Janet l. horton
Partner

Janet Horton

T:  (713) 554-6746
jhorton@thompsonhorton.com

Education
  • J.D., The University of Texas School of Law, 1980
  • B.A., with honors, The University of Texas at Austin, 1975

Bar Admissions

  • Texas

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
  • U.S. Supreme Court

Affiliation

  • Texas Association of School Boards, Legal Assistance Fund Board of Trustees, 1998-2000
  • Texas Association of School Boards Council of School Attorneys; Chair, 1999-2000
  • State Bar of Texas, School Law Section; Chair, 1988-1989
  • National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys; Executive Committee, 2000 - 2002
  • Education Law Association, Board of Directors, 1989-1992
  • Texas "Super Lawyer," Texas Monthly magazine, 2004-2017
  • Texas Bar Foundation, Life Fellow
  • Houston Bar Association
  • Spring Branch Education Foundation Board
  • Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, Speakers Committee
  • Altharetta Yeargin Art Museum Advisory Board

Experience

 

Janet Little Horton has represented public schools since 1980. A former public school teacher, Ms. Horton has extensive experience in all facets of school law.  Ms. Horton assists school districts with all aspects of employment law including grievances, non renewals, claims under the Americans with Disabilities Act, terminations and EEOC charges.  She works with school boards on policy development, Open Meetings Act issues and the negotiation of superintendents' contracts.  She assists schools with Public Information Act questions and all issues regarding students including student discipline, constitutional rights, and complaints to the United States Office of Civil Rights under Section 504.  Ms. Horton has significant experience in representing school districts in all aspects of disputes involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  She works with districts to informally resolving disputes with parents of students with disabilities.  She represents school districts in all aspects of the dispute resolution process, including representing districts in due process hearings in federal court in IDEA cases.  Like all lawyers at Thompson & Horton LLP, Ms. Horton works with schools to analyze problems and develop strategies to resolve issues so they do not result in costly lawsuits. When litigation occurs, Ms. Horton represents schools in state and federal court, in special education due process hearings, and before the Texas Education Agency. She also represents schools in appellate matters in state and federal court. At the state and federal level, Ms. Horton advises lawmakers of the concerns of public school clients regarding legislative matters, especially those dealing with special education.

Ms. Horton is a founding partner of Thompson & Horton LLP.  Previously Ms. Horton was an attorney at Bracewell & Giuliani LLP for 28 years, a partner in the Public Law Section for 21 years, and head of the Section for a number of years.  A long-time member of many school law profession organizations, Ms. Horton is past chair of the School Law Section of the State Bar of Texas and a past member of the Board of Directors of both the Council of School Attorneys of the National School Boards Association, and the Education Law Association.  She is the past chair of the Texas Association of School Boards Council of School Attorneys.  A graduate of the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law, Ms. Horton has been named a Texas Monthly Super Lawyer. Ms. Horton is a frequent speaker on school law issues at both the state and national level.

Recent Publications


National School Boards Association, 2009, Publication, Co-Author – The ADA Amendments Act

Education Law Association, 2008 – Co-Author – A Documentation System for Teacher Improvement or Termination - Sixth Edition

Region 4 Education Service Center, 2007, Co-Author – Assistive Technology: A Legal Perspective

Region IV Education Service Center, 2006 – IDEA '04 Proportionate Share Project Interim Guidance Document and Forms

Region IV Education Service Center, 2004 – Update to The IDEA and Private School Children with Disabilities

 

Recent Presentations

 

28th TCASE – Legal Digest Conference on Special Education Law – New Braunfels and Arlington – April 8 and 29, 2014 – Legal Issues and Practical Strategies in Student Transition Plans

ELA Spring 2014 Seminar – March 28, 2014 – Making Defensible Employment Decisions

TCASE Legal Academy -- San Antonio, TX -- November 19, 2013 -- Legislative Update

35th Annual Belle Blackwell Conference -- Deer Park -- August 7, 2013 -- 504 Updates and Keeping IHP's Legal to Texas School Nurse Organization

Annual TCASE Interactive Conference -- July 17, 2013 -- Practical Suggestions for Dealing with Food Allergies

27th Annual TCASE-Legal Digest Conