Mark W. Robinett
Mark primarily represents public school employees in personnel matters at administrative levels and in litigation, drawing upon his legal experience as well as his experience as an English teacher in the Kansas City, Kansas public schools and as an instructor at the University of Kansas prior to attending law school.
From 1980-81, Mark was in general practice in Austin. From 1981-82, he served as a briefing attorney for the Honorable Carlton Dodson, Justice for the Seventh Supreme Judicial District of Texas in Amarillo. He returned to Austin in 1982, where he was employed as the Director of Hearings at the Texas Education Agency until September 1986. At that time, he joined Jay Brim and Rick Arnett, representing public school employees throughout the state of Texas.
- Labor and Employment
- State Administrative Law
- Texas Education Agency v. Cypress-Fairbanks ISD, 830 S.W.2d 88 (Tex. 1992), in which the Supreme Court upheld the teacher’s right to appeal to the Commissioner on problems not involving the school laws of Texas – or to skip the Commissioner if raising constitutional claims.
- Dodd v. Meno, 857 S.W.2d (Tex 1991). The Supreme Court held, by a 5-4 vote that a school nurse was not entitled to benefits of the Term Contract Nonrenewal Act. That case resulted in the Texas legislature immediately amending the statute to specifically include school nurses.
- Havner v. Meno, 867 S.W.2d 130 (Tex. Court of Appeals-Austin 1992), in which the court upheld the teacher’s right to appeal her denial of career ladder benefits even though the Board of Trustees did not hold a hearing.
- Hernandez v. Meno, 828 S.W.2d 491 (Tex. Court of Appeals-Austin 1992), in which the school District tried to fire a principal during the school year and deny him his right to appeal to the Commissioner. The Court of Appeals upheld the principal’s right to appeal.
- ATPE v. Kirby, Co-Counseled with Rick Arnett, 788 S.W.2d 827 (Tex 1990), in which a statute that would have restricted advancement on the career ladder was held to be invalid.
- Banales v. Ysleta ISD, in which the school district terminated the employment of a principal on a spurious sexual harassment claim. The commissioner of Education’s Hearing Officer held against the district.
- Collins v. Kountze ISD, in which a school district reassigned a principal to a newly created makeshift Central office position – then nonrenewed him pursuant to a reduction in force on the grounds that the position was not needed. The Commissioner of Education overturned the nonrenewal on appeal.
- Pellham v. Springlake-Earth ISD, in which the school district tried to nonrenew the employment of a pregnant teacher under the pretext of a reduction in force. The commissioner’s hearing officer held that the nonrenewal was invalid.
Educational and Professional Background
- University of Kansas, B.S., Education, 1972
- University of Kansas M.A., English, 1977
- University of Texas School of Law, J.D., 1979