Brett S. Nitzschke

Tel/Direct:

515-246-0360

Tel/Main:

515-243-7611

Address:

100 Court Avenue, Suite 100
Des Moines, IA 50309

Assistant:

Tehya Valenta
515-246-4426
tvalenta@ahlerslaw.com

Education

J.D., University of Iowa, 1988

B.A., University of Iowa, 1985

Bar Admissions

Iowa, 1988

Background

Brett focuses his practice on K-12 school districts as a member of the firm’s Education Law Practice Area. Brett was raised in a household where both parents were educators, and thus has been passionate about the educational environment ever since.

He provides daily counsel and advice on a variety of matters including student rights and discipline, special education issues, employee discipline and evaluation, FMLA matters, ADA accommodations/interactive processes, contracts and sharing agreements, open meetings and public records, construction contracts, and other matters facing Iowa public employers. He also has experience representing school districts in collective bargaining and employment litigation.

Prior to Ahlers & Cooney, Brett worked for many years in Education Law for two other Iowa firms, where he focused his practice working with K-12 schools. Upon law school graduation, Brett served as a law clerk for the Iowa District Court, Fifth Judicial District in 1988, and the United States District Court for the Northern District of Iowa from 1989-1991.

Representative Projects

  • Successfully represented school district in a collective bargaining dispute regarding the negotiability of several non-certified union bargaining unit proposals, Muscatine Community School District and AFSCME/Iowa Council 61 and AFSCME/Local 1560, 2018 PERB 100835
  • Successfully represented school district in a collective bargaining dispute regarding the negotiability of supplemental salary schedules, Columbus Community School District and Columbus Education Association, 2017 PERB 100820
  • Successfully defended school district from a claim by the ACLU that the school district violated the Iowa Open Records Law, American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Iowa, Inc. v. Records Custodian, Atlantic Community School District, 818 N.W.2d 231 (Iowa 2012)
  • Successfully represented school district in the lead case involving the interpretation of the Iowa legislature’s changes to state education funding and teacher salary schedules, Glenwood Community School District v. Glenwood Education Association, 2010 PERB 8249

Memberships

Iowa State Bar Association

Linn County Bar Association

Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys

National School Board Association Council of School Attorneys

Speaking/Presentations

Brett's most recent speaking engagements include:

Iowa State University, Iowa School Business Management Academy, "Legal - Advanced Governance:  Sharing & Reorganization," May 2023

Ahlers & Cooney, Employment Law Client Seminar, "Iowa Employment Law Hot Topics," with Emily Ellingson, Aaron Hilligas, and Miriam Van Heukelem, April 2023

School Administrators of Iowa, “Current Hot Topics,” 2023

Iowa Association of School Boards, “Navigating Iowa’s Open Meetings & Open Records Laws,” 2022

School Administrators of Iowa, “Preparing for and Engaging in Negotiations,” 2022

Iowa State University, Iowa School Business Management Academy, “Advanced Governance: Sharing and Reorganization,” 2022

School Administrators of Iowa, “Staff Performance and Misconduct Related Issues,” 2022

School Administrators of Iowa, “Preparing for and Engaging in Negotiations,” 2021

Iowa Association of School Boards, “What Can I Know? Understanding the School Board’s Role in Employment Matters,” 2021

Iowa State University, Iowa School Business Management Academy, “Advanced Governance: Sharing & Reorganization,” 2021

Iowa Association of School Boards, “Navigating Iowa’s Open Meetings and Open Records Laws,” 2020

School Administrators of Iowa, “Topics in School Safety,” 2020

Iowa Association of School Boards, “Mistakes, Messaging and Mayhem: Understanding HF 291 Two Years Later,” 2019

Iowa Community Action Association, “What Now? How to Navigate Through Unexpected Employment Issues,” 2019

School Administrators of Iowa, “Say What? Communications with Community Members, Media, Parents, Law Enforcement, and Others,” 2019

School Administrators of Iowa, “Title IX and Equity Issues in the School Setting,” 2019

Professional, Community and Civic Leadership

Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys, Executive Committee (2022 – Present)

Holy Redeemer Lutheran Church Congregation Council (Past President 2007-2010)