Overview

Zachary D. Schurin uses a "big picture" approach and creative problem solving skills to help counsel boards of education, municipalities, businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals through complex labor, employment, litigation and education law matters. 

Zach's practice includes the negotiation of certified and non-certified collective bargaining agreements, representation at grievance and interest arbitration hearings, advocacy before state and federal courts, representation at student expulsion and residency hearings and the development of board of education and municipal policies and regulations. Zach regularly represents clients before a wide-variety of administrative agencies including the Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities ("CHRO"), the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission ("FOIC"), the Connecticut State Board of Labor Relations, the Connecticut State Department of Education and the Connecticut State Elections Enforcement Commission ("SEEC") among others.

Zach has frequently written and spoken on education, labor and employment and education law issues. His written work has been published in The Connecticut Law Tribune, The Connecticut Public Interest Law Journal, the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Quarterly, The CABE Journal and Pullman & Comley’s Education Law Notes and Working Together blogs. He is a past-president of the Connecticut Council of School Attorneys, is Treasurer of the Connecticut Bar Association Labor and Employment Law Section and is a member of the steering committee of Connecticut Valley Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association (“LERA”).

Attorney Schurin is a graduate of the University of Connecticut School of Law and Hamilton College. Upon graduation from the University of Connecticut School of Law, Zach was awarded the Fleming James Jr. Award for excellence in labor law studies and the Connecticut Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law Section’s annual scholarship award. While in law school Zach served as a legislative fellow in the Connecticut General Assembly’s Office of Legislative Research. Since 2016 Zach has been continuously selected as a “Rising Star” in the field of schools and education by Super Lawyers magazine. 

Contact Info

  • Hartford
    90 State House Square
    Hartford, CT 06103-3702
  • Professional Affiliations

    Labor and Employment Relations Association - Steering Committee, Connecticut Valley Chapter

    Connecticut Council of School Attorneys - past president

    Connecticut Bar Association - Executive Committee, Labor and Employment Section

    Oliver Ellsworth Inn of Court

    Manchester Bar Association

    Community Involvement

    The Open Hearth - corporator

    Leadership Greater Hartford - Quest Class of 2017

    Chicken Cutlets' Invitational Golf Tournament - chairman, 2015-present

    Nutmeg Big Brothers Big Sisters - former mentor

    Honors & Recognitions

    Selected by Super Lawyers as a Rising Star in the field of schools & education - 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019

    Connecticut Bar Association's Labor and Employment Section 2008 Scholarship Award

    Fleming James Jr. Award for Excellence in labor law studies

    Experience

    Collective Bargaining

    • Helped board of education obtain among the lowest annual successor collective bargaining agreement teacher settlements in the state following interest arbitration panel’s issuance of stipulated arbitration award. 
    • Prevailed in State Board of Mediation and Arbitration grievance arbitration affirming board of education’s denial of premium pay to grievant for de minimis work in a higher class. 
    • Negotiated initial collective bargaining agreement on behalf of board of education with newly recognized bargaining unit comprised of occupational and physical therapists. 
    • Successfully defended board of education on arbitrability grounds in SBMA grievance arbitration challenging board’s termination of high school cafeteria manager. 
    • Prevailed in SBMA grievance arbitration challenging city’s imposition of 30-day disciplinary suspension of police officer who refused to answer internal affairs department questions after receiving legally valid Garrity warning.

    Employment and Business Litigation

    • Successfully second-chaired complex fifteen-day Superior Court trial involving defense of First Amendment retaliation claims brought pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes § 31-51q. 
    • Obtained stipulated Superior Court judgment providing for payment of $25,000 in damages and extension of non-competition and non-solicitation restrictive covenants against former business owner who sold business to competitor. 
    • Successfully represented board of education and several district administrators in defense of Section 31-51q, First Amendment, breach of contract and other claims brought by former coach who was terminated by board of education for inappropriate conduct. 
    • Won “no reasonable cause” dismissal on terminated employee’s age and gender discrimination and retaliation claims following Connecticut Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities fact-finding conference. 
    • Successfully defended employer in defense of state law unpaid commission wage-and-hour claim brought in Superior Court by Connecticut Department of Labor on behalf of former employee. 
    • Successfully second-chaired defense of state agency in high-profile Connecticut Employees Review Board appeal of lay-off of state agency manager. 
    • Second-chaired successful Connecticut Superior Court prosecution of non-competition and non-solicitation restrictive covenant injunction action against former employee who stole employer customer list before leaving for competitor. 

    Education and Municipal Law Matters 

    • Obtained Superior Court declaratory judgment on behalf of board of education declaring that board rather than town council holds legal authority under town charter to fill mid-term vacancies for first thirty days after board of education seat becomes vacant. 
    • Successfully represented board of education in obtaining accelerated approval from Connecticut State Department of Education of food service management company bid and contract documents. 
    • Successfully defended CHRO complaint brought by student and student’s parents alleging deliberate indifference to racially-motivated bullying. 
    • Negotiated resolution agreement with United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights resolving hostile educational environment claim brought against board of education. 
    • Drafted comprehensive policies and procedures manual for city’s 9-1-1 emergency operations center that included more than forty standard operating procedures reflecting Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies (“CALEA”) accreditation standards, state and federal statutes and regulations and city charter and ordinance provisions. 
    • Drafted dozens of board of education policies and municipal ordinance provisions addressing topics ranging from the use of service animals on school property to the organizational and taxing structure of municipal fire department. 
    • Won Superior Court dismissal of tenured teacher’s Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10-151 appeal of board of education’s termination of contract of employment. 
    • Negotiated cooperative agreement on behalf of board of education for operation of alternative high school in neighboring school district. 
    • Successfully represented board of education in defense of wage and hour claim brought by former superintendent of schools. 
    • Won dismissal of State Elections Enforcement Commission complaint brought against superintendent of schools for alleged improper referendum advocacy.  
    • Successfully recovered delinquent tuition payments following board-level student residency hearing and appeal to State Board of Education.  
    • Won dismissal of Freedom of Information Commission complaint pursuant to FERPA student records exemption. 

    Internal Investigations 

    • Led internal investigation of claim by municipal police officer that chief of police and mayor retaliated against officer for exercise of First Amendment rights. 
    • Conducted investigation on behalf of board of education into allegations that elementary school principal and assistant principal systematically and intentionally altered student answers on standardized tests. 
    • Member of investigation team that conducted investigation into board of education’s institutional failure to report teacher’s ongoing sexual abuse of student.

    News & Insights

    Case Studies

    Bar and Court Admissions

    • Connecticut
    • U.S. District Court, District of Connecticut
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

    Education

    University of Connecticut School of Law, J.D., 2008

    Hamilton College, B.A., 2003

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