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Legal Fees Rise in Buffalo School District's Human Rights Case

The legal fees associated with a human rights civil lawsuit involving the Buffalo School District continue to increase. This case, started by a human rights claim filed a year ago, involves the Buffalo School District’s former top attorney against Carl Paladino and the Buffalo School Board. Noted defense attorney Barry Covert spoke to WGRZ about the case and its associated legal fees. The full story is available at the WGRZ website.

Fees more than $25,000 in taxpayer money

According to WGRZ, the human rights case against the Buffalo School District began about a year ago. At that time, Rashondra Martin held the position of general counsel for the district and filed a claim against Carl Paladino for creating a racially and sexually hostile work environment. The school district has since hired outside attorneys to handle the case in order to avoid the conflict of interest that would be created by using in-house attorneys. WGRZ has received the legal bills related to the case and reports that they amount to more than $25,000 in taxpayer money.

District wants no liability

Barry Covert commented on why the school district would get involved in this legal situation. “The school wants to make certain that there are not arguments that are missed that would create liability,” he told WGRZ. “Then the school or the municipality has to indemnify you. They’ll pay, usually, for your lawyer’s fees to represent you and if there’s any type of economic loss that you suffer.”

WGRZ reports that the $25,000 spent on legal fees could be used for a number of other things for the district, including a year’s worth of emergency school supplies, 167 shipments of office supplies for the math department, or the salary of a part-time social studies staff member. It seems that the case will get more expensive, as a two-day hearing is scheduled for sometime next month and, according to WGRZ, the district must continue to pay the bills.

About Barry Covert

Mr. Covert, a senior partner in Lipsitz Green Scime Cambria’s Criminal Defense Trials and Appeals Practice Area, is known for his aggressive representation of clients in the areas of New York State and federal criminal trials and appeals; driving while intoxicated; constitutional law, including First Amendment, civil rights actions, and federal False Claims Act; defending against allegations of scientific misconduct and fraud, research misconduct and fraud, plagiarism, and fabrication of evidence; and professional licensing defense. Mr. Covert frequently provides legal analysis for WGRZ and other media outlets.

 

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