Empowering Ohio's Boards of Education with effective legal counsel to make quality choices for children

Brian J. DeSantis, Esq.


Associate Attorney

address: 5005 Rockside Rd. Suite 260 Cleveland, Ohio 44131-6808
phone: 216.520.0088
fax: 216.520.0044
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Mr. DeSantis is an Associate Attorney with Pepple & Waggoner. Mr. DeSantis advises school boards on special education law, including representation in due process hearings; public records request compliance; student discipline matters; drafting and negotiating vendor contracts; search and seizure, student speech and other constitutional issues; student enrollment questions; and ethics laws questions. He has worked extensively on education legislation, including drafting legislation and counseling schools on the impact of pending legislation. Mr. DeSantis graduated summa cum laude from Wittenberg University, received a Masters in Social Sciences at the University of Chicago, and graduated from The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law. While in law school, he served as an extern for Chief Justice Maureen O’Connor of the Ohio Supreme Court and worked as the Executive Editor for the Journal on Dispute Resolution. He also received the CALI Award for Excellence in Legal Negotiations. Before joining Pepple & Waggoner, Mr. DeSantis spent four years working in education law. Prior to his legal career, Mr. DeSantis served as the Assistant Director of the Wittenberg Fund at Wittenberg University, where he guided annual fundraising to exceed $2.5 million.

Selected Recent Presentations and Published Works

2019 Preparing for and Responding to Common Union Tactics“; School Negotiations Workshop
Hot Topics for 2019“; Special Education Seminar
“Effective Media Relations During Negotiations”; School Negotiations Workshop
“Serving Transient Students”; Special Education Seminar
Ohio Sunshine Law: Get Out of the Shadows and into Compliance“; School Law Update Seminar

“Be Prepared: The New Due Process Trend”; OSBA Capital Conference
Is That You God? Religion and Schools“; School Law Update Seminar


Sick of Leave Questions? A Primer on Employee Leave”; School Law Update Seminar

Issues School Districts Avoid, but Must Address”; OSBA Capital Conference
“How can this be Legal? – A School District’s Journey Through Adopting A Random Drug-Testing Policy for Students”; OASSA, Hot Topics Conference

Implementing a Random Drug Testing Policy”; OSBA Capital Conference
“Protecting Your School’s Interests: Contracts with Vendors”; School Law Update Seminar

“HB 555 – Legislative Insights for School Administrators”; School Law Update Seminar

Bar Admissions

  • Ohio

Court Admissions

  • United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
  • Ohio local and State courts

Professional and Civic Organizations and Activities

  • Ohio School Boards Association
  • Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys
  • Young Education Professionals, Board Member
  • Metzenbaum Sheltered Industries – Geauga County, Board Member
  • Ohio State Bar Association


  • J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
  • M.A., Social Science, University of Chicago
  • B.A., summa cum laude, History, Wittenberg University

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