Attorneys from Tueth Keeney often contribute their time and talents on a voluntary basis to educate and inform their colleagues. Four attorneys from Tueth Keeney were chosen to comprise an Ethics – Wisdom panel at the National School Board Association (NSBA) Council of School Attorneys’ Advocacy Seminar which took place October 5-7, 2006 in Kansas City, Missouri.
Melanie Gurley Keeney, Celynda Brasher, Merry Rhoades, and Peter Yelkovac were asked to lead this interactive session designed to support attorneys new to the practice of school law. Participants were invited to try to stump the panel of experts with their hypotheticals and questions on ethical issues.
Melanie Keeney practices in the areas of Employment, Immigration, and Education law. Melanie represents institutions of higher education, corporations and individuals in immigration law matters, including obtaining nonimmigrant and immigrant visas and handling employer sanctions issues, I-9 compliance, E-Verify issues, consular processing and naturalization. She frequently speaks on immigration, labor and education issues. Melanie has been listed in St. Louis Magazine’s “St. Louis Best Lawyers” and “The Best Lawyers in America,” from 1997-2008, and in “Missouri & Kansas Super Lawyers,” 2005-2008 editions as a top lawyer and one of the top 50 female lawyers in Missouri and Kansas and in Kansas City Magazine as one of the “Top Missouri Lawyers.”
Celynda L. Brasher practices in the areas of education, labor and employment law. She represents school districts in employment and termination matters, student rights and discipline, special education, school finance, civil rights, contracts, church/state issues, and Hancock Amendment challenges. She represents public and private employers in discrimination defense, union organization, unemployment compensation, wage/hour compliance and terminations. Celynda has litigation experience in state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Merry C. Rhoades focuses her practice on general counsel services with an emphasis on special education law and student-related issues, school district reorganization matters and tax and finance matters. Because of her more than 20 years experience in representing Illinois public school districts, she has key insights regarding the day-to-day operation of the school district. She has extensive experience in special education administrative hearings, civil rights litigation, state and federal court litigation at the trial and appellate levels, and state administrative hearings.
Merry is an active member of several school related organizations. She is a member of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys Executive Committee and currently serves as its 1st Vice Chairperson and she is a service member to the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA). She serves as an Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) PRESS advisory committee member. Merry has been asked to speak for such organizations as the Illinois Alliance of Administrators of Special Education (IAASE), the Illinois Association of School Administrators (IASA), the Illinois Principal’s Association (IPA) and the Illinois Association of School Boards (IASB) on numerous school related issues.
Pete Yelkovac practices in the areas of education and employment law. Pete regularly counsels public school districts in all facets of education and employment law. Pete also regularly advises private employers on employment and labor issues. Pete has successfully defended numerous federal and state lawsuits on behalf of public school districts, universities and private employers. He has extensive experience litigating employment discrimination lawsuits and Section 1983 claims involving a variety of constitutional issues.
Tueth Keeney has one of the largest and most successful education law groups in the country. The Firm regularly serves the legal counsel needs of approximately 150 school districts throughout Missouri and in Central and Southern Illinois. Our Firm is also regularly appointed by insurers of educational institutions to represent districts in complex or difficult cases involving school or civil rights laws. Tueth Keeney also represents institutions of higher education. Our Firm is one of only twenty law firms in the nation that have been appointed to act as Select Counsel to represent colleges and universities insured by United Educators Insurance Risk Retention Group, Inc., the nation’s largest insurer of colleges and universities. The Firm represents Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Illinois College, Murray State University, and Saint Louis University, among others.