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Phillips Nizer Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 11, 2011
Contact:

Marc A. Landis
(212) 841-0705
mlandis@phillipsnizer.com

Jon Schuyler Brooks
(212) 841-0780
jbrooks@phillipsnizer.com

PHILLIPS NIZER REPRESENTS PARENTS AND STUDENTS IN FIGHT AGAINST NYC DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION RELOCATION PROPOSAL OF CHARTER ELEMENTARY SCHOOL IN UPPER WEST SIDE HIGH SCHOOL BUILDING 
The firm’s pro bono representation alleges non-compliance by the Department of Education
 with Education Law requirements and city and state statutes

New York, NY – Marc Andrew Landis and Jon Schuyler Brooks, attorneys at Phillips Nizer LLP, filed suit on Friday, April 8, 2011 against the NYC Department of Education (“NYC DOE”) and Chancellor-designate Dennis Walcott to prevent NYC DOE from co-locating a charter elementary school within the Brandeis High School Educational Complex located on West 84th Street in Manhattan.  Phillips Nizer is representing students and parents from Frank McCourt High School, Global Learning Collaborative and Innovation Diploma Plus High Schools without charge, as a public service in this case.

The proceeding, filed under Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, alleges that NYC DOE failed to comply with substantive and procedural requirements set forth in the Education Law, its own Chancellor’s Regulations and state and city environmental statutes in approving the proposed co-location of the “Upper West Success Academy” into the Brandeis High School Educational Complex.  The notice of petition, petition and exhibits are available online at
http://www.scribd.com/my_document_collections/2963479.

The lawsuit details the concerns raised by Lisa Steglich and Ric Cherwin (presidents of two high school parent-teacher associations) about the loss of specialized high school facilities, concerns about protecting high school students with special needs, the waste of taxpayer monies and student safety and security.

The petitioners seek an order annulling the vote of NYC DOE’s Panel for Educational Priorities approving the proposed co-location of the charter elementary school into the high school complex, an injunction enjoining the proposed co-location, and an order directing NYC DOE to comply with its statutory obligations.

Landis, chair of Phillips Nizer’s real estate department and a member of the firm’s executive committee, is an Upper West Side parent and activist who has been honored by Manhattan Legal Services, Legal Services of New York and the New York State Bar Association for his past pro bono efforts; his most recent major pro bono project was representing a group limited-income tenants who were facing eviction from two women’s residences in Manhattan.  Landis is a graduate of Princeton University (A.B., 1984), the University of Pennsylvania Law School (J.D., 1987) and the New York University School of Law (LL.M. in Taxation, 1994).

Brooks, a litigation partner and co-chair of Phillips Nizer’s environmental law practice, worked as a legislative staffer for the U.S. Senator Daniel P. Moynihan.  In another pro bono endeavor, Brooks and other Phillips Nizer attorneys are representing a group of artists in their efforts to overturn unconstitutional regulations imposed by the NYC Parks Department on the sale of artwork in municipal parks.  Brooks is a graduate of Northwestern University (B.S., 1980) and Tulane Law School (J.D., 1984).

About Phillips Nizer LLP:
Phillips Nizer LLP has been engaged in a wide-ranging practice of domestic and international law for over 80 years.  Established by world-renowned trial attorney Louis Nizer, the firm consists of lawyers who are well-respected leaders in their fields.  The firm’s principal office is in New York City, with additional offices in Garden City, Long Island and Hackensack, New Jersey.  To learn more about Phillips Nizer LLP, please visit: www.phillipsnizer.com.

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