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Meet Our Professionals

Sherry H. Culves

Partner
Atlanta | 470.240.3041
Fax | 404.869.6972

Sherry Culves represents K-12 schools, public and private colleges and universities, charter schools, and other education entities and vendors. She serves as both outside general counsel and as specialty counsel in areas of unique needs for educational entities. She partners with superintendents, presidents, board members and other education leaders to develop policies and procedures that meet their needs and align with the unique culture and characteristics of their institutions.

Sherry advises on legal, regulatory, and policy compliance, including developing or overhauling policy and procedural manuals. She regularly provides training that fits her clients' cultures and missions. She has counseled clients on the Higher Education Act (including Title IV financial aid issues), Title IX (sex discrimination and harassment), the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and other laws and regulations impacting education.

She has extensive depth in the area of disability law, including helping K-12 and higher education clients navigate both student and employee discrimination and accommodation claims based on disabilities.

Sherry also has substantial experience in employment litigation. She has defended clients against all types of federal discrimination claims, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charges, Department of Justice investigations, Department of Education and Office of Civil Rights investigations. She understands the unique employment issues that colleges, universities, and K-12 schools encounter. For example, has represented universities and K-12 systems in disputes with faculty, tenure matters, and reductions in force. She helps education clients investigate allegations of discrimination and retaliation and carry out their procedural due process. She has advised on leave management as well, including under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and ADA.

In addition, Sherry provides counsel on executive compensation for college presidents, K-12 superintendents, and other education leaders. She has conducted compensation studies, negotiated initial contracts and exit packages, and releases.

Sherry is a nationally recognized speaker in the area of education, employment, and disability law and regularly presents to groups supporting schools and colleges on both a state and national level.

Representative Experience

  • Advised numerous school districts, charter schools, public and private colleges and universities, and private educational entities in all areas of education law, including personnel investigations, discipline and discharge, compliance with the Fair Dismissal Act, special education, religion in the schools, charter schools, First Amendment issues, Title IX, Section 1983, the IDEA, Section 504, policy development, and compliance with the Open Meetings and Open Records Acts.
  • Counseled schools and colleges on the evolving intersection of religious freedom and legal compliance, including providing practical guidance in response to rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court and lower courts.
  • Negotiated and advised on executive compensation contracts for senior education officials.
  • Handled numerous manifestation determinations, IEP meetings, special education mediations, and IDEA and Section 504 claims.
  • Litigated cases on behalf of educational organizations and employers in the Office of State Administrative Hearings (OSAH), state and federal courts, and appellate courts involving areas such as the IDEA, Section 504, the ADA, Title VII, Title IX, the FLSA, and Section 1983.
  • Represented educational clients and private employers in EEOC charges and in cases involving Title VII claims, sexual harassment, race discrimination, retaliation, the FLSA, the ADA, the ADEA, the FMLA, Equal Pay Act, Title IX, negligent hiring and retention, infliction of emotional distress, and municipal liability.

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Honors & Awards

  • Georgia Super Lawyers Rising Star, 2007, 2014, 2015
  • Leadership Macon, 2003

Memberships

  • Georgia State Bar Association, School and College Law Section, 1999-present; Employers Duties and Problems Committee, Present
  • National School Boards Association, Council of School Attorneys (COSA), 2008-2020
  • Georgia School Boards Association, Council of School Board Attorneys