then formally dropped the suit.

Religious Discrimination (2011) - A religious school restricted applicants to those whose religious beliefs were consistent with those of the school. Within the School rejected an applicant based on religion, he filled a claim with the EEOC. The School responded that it appropriately followed state and federal law. Both the EEOC and applicant dropped the complaint.

Defense Verdict For School District On Student Discipline (2010) - School district disciplined a student for cheating. Parents appealed using internal district procedure and lost at each level. Then parents sought a writ, which the court denied.

Breach of Contract Claim (2010) - A private school laid off a secretary who brought suit in breach of contract. The secretary sought attorneys' fees, damages, and penalties under the Labor Code. The School demurred and the court granted the motion without leave to amend.

Education

  • JD, Loyola School of Law, Los Angeles

  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles

  • BA, University of California, Riverside

Jul 20, 2018

Reference Checks

Checking references should be a part of every school’s hiring practice.  It increases the likelihood of making a well-informed hiring decision, protects against claims of negligent hiring, and demonstrates fairness, equity, and transparency in the recruitment process. Yet we repeatedly find that schools fail to undertake this critical step – and that they do so to their detriment.

Jul 20, 2018

Anxious Parents in a Litigious Age

Managing relationships between schools and parents is becoming more, not less, difficult.  Parent anxiety generally reflects concerns about their children: social interactions, academic achievement (at increasingly younger ages), and eventually college enrollment.  The result can be parents behaving badly by making unreasonable demands, refusing to hold their children accountable, engaging in harassing, threatening or bullying behavior, launching unfair criticism online, and even initiating litigation.  The list goes on and on. 

Jul 20, 2018

Exchange Programs and Host Families

The world is getting smaller and students are exploring it in greater numbers.  Exchange programs and stays with host families, once an oddity, are increasingly the norm.  As schools integrate these programs into their curriculum, families expect their children to participate in them.

Jun 1, 2016

Governor Brown Signs New Vaccination Bill, SB 277, Into Law - What Private Schools Need to Know

On Tuesday, June 30, 2015, Governor Brown signed into law a bill designed to ...

May 19, 2016

The New FLSA Salary Basis Test Regulations Are Here! – Everything California Private Schools Need To Know!

On May 18, 2016, the U.S. Department of Labor ("DOL") issued new regulations ...

Apr 15, 2015

First Amendment and Ten Commandments: The Ministerial Exception's Application to Religious Colleges and Universities

The ministerial exception is a doctrine of constitutional law that provides religious employers, including certain colleges and universities, with a complete defense to many employment-related causes of action. 

Education

  • JD, Loyola School of Law, Los Angeles

  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles

  • BA, University of California, Riverside

10 April 2019
Consortium Trainings

Emerging Legal Issues for Private Schools

Builders of Jewish Education Consortium Los Angeles
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5 March 2019
Speaking Engagements

Sexual Abuse Investigations: Assessing the Difficult Issues

National Business Officers Association (NBOA) Annual Meeting San Diego
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4 March 2019
Speaking Engagements

Courageous Authenticity: Do You Care Enough to Have Critical Conversations?

National Business Officers Association (NBOA) Annual Meeting San Diego
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15 November 2018
Customized Trainings

Understanding Professional Boundaries

Oakwood School North Hollywood
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14 November 2018
Speaking Engagements

Legal Update Including New Statutes

Gallagher's Independent Schools Business Officers Seminar Los Angeles
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14 November 2018
Speaking Engagements

Investigations: 10 Steps to Protect Your School From Litigation

Gallagher's Independent School Business Officers Seminar Los Angeles
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Education

  • JD, Loyola School of Law, Los Angeles

  • MA, University of California, Los Angeles

  • BA, University of California, Riverside

Contact Us

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info@lcwlegal.com

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Media Inquiries

Please contact Cynthia Weldon, Director of Marketing & Training, 310.981.2000.

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