About Dianna Bowen
Legal Assistant: Cindy Foreman | 972-694-3314 | firstname.lastname@example.org
Dianna’s youngest child was born with numerous special needs. Through years of nurses, hospitals, and therapies, Dianna’s understanding of the hurdles parents of special needs children face, as well as the struggles schools face to meet these hurdles, grew. Now, she takes that knowledge and understanding to help schools handle legal issues surrounding special education, students, and personnel with a focus on what all educators think of first – the child.
Dianna is a partner in the Dallas and Fort Worth offices of Thompson & Horton LLP. For over nineteen years, she has successfully defended public school districts, charter schools, independent schools, and public and private colleges and universities on a wide range of school law issues from special education to employment issues. Dianna represents her clients in all aspects of litigation, including proceedings before the governing body, in state and federal courts and before administrative agencies. She also counsels and advises her clients in formulating preventive strategies, drafting personnel and student policies and procedures, and training employees in all areas of school law.
Dianna has represented school districts in over 40 special education due process hearings before a special education hearing officer appointed by TEA and over 100 nonrenewal and termination hearings under Chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code in front of a hearing officer appointed by TEA and/or the district board of trustees. In addition, Dianna has had great success litigating cases in state and federal court, including the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, regarding claims brought under federal and state law related to special education and employment matters. Dianna has been repeatedly recognized as a Texas Rising Star in the area of School Law. And, she is the mother of three red-haired children, one of whom was born with special needs.
- J.D., with honors, The University of Texas School of Law, 1999
- B.S, University of Texas at Austin, 1995
Licensing & Court Admissions
- Licensed in the state of Texas
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
- U.S. District Court for the Northern, Southern, Eastern, and Western Districts of Texas
Memberships & Recognitions
- Texas Rising Star, School Law
- Texas Association of School Boards — Council of School Attorneys
- State Bar of Texas, School Law Section
- Dallas Bar Association
- Texas Council of Administrators of Special Education
- National Association of Independent Schools
- Chancellor, Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church (2008-present)
- Vestry Member, Saint Michael & All Angels Episcopal Church (2008-2010)
Selected Client Representations
- Successfully represented public school district in appeal to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding special education request for reimbursement for a student attending private school
- Represented public school district in trial court and Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding alleged violations of Title IX regarding a special education student
- Successfully represented public school districts in over 100 termination or nonrenewal hearings, over 200 grievance hearings, and over 30 special education due process hearings.
- Successfully represented independent school in lawsuit brought by parent alleging breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and conspiracy for retention of student.
- Successfully resolved Section 1983 lawsuit alleging injury to a student
- Achieved full dismissal of 2 lawsuits alleging violations of IDEA, Section 504, Section 1983 and ADA
- Achieved full dismissal of 11-cause of action employment dispute in federal court for community college
- Achieved successful results in over 25 mediations regarding employment disputes and special education matters.
- Defended schools in multiple Office of Civil Rights investigations
- Provided training and advice and counsel for over 30 public school districts and 20 independent schools
Representative Speeches & Presentations
- ABCs of Prior Written Notice: What Is It? When Is It Required? What Must It Include?
- A Top 20 Hits of Legal Issues in Special Education
- Reasonable Accommodations: What’s Required of You Under the Americans with Disabilities Act
- FMLA Basics for School Supervisors
- ABCs of Prior Written Notice
- Good Communication in the Digital World: Prevent Embarrassments and Avoid Liability
- Effective IEP Team Documentation: An IEP is Worth a 1,000 Words
- Internal Employee Investigations: Do’s and Don’ts
- There’s a New Standard of FAPE – Fact or Fiction?
- Ethics: Always on Call – The School Attorney’s Guide to Texts, Emails, and Late-Night Phone Calls
- Cameras in the Classroom
- Don’t be Handicapped When Dealing with Student Disabilities
- Investigations: She Said What?!? Effective Workplace Investigations
- Student/Adult Interactions: Respect the Boundaries or Pay the Price
- My Space, Your Space, Our Space: Managing Social Media in Schools
- E-Myth Busters: Technology Trends and Traps
- An Introduction to Education Law
- Accommodating Disabilities: New Issues and Trends
- ARD Meeting Do’s and Don’ts
- Lessons Learned: TEA Due Process Hearings
- Student Health Service Trends: Educating the Medically Fragile Student
- Investigations of Students and Employees: Traps for the Unwary
- Sexual Harassment of Students and Employees: A Short Course
- This is Going on Your Permanent Record: Effective Employee Documentation
- Electronic Security Issues and School Policies in the Age of Social Media
- A Practical Perspective on Employee and Student ADA Accommodations
- Child Abuse and How to Deal with CPS
- 10 Things You Should Know Before Going Back to School
- Fixing the Wage Hour Problem Lurking in Your School