Skip To Main Content


  • Section B: Board Governance and Operations


The Board recognizes that the increasing complexity of school unit operations frequently requires procurement of professional legal services. Therefore, the Board shall designate an attorney and/or law firm to provide such services on an ongoing basis (“School Attorney”). The School Attorney(s) shall be admitted to practice law in Maine.  The Board reserves the right to obtain legal services outside of its designated attorney/law firm as deemed appropriate.

A decision to seek legal advice or assistance on behalf of the school unit shall normally be made by the Superintendent or by the Board Chair in accordance with Board policy and when an obvious need exists. Such services may also be obtained as a consequence of formal vote of the Board. 

Many types of legal services are considered routine and do not require specific Board approval. Whenever there is potential for routine services to incur significant legal expenditures, the Superintendent shall promptly notify the Board. 

Legal services required by the school unit may include, but not be limited to:

A. Providing general legal advice to the Board and/or administration;

B. Assisting with labor negotiations;

C. Assisting with Human Resources matters;

D. Assisting with expulsions and other student disciplinary matters;

E. Conducting and/or assisting with pending or actual litigation involving the school unit;

F.  Providing other specialized legal services; and

G. Attending Board meetings or other activities as appropriate.

It is the intent that the full board has complete knowledge of what is being asked and what information or documents are provided to the district's legal counsel, as the full board works collectively in the best interest of the district. 

The Finance Committee of the Board will review all legal invoices quarterly. Invoices should be submitted monthly to RSU 21 and each invoice should indicate the following:

A. An indication of which fee-earner worked on the matter and their position (e.g. partner, associate, paralegal, etc.)

B. The hourly rate of the fee-earner

C. A general description of the activity

Litigation Management

Regular updates shall be provided to the Board by the responsible School Attorney and/or Superintendent regarding any pending and potential litigation matters.  The Board must be apprised of all settlement proposals with the exception of operational requests that fall within the Superintendent’s discretion for use of funds (for example, requests for reimbursement of some parental expenses in a special education matter).  If the Superintendent is notified of a claim against RSU 21, they must promptly notify the Board of the claim.  The Board shall make all final decisions regarding resolution of litigation matters (with the exception of operational requests that fall within the Superintendent’s discretion for use of funds).

Contract/Vendor Management

On a quarterly basis (March, June, September, December), reports regarding the status of all contracts with which the School Attorney is involved in drafting or reviewing shall be presented by the Superintendent and shared with the Board.

Cross Reference: DJ- Bidding Purchase Requirements

DJH- Purchasing and Contracting: Code of Conduct.

Adopted: 06/01/09

Amended: 10/16/17

Amended: 01/11/21

Revised: 1/9/2023


  • Section B