THE OFFICIAL PROCEEDINGS OF THE GRANT PARISH SCHOOL

 BOARD OF THE PARISH OF GRANT, STATE OF LOUISIANA, TAKEN

AT A REGULAR MEETING HELD ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2013.

 

            The Parish School Board of the Parish of Grant, State of Louisiana, met in its regular meeting place, the Grant Parish School Board Office, Colfax, Louisiana, in Regular Session, Tuesday December 3, 2013 at 6:00 o’clock P.M.

 

            There were present Mr. Eddie Baxley, Mr. Tony Lavespere, Mr. Buddy Pennison, Mr. A.D. Futrell, Mr. Browning Mr. Marvin DeLong, Mrs. Karen Layton and Mr. Terry Oliver.

 

            Everyone was present...

 

            Mrs. Sheila S. Jackson, Secretary-Treasurer was also present.

 

            The Parish School Board of the Parish of Grant, State of Louisiana, was duly convened by Honorable A.D. Futrell, President of the Grant Parish School Board, who then stated that the Parish School Board was ready to transact any business which may come before the Board.

 

            Motion by Mr. Lavespere, seconded by Mr. Browning and unanimously approved the November 12, 2013Regular Board Meeting Minutes.

 

            There were no guests signed in for the meeting.

 

            The construction updates were as follows:

 

Grant Jr. High:  the Contractor has gotten in touch with BDR Construction to finish fixing the leaks.

 

MontgomeryHigh:  the site has been visited and it can be seen that progress has been made.  They are cutting swells to get the drainage correct.  The framing and forming up for the doors that need to be replaced has begun.

 

            Motion by Mr. Pennison, seconded by Mr. Oliver and unanimously approved adopting a resolution providing for canvassing the returns and declaring the result of the special election held in the Parish of Grant, State of Louisiana, on October 19, 2013, to authorize the renewal of a special tax therein.

 

 

 

            Motion by Mr. DeLong, seconded by Mrs. Layton and unanimously approved granting permission to disperse sales tax checks. ($1,010.00)

 

            Motion by Mr. Lavespere, seconded by Mrs. Layton and unanimously approved participating in litigation seeking payment by the state of the 2.75% growth factor for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.

 

 

 

RESOLUTION OF THE ____Grant______ PARISH SCHOOL BOARD

 

WHEREAS, La. R.S. 17:81(E) provides that each school board “shall exercise proper vigilance in securing for the schools of the district all funds destined for the support of the schools, including the state funds apportioned thereto, and all other funds”; and

 

WHEREAS, Article 8, Section 13(B) of the Louisiana Constitution provides, in part, that the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education shall annually develop and adopt a formula to determine the cost of a minimum foundation program of education in all public elementary and secondary schools and the Legislature shall annually appropriate funds sufficient to fully fund the current costs to the State of such a program; and

 

WHEREAS, Article 8, Section 13(B) also provides that “the last formula adopted by the board or its successor, and approved by the legislature shall be used for the determination of the cost of the minimum foundation program and for the allocation of funds appropriated” “whenever the legislature fails to approve the formula most recently adopted by the board”; and

 

WHEREAS, for fiscal year 2012-13, the State Board of Elementary and Secondary Education  adopted a minimum foundation program formula and submitted that formula to the Legislature for approval pursuant to Senate Concurrent Resolution 99 of 2012; and

 

WHEREAS, the Legislature approved SCR 99 of 2012 and such approval was challenged in legal proceedings instituted by the Louisiana School Boards Association and others; and

 

WHEREAS, the Louisiana Supreme Court ultimately held that SCR 99 was unconstitutional and null and void because, in part, it was not properly approved by the Legislature; and

 

WHEREAS, the ruling of the Louisiana Supreme Court declaring the 2012-13 MFP to be null and void required that the 2011-12 MFP be used for the determination of the cost of the minimum foundation program in 2012-13; and

                       

WHEREAS, the 2011-12 MFP approved by the Legislature included a 2.75% growth factor for fiscal year 2012-13; and

 

WHEREAS, the State did not fund the 2.75% growth factor for fiscal year 2012-13 as constitutionally mandated; and

 

WHEREAS, the School Board has learned that a class action lawsuit entitled St. John the Baptist Parish School Board, et al v. State of Louisiana, et al; No. 622,693, Sec. 24 on the docket of the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana, has been filed alleging that public school systems across the State of Louisiana were not provided with the proper funding for the 2012-13 fiscal year under the MFP; and

