After studying the way that the school system defends itself when faced with a lawsuit, the school board has decided to hire in-house general counsel.
The Montgomery County Board of Education passed a resolution Monday to hire the counsel, after the recommendation was made from board member Phil Kauffman, chair of the fiscal management committee.
The committee found after studying structures at five other school systems that an in-house counsel provides for cost savings and efficiencies, as well as more timely availability of advice, both formal and informal, Kauffman said.
Currently, attorney Judith S. Bresler of Carney, Kelehan, Bresler, Bennett & Scheerr, LLP, takes on the role of the general counsel for the school system.
The school system spent $1.27 million for legal services in fiscal 2011, according to school system documents. The school system pays at least four companies for non-special education services annually.
Due to the range of the types of cases that the school system faces, the in-house counsel would not handle all cases and the school system still would hire other attorneys, board members said Monday.
The reporting structure and staffing for the counsel will be decided at a later date, board President Shirley Brandman said Monday.