Brian J. DeSantis


Brian DeSantis is frequently called upon to advise school boards on high-stakes issues. Brian has counseled boards at risk of state intervention; resolved complex, multi-million-dollar school funding disputes; successfully defended school boards in protracted special education litigation; and established compliance systems for alternative learning models.

Brian’s experience encompasses counseling clients through employment issues, representing school boards in labor and other contract negotiations, drafting education legislation, advising on constitutional law issues, and counseling on matters related to career-technical education. As a result, he has the ability to see the big picture and provide proactive guidance.

Outside of work, Brian is an avid baseball fan, an ardent podcast listener, and an “occasional” runner. He graduated from The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, earned an M.A. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. from Wittenberg University, where he spent a summer studying in the African Kingdom of Lesotho. Prior to his legal career, Mr. DeSantis served as the Assistant Director of the Wittenberg Fund, where he guided annual fundraising to exceed $2.5 million. A product of Mayfield City School District, he lives in Bay Village with his wife and their two children.

Bar Admissions


Court Admissions

United States District Court, Northern District of Ohio
Ohio local and state courts

Professional & Civic Organizations/Activities

Ohio State Bar Association
Ohio Council of School Board Attorneys


J.D., The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law
M.A., Social Science, University of Chicago
B.A., summa cum laude, History, Wittenberg University

Selected Presentations & Published Works

“Don’t Tread on LRE when Responding to Bullying Concerns” – Special Ed Connation

“Dispel General Educator Misconceptions to About Special Ed” – Special Ed Connection

“Learning Loss, Educational Flexibility and Contract Language” – School Negotiations Workshop

“Advanced Issues in Student Discipline & Dangerous Conduct” – Special Education Seminar

“Don’t Tread on LRE when Responding to Bullying Concerns” – Special Ed Connection, Contributor, March 3, 2023

“QUICK TIP: Collect, Share Data when Declining Parent Requests for 1:1 aide” – the Special Educator, Contributor, March 24, 2023


“Religion & Schools: Prayer, Release Time, and Expression” – OSBA Capital Conference

“Bargaining Issues for 2022” – School Negotiations Workshop

“Licensure: Issues, Reporting, and Flexibility” – School Law Update Seminar

“Drafting a Strong IEP” – Special Education Seminar

“Catch these IEP Writing Missteps before they Trip up Your Teams” – Special Ed Connection, Contributor, February 2, 2022

“Block Emboldened Parents from Derailing Virtual IEP Meetings” – Special Ed Connection, Contributor, April 14, 2022

“Including 1:1 aide in student’s IEP? Watch out for these potential blunders” – Special Ed Connection, Contributor, August 17, 2022


“Negotiation Issues for 2021” – Negotiations Workshop

“Alternative Program Student Eligibility & District Obligations” – Special Education Seminar

“Special Education for Treasurers” – OASBO Virtual Annual Conference


“EdChoice 2.0”; OSBA Capital Conference

“Don’t Leave Me Like That: Managing Employee Leave During a Pandemic”; School Law Update Seminar

“New Frontiers: Bargaining Topics for 2020”; School Negotiations Seminar

“The Long and Winding Road: Anticipating, Preparing for, and Understanding Due Process”; Special Education Seminar