 

 

WHEREAS, the Louisiana School Boards Association supports the efforts of public school systems to receive the state funding to which they are lawfully entitled and has encouraged all public city and parish school boards in the State of Louisiana to participate in the lawsuit captioned above in an effort to obtain such funding; and

 

WHEREAS, Robert L. Hammonds of the law firm of Hammonds, Sills, Adkins & Guice, LLP, Charles L. Patin, Jr. of the law firm of Kean Miller, LLP, and Brian F. Blackwell of the law firm of Blackwell & Associates have special expertise in the issues presented in this litigation and have agreed to represent this School Board in the aforesaid suit and have agreed to do so on a contingency fee basis (subject to the approval by the Louisiana Attorney General) so that no fees or expenses are owed by this School Board unless and until a recovery is made on its behalf;

           

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT DULY RESOLVED, by the __Grant___________ Parish School Board in regular session duly convened that:

 

            Section I.       The ____Grant_____ Parish School Board authorizes participation as a plaintiff in the matter entitled St. John the Baptist Parish School Board, et al v. State of Louisiana, et al, No. 622,693, Sec. 24 on the docket of the 19th Judicial District Court for the Parish of East Baton Rouge, State of Louisiana.

 

            Section II.      This School Board employs Robert L. Hammonds, Charles L. Patin, Jr., and Brian F. Blackwell as Special Counsel to handle such litigation on its behalf and shall pay counsel for their services according to the contingency fee agreement and power of attorney attached to this Resolution, subject to approval by the Louisiana Attorney General of such arrangement.

 

            Section III.     This School Board has been duly advised that the law firm of Kean Miller, LLP, and the law firm of Blackwell & Associates of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, has in the past represented, and may in the future represent, school employees in matters in which this School Board is an adverse party. This School Board recognizes that such representation may present said law firms with an actual and/or potential conflict of interest. As an inducement to said law firms to undertake its representation on the terms set forth in this Resolution, this School Board irrevocably waives any past, present, or future actual and/or potential conflicts of interest generated by representation of this School Board in said litigation.

 

            Section IV.     Subject to approval of this Resolution by the Attorney General, this employment shall be effective immediately upon adoption of this Resolution.

                                                                                                                       

 

RESOLUTION OFFERED BY:  Mr. Lavespere                                           

 

RESOLUTION SECONDED BY: Mrs. Layton                                        

 

            The vote, in open meeting on the within resolution was as follows:

 

YEAS:__8 Browning, Lavespere, Layton, Baxley, DeLong,Oliver, Pennison, and Futrell ______________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

NAYS:___0____________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

ABSENT:_0____________________________________________________________________

 

______________________________________________________________________________

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


CERTIFICATE

 

 

I hereby certify that the foregoing resolution was adopted by the  _Grant_____________ Parish School Board in regular session duly convened on _Dec. 3, ____________, 2013 and that same has not been rescinded or repealed.

 

            _Grant______________, LOUISIANA, this  3rd      day of  December                    , 2013.

 

 

___________________________________                 ____________________________________

A.D. Futrell                                                                Sheila S. Jackson

PRESIDENT            _______________________,              SECRETARY

 

                                                                      

 _Grant_________  PARISH SCHOOL BOARD          


 

 

 

The Grant Parish School Board.(“Client”) hereby employs and retains HAMMONDS, SILLS, ADKINS & GUICE, LLP, KEAN MILLER LLP and BLACKWELL & ASSOCIATES (herein referred to as “Attorneys”) to represent Client as set forth in this Agreement.

 

1.         SCOPE OF REPRESENTATION

 

Client hereby engages Attorneys to investigate, evaluate and prosecute all of Client’s (and any and all similarly situated school public school boards’) available claims for recovery of the 2.75% annual growth adjustment in the Minimum Foundation Program for Fiscal Year 2012-2013 and Fiscal Year 2013-2014 as a result of the Louisiana Supreme Court finding Senate Concurrent Resolution 99 of the 2012 Regular Session of the Louisiana legislature unconstitutional (hereinafter referred to as “the Claims”). Client acknowledges that Client has engaged Attorneys for the sole purposes expressly stated in this Agreement and none other. Client understands Attorneys are not making any representations of any kind to perform any legal services that are not expressly stated in this Agreement.

