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Office of General Counsel

The attorneys of the Office of General Counsel (OGC) provide legal advice and support to the Commissioner of Education, Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) personnel, and the State Special Schools. In addition the OGC speaks at conferences, conventions, and workshops across the state for Local Education Agencies (LEAs) and state education and child-focused organizations. Upon request, the OGC will design and provide specific training to meet an agency’s needs. OGC attorneys do not represent local school districts or the general public, and they will not provide legal advice or services to local school districts or the general public.

Any communication with an OGC attorney in his or her official capacity by a member of the general public or a local school district employee or agent is not privileged and is subject to public release under Tennessee Open Records laws.

Nothing on this page is intended to constitute legal advice; instead all information is for general informational purposes only. Answers to questions depend upon specific facts. Local school districts should always contact their board attorneys for specific legal advice.


Legal Resources Toolkit

Memos from the Office of General Counsel

                Memo to Directors of Schools
                Memo: 17 year old students
                High School Equivalency Exam Recommendation Form
                High School Equivalency Progress Report                   


Required District Training

Which Trainings for Local Education Agencies Are Required by Law?


Guidance and Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Public School Fees

Top Back to School Legal Questions

Teacher Tenure Law FAQ


LEA Waiver Requests

LEA Waiver Request Form


Legal Links

·          Tennessee General Assembly

·          Office of the Attorney General

·          Tennessee Supreme Court

·          U.S. Court of Appeals, Sixth Circuit

·          U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit

·          U.S. Supreme Court

·          U.S. Constitution, Index

·          U.S. Code

·          U.S. Dept. of Ed., Special Education Programs

·          U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights’ Guidance

·          Congressional Information

·         State Board of Education

·         Lexis Law Publishing Legal Resources

        To Access Tennessee Laws:

        1. Go to the Tennessee Code Unannotated Free Public Access page on Lexis Nexis
        2. Agree to the Terms & Conditions
        3. At the top of the page in the Search field, enter the code number (i.e. 49-1-101) or search by keyword in Title 49.


       OGC staff may be reached at (615) 741-2921

                    o   Paralegal: Nikkie Kiene

                    o   Executive Administrative Assistant: Kim Miller

                    o   Director of School Approval: LaQuisha Oliver

                    o   Administrative Services Manager: Paul Rainwater

  •     Assistant General Counsel for Procurement: Joanna Collins
  •    Assistant General Counsel for Civil Rights and Special Populations:  Rachel Suppe 

                    o   Staff Attorney: Stella Yarbrough

                    o   Senior IDEA Complaint Investigator: Scott Indermeuhle

                    o   IDEA Complaint Investigator:  Heather Anderson


This Page Last Updated: January 2, 2020 at 10:58 AM