BOSTON (January 26, 2015) – Former U.S. Department of Education civil rights attorney Phil Catanzano has joined Holland & Knight as a senior counsel in the Boston office. Mr. Catanzano will be a member of the firm's education practice, one of the largest in the country.
At the U.S. Department of Education, Mr. Catanzano worked in the Office for Civil Rights (OCR), where he conducted investigations and compliance reviews of public and private secondary and post-secondary educational institutions, as well as state agencies, across New England to ensure compliance with federal statutes, regulations and guidelines. He also negotiated and monitored compliance agreements following investigations, facilitated mediations between educational institutions and complainants, and provided individualized training to educational institutions and other groups.
While Mr. Catanzano conducted many types of investigations at OCR, his primary focus was ensuring that higher educational institutions were compliant with federal laws addressing disability discrimination, sexual violence and intercollegiate athletics. He also served on local and national working groups at OCR regarding sexual violence, as well as a national steering committee dedicated to intercollegiate athletic issues, where his work focused on both OCR policy and NCAA rules regarding athletics.
"Phil's experience at the Department of Education will be of tremendous value to our clients," said Paul Lannon, co-chair of Holland & Knight's education practice. "His knowledge of the legal and policy issues they face is exceptional."
"We are delighted that Phil has joined our team," added Miriam McKendall, co-chair of the practice. "His deep understanding of education law, combined with his skills as a litigator, make him ideally suited to defend the interests of our clients and help them achieve their goals."
"Holland & Knight's education practice is well known for the depth of its talent and track record of success for its clients," said Mr. Catanzano. "I can think of no better firm at which to reenter private practice and look forward to working with my new colleagues."
Mr. Catanzano is an adjunct professor at the Boston College Law School and its Lynch Graduate School of Education, a member of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's Standing Committee on Pro Bono Legal Services, and co-chair of the Boston Bar Association's Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Steering Committee. Previously, he was an adjunct professor at Northeastern University School of Law. He received a J.D. degree from Boston College Law School, an M.Ed. degree from Boston College Lynch School of Education and a B.S. degree in criminal justice from Northeastern University.
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