 

2.         AUTHORITY OF THE ATTORNEYS

 

Client authorizes Attorneys to take all steps that Attorneys, in the exercise of their professional judgment, deem necessary and  proper  regarding the  investigation,  filing,  and   handling  of   the Claims, including filing the Claims, hiring certified public accountants, expert witnesses, negotiating a settlement, and,  if  necessary,  filing  a  lawsuit  or other action. Client authorizes and empowers Attorneys to investigate, institute, and prosecute a claim for the recovery of any and all monies damages arising out of the Claims, and to prosecute the Claims to resolution by a settlement or judgment. Client specifically authorizes Attorneys to pursue these claims through a class action lawsuit. In the event that the court should not certify this suit as a class action, client authorizes Attorneys to pursue these claims with it listed as an individual plaintiff.

 

3.         ATTORNEYS’ FEES

 

Client understands the Attorneys’ fees will be calculated based on the gross amount of any and all monies obtained after the date Client signs this Agreement relating to the Claims (the “Recovery”). Except as provided in paragraph 9, if there is no Recovery, Client owes Attorneys no attorney’s fees. In consideration of the services to be rendered to Client by Attorneys, Client hereby assigns, grants and conveys to Attorneys the following:

 

10% of any Recovery.

 

4.         ADVANCED EXPENSES

 

Client understands that Attorneys will advance expenses, which, in the professional judgment of Attorneys, are reasonably necessary for the prosecution of the Claims. Client understands that, if there is a Recovery, advanced expenses will be deducted from Client’s share of the Recovery. Except as provided in paragraph 9, if there is no Recovery, Client is not obligated to reimburse advanced expenses. Attorneys agree that the term “expenses” and/or “advanced expenses” means amounts  actually  paid  and/or  incurred  by Attorneys in the prosecution of the Claims, such as accounting fees, filing fees, overnight mail, and expert witness fees. Attorneys agree to not include long distance calls, fax fees, or any expense that is part of Attorneys’ usual overhead as an advanced expense.

 

5.         ASSOCIATE COUNSEL

 

Client understands Attorneys are law firms with several lawyers and support staff working on Client’s Claims.  Attorneys have assumed joint responsibility for prosecution of Client’s Claims. Unless otherwise dictated by the Court, Attorneys shall have the right to split between themselves as they determine appropriate any fees awarded to or received by them in connection with their handling of this litigation. Such split does not affect or increase the attorney fees described in Section 3.

 

6.         DISBURSEMENTS OF PROCEEDS

 

Client understands that any Recovery shall be deposited in Attorneys’ trust account. Attorneys shall disburse proceeds within ten business days of Attorneys receiving any Recovery. At the time of disbursement, Attorneys shall provide Client with a detailed closing statement reflecting the amount of Attorneys’ Fees and advanced expenses.

 

7.         SETTLEMENT AUTHORITY

 

No settlement of the cause of action shall be made without Client’s full knowledge and approval. Client further acknowledges that, in the event that any lawsuit filed on behalf of Client is certified as a class action, any settlement of Client’s claims shall be subject to approval of the Court. Client has sole and exclusive authority to accept or reject any final settlement amount. Client agrees to carefully review and consider Attorneys’ recommendation as to whether to accept or reject any final settlement offer. Client agrees to not make a settlement (or offer of settlement) without the prior consent of the Attorneys. Client hereby designates and appoints Attorneys as Client’s sole negotiator in any such settlement dialogue or discussion.

 

8.         NO GUARANTEE OF RECOVERY

 

Client acknowledges that Attorneys have made no representation, guarantee or assurance of any kind regarding the likelihood of recovering on the Claims.  Attorneys have not represented that Client will recover any damages, compensation or other funds. Client acknowledges the possibility exists that there will be no Recovery on the Claims.

 

9.         TERMINATION

 

i.          Client’s Termination.  If  Client elects to terminate Attorneys’ engagement prior to the full conclusion of the Attorneys’ prosecution of the Claims, Client understands and agrees Attorneys have and are entitled to file a first lien for the percentage(s) indicated in Section 3 (the “Attorneys’ Fee Lien”). Client agrees it shall pay this Attorneys’ Fee Lien upon Client’s, Client’s assignee or successor, or any successor attorney’s receipt of any Recovery obtained relating to Client’s Claims.

