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

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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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Brian DeSantis is frequently called upon to advise school boards on high-stakes issues. Brian has counseled boards at risk of state intervention; resolved complex, multi-million-dollar school funding disputes; successfully defended school boards in protracted special education litigation; and created compliance systems for school districts sponsoring community schools.

Brian’s experience encompasses counseling clients through employment issues, representing school boards in labor and other contract negotiations, drafting education legislation, advising on constitutional law issues, and counseling on matters related to career-technical education.  As a result, he has the ability to see the big picture and provide proactive guidance. 

Outside of work, Brian is an avid baseball fan, an ardent podcast listener, and an “occasional” runner.  He graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, earned an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Wittenberg University, where he spent a summer studying in the African Kingdom of Lesotho.  Prior to his legal career, Mr. DeSantis served as the Assistant Director of the Wittenberg Fund, where he guided annual fundraising to exceed $2.5 million.  A product of Mayfield City School District, he lives in Bay Village with his wife, who works as a nurse practitioner, and their two children.

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

Selected Recent Presentations and Published Works

2020 “New Frontiers: Bargaining Topics for 2020”; School Negotiations Seminar
“The Long and Winding Road: Anticipating, Preparing for, and Understanding Due Process”; Special Education Seminar
Preparing for and Responding to Common Union Tactics“; School Negotiations Workshop
Don’t Leave Me Like That: Managing Employee Leave Issues“; School Law Update Seminar
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

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