Brian J. DeSantis


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 established compliance systems for alternative learning models.

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 and their two children.

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Ohio local and state courts

Professional & Civic Organizations/Activities

Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys


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 Presentations & Published Works

“Religion & Schools: Prayer, Release Time, and Expression” – OSBA Capital Conference

“Licensure: Issues, Reporting, and Flexibility” – School Law Update Seminar

“Drafting a Strong IEP” – Special Education Seminar

“Bargaining Issues for 2022” – School Negotiations Workshop


“Negotiation Issues for 2021” – Negotiations Workshop

“Alternative Program Student Eligibility & District Obligations” – Special Education Seminar

“Special Education for Treasurers” – OASBO Virtual Annual Conference


“EdChoice 2.0”; OSBA Capital Conference

“Don’t Leave Me Like That: Managing Employee Leave During a Pandemic”; School Law Update Seminar

“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