“I’ve been contacted by a PSC investigator who wants me to give him a response by a certain deadline, what do I do?” This is a question we hear from administrators, teachers, and other education professionals all over Georgia on a frequent basis.
Recently, Williams Oinonen LLC represented a teacher facing a revocation of her teaching certificate. The Georgia Professional Standards Commission recommended that the teacher’s certificate be entirely revoked. The Professional Standards Commission was represented by the Attorney General for the State of Georgia and the teacher was represented by Ms. Oinonen. The Judge’s case decision which came out today rejected the recommendation of the PSC to revoke the educator’s certificate and modified it to only give the educator a warning.
When an educator calls to ask: “I’ve been contacted by a PSC investigator who wants me to give him a response by a certain deadline, what do I do?” Ms. Oinonen always recommends educators that they absolutely should not go it alone. Years ago, PSC investigators were made up of former educators. Now, most educators are former law enforcement, former Secret Service, former GBI, or former deputy sheriffs. As a result, calling them really can be like talking to the police when you are accused of a crime, meaning anything you say can be used against you. Ms. Oinonen states: “When facing a PSC charge, educators should not contact the PSC without assistance of legal counsel. Too much is at stake for an educator. Literally what is at stake is your ability to maintain gainful employment by keeping your educator’s license/certification. Thus, it is imperative that you have an attorney who can communicate on your behalf and advise you appropriately in order to help protect your rights.”
“I am about to get fired from my job,” or “I think my boss is about to terminate me, what do I do?” are questions that Williams Oinonen LLC hears from employees all throughout the state of Georgia. When facing this dilemma, the most important thing to do is to seek legal advice before taking any action at all. Depending on the type of job you have, different legal rights may apply.
In this case, Williams Oinonen LLC had five full days worth of a fair dismissal hearing that lasted for nearly half of a year. And thanks to Georgia Association of Educators, three of the top expert witnesses concerning the lawful use of CBD oil were retained. These experts testified that Mr. Blackwood was legally using CBD oil to treat an auto immune disease. Williams Oinonen LLC filed suit for unconstitutional violations by the school district which can be read about here.
Ultimately, after a long and hard fought battle, Clayton County Local Board of Education voted unanimously not to terminate Mr. Blackwood. The AJC ran a story on his victory which can be read here. Stated Mr. Blackwood:
Mario Williaims filed a lawsuit on behalf of fired Rape Crisis Center Executive Director Kesha Gibson-Carter who brings claims against law enforcement government officials and the center for race discrimination and violations of her First Amendment rights.
The 57-page civil suit, filed in U.S. District Court on June 3, named twenty five defendants, including the center and board of directors, including the Chatham County District Attorney Meg Heap, along with several local police officials.
Williams Oinonen LLC partner Mario Williams obtained a $285,000 settlement on behalf of our client Governor Henderson in a gender discrimination case against District Attorney Paul Howard. It was featured on the Daily Report front page today which can be read here.
The plaintiff in this case, former District Attorney Governor Henderson claimed he was told “the position would only be filled by a woman because some jobs are not for certain people.”
Williams Oinonen LLC is proud to represent victim of wrongful death, serious injury, employment discrimination and civil rights claims. For more information contact 404-654-0288
Mario Williams, partner at Williams Oinonen LLC, filed a class action race discrimination case against Atlanta Police Department. The Daily Report featured a front page article which can be read here.
The temporary restraint order motion and lawsuit names the city of Atlanta and its Police Chief as defendants. Chief Judge Thomas Thrash Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia is assigned to the case.
The lawsuit challenges a promotion policy that allegedly requires the police department allegedly requires that the vacant post be filled by a candidate of the same race, the TRO motion contends.
Williams Oinonen LLC had the pleasure of hosting pre-law Covenant College students and their pre-law advisor Dr. Richard Follett with a visit to Emory University School of Law. In the morning students visited the downtown Atlanta law firm of Williams Oinonen LLC, toured Fulton County Superior Courthouse and observed Judge Gail Tusan’s criminal arraignment and plea calendar court. In the afternoon they had lunch on the main campus of Emory University, attended an admissions tour of the law school campus, and ended the day visiting the remainder of the campus including the Emory Carlos Museum.
Williams Oinonen LLC enjoys hosting pre-law students from Georgia colleges, mentoring, and providing clerkships to law students who are primarily interested in civil rights work with a primary focus in the areas of education and employment.
If you are a pre-law or law student interested in learning more, please contact 404-654-0288.
In a statement, Dr. O’Donnell wrote:
Williams Oinonen LLC is proud to announce that each of its lawyers was honored for the 5th year in a row by Georgia Super Lawyers.
Mario Williams and Julie Oinonen were both named Super Lawyers Rising Stars in 2019. Only 5% of lawyers in Georgia receive this distinction after a rigorous selection process and third-party validation of their accomplishments, including reviews and ratings from fellow lawyers.
Williams Oinonen LLC is made up of civil trial attorneys who regularly handle serious injury, employment, education, business, and high profile civil rights cases. For more information, contact us at 404-654-0288.