 

ii.                     Attorneys’    Termination.  If Attorneys determine, in their sole professional judgment, to terminate this engagement Client shall not be obligated to pay Attorneys’ fees or advanced expenses.

 

iii.                    Written Notification Required Client and Attorneys mutually agree that cancellation and/or termination of this Agreement must be: (i) in writing; (ii) addressed to the other party at the address indicated on the signature page of this Agreement; and (iii) sent via the USPS or overnight carrier by the party seeking to terminate the Agreement.

 

10.       DISPOSITION OF FILE

 

Any materials compiled by Attorneys regarding this engagement (the “File”) will remain in Attorneys’ possession upon the conclusion of the engagement. Client expressly authorizes Attorneys to store the File at an offsite location. Attorneys will cooperate fully in furnishing a copy of the File to any successor attorney Client may engage. Client agrees to submit a written request to obtain any information or materials from the File; Attorneys agree to comply if the request is made within two (2) years after the conclusion of the representation. Absent such request, Client acknowledges Attorneys may dispose of the File without any further action or approval by Client.

 

11.       CLIENT REPRESENTATIONS

 

Client represents it has made sufficient investigation to determine this Agreement is fair, reasonable, and the result of an arm’s length negotiation with the Attorneys. Client represents it has revoked all prior agreements, if any, with other attorneys or claims processors of any kind with respect to the Claims. Client represents it has not assigned, sold or transferred any interest in the Claims other than through this Agreement. No modification of

 

Client represents it has, before signing this Agreement, received and read it in full and that Attorneys have answered all of Client’s questions regarding this Agreement. Client represents that the individual signing this Agreement on behalf of Client has Client’s full authority to bind Client.

 

12.       SEVERABILITY

 

If any part of this Agreement shall for any reason be found unenforceable, Client agrees that all other portions shall remain enforceable.

 

Client agrees that this Agreement constitutes the sole and only agreement of the parties hereto and supersedes any prior understandings, written or oral agreements between the parties respecting the subject matter within. Further, any modification of this Agreement will be effective unless written and signed by Client and Attorneys.

 

13.       NON-SOLICITATION

 

Client acknowledges that Attorneys (including any individual or entity working on behalf of Attorneys) did not solicit Client.

 

14.       CLIENT COMMUNICATION.

 

Attorneys agree to keep Client reasonably informed about the status of the engagement. Client agrees that Attorneys may use e-mail, newsletters, phone calls, faxes, or other forms of communication for this purpose. Client agrees to keep Attorneys updated with Client’s contact information contained on the signature page of this Agreement.


(This Portion Was Intentionally Left Blank)

 


WE HAVE READ AND UNDERSTAND THIS AGREEMENT

AND AGREE TO ITS TERMS.

 

 

 

 

CLIENT SIGNATURES:                                                                ATTORNEY SIGNATURES:

 

 

GRANT  parish school board                                          KEAN MILLER LLP

 

 

By: _A.D. Futrell______                             By: _____________________________

      President                                                        Charles L. Patin, Jr. Partner

 

 

                                                                                                 II City Plaza

                                                                                    400 Convention Street, Suite                                                                                            Suite 700

                                                                                                Baton Rouge, LA 70802

                                               

                                                                                                Post Office Box 3513

                                                                                                Baton Rouge, LA 70821

 

                                                                                                Telephone: (225) 387-0999

 

 

                                                                                    BLACKWELL & ASSOCIATES

 

 

                                                                                  By: _____________________________

                                                                                     Brian F. Blackwell, Owner

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           2600 CitiPlace Drive, Suite 525

                                                                                    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

                                                                                    Telephone: (225) 769-2462

 

                                                                                    HAMMONDS, SILLS, ADKINS &                                                                                                 GUICE, LLP

 

                                                                                                                                         By:____________________________

 

                                                                                    Robert L. Hammonds, Partner

 

                                                                                    2431 S. Acadian Thruway             

                                                                                    Suite 600

                                                                                    Baton Rouge, LA 70808

                                                                                    Telephone: (225) 923-3462

 

            The Superintendent went over the Quarterly Report of SBESE Approved Home Study Programs.       

            Motion by Mrs. Layton, seconded by Mr. Browning and unanimously approved adjourning the meeting.                                                             

 

s/A.D. Futrell

A.D. Futrell

President                                                      

Grant Parish School Board

 

ATTEST:

 

______________________________

Sheila S. Jackson

Secretary-Treasurer

Grant Parish School Board