Kristy M. Latta
100 Court Avenue, Suite 600
Des Moines, IA 50309-2231
J.D. (High Honors), Drake University, 2005
B.A. (with Distinction), University of Iowa, 2002
Kristy is a member of the firm’s Education Law Practice Area, serving school district and community college clients. She has handled a variety of matters that arise in the education arena, with a focus on minimizing client risk through general contract and board policy reviews. She also leads the firm's Procurement/Contracting Practice Group.
Kristy has experience in drafting and reviewing numerous types of agreements that are used by clients. She drafts and reviews school board policies and administrative rules on a consistent basis for clients in light of ever-changing laws and regulations. In addition, Kristy advises clients on education law issues and situations which arise in the day-to-day operation of their schools, such as those relating to student discipline, personnel matters and school board governance. She has represented clients in numerous appeals before the Iowa Department of Education, the U.S. Department of Education, and other state and federal administrative agencies.
Kristy currently serves as chair of the firm's Associate Development committee and is an Adjunct Professor of Legal Writing at Drake University Law School. After law school and prior to joining the firm, Kristy served as a judicial law clerk for Justice David S. Wiggins of the Iowa Supreme Court. While in law school, Kristy served on the Drake Law Review.
- Successfully represented school district client in challenge brought in district court relating to statutory process for sale of school district property and obtained dismissal of petition in favor of client.
- Successfully represented school district client throughout administrative appeal process and district court action in connection with challenge of school closing decision and obtained ruling and summary judgment in favor of client.
- Conducted multiple student expulsion hearings for school district clients, which involved open meetings/closed session issues, student due process rights, and school attendance laws, and authored the school boards’ written decisions on the matter.
- Handled and resolved various personnel matters on behalf of school district clients, such as employee termination proceedings, claims for unemployment insurance benefits, and responses to civil rights complaints.
- Engaged in comprehensive review of school district clients’ board policies in every series and provided necessary legal updates, recommended changes, and suggested additional policies for consideration.
- Drafted a variety of agreements for school district clients, including agreements for the sharing of school personnel/operations and 28E agreements for joint or cooperative actions, and reviewed and negotiated vendor contracts for school district clients for legal compliance.
American Bar Association
Iowa State Bar Association
Polk County Bar Association
Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys
National School Boards Association, Council of School Attorneys
Order of the Coif
Kristy's most recent speaking engagements include:
Ahlers & Cooney, Employment Law Client Seminar, "Reporting Obligations," November 2019
Ahlers & Cooney P.C., Webinar, "New Proposed Regulations under Title IX," January 2019
Iowa Association of School Boards, Employee Relations Conference, "They Said What?! Applying Law & Policy to Employee Use of Social Media," October 2018
Iowa Association of School Boards, Annual Convention, "The Three Legged Stool: Aligning Board Policies with Employee Handbooks and Collective Bargaining Agreements," November 2017
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, Student Activity Fund Conference, "Student Activity Funds," August 2017
Iowa Council of School Attorneys, Summer Conference, "Unpaid Meal Charges," July 2017
School Administrators of Iowa Conference, "Social Media Policies and Guidance," February 2017
Iowa Association of School Boards Annual Conference, "Power of Policy: Leveraging Board Policies to Address Emerging and Controversial Issues," November 2016
Published Articles & Books
The Urban Lawyer, "Recent Developments in Education Law: Student Searches," (co-authored with James C. Hanks), Summer 2012
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, "Counsel’s Corner, Fidelity Bonds: Protecting Your District from Dishonest Employees," 2009
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, "Counsel’s Corner, It’s That Time of the Year Again…[school election information]," 2008
Iowa Association of School Business Officials, "Counsel’s Corner, Playing by the New Rules Under the Family and Medical Leave Act," 2008
Professional, Community and Civic Leadership
Iowa Council of School Board Attorneys, Executive Committee (2016 – present)
Iowa Legal Aid, Volunteer Intake Attorney
Ahlers & Cooney
- Charitable Action Committee, Chairperson
- Art Committee, Past Chairperson/Member
- Recruiting Committee, Past Member
Iowa Talented and Gifted Association, Board Member (2008-2010)
Kappa Kappa Gamma chapter, Drake University, Advisor (2006-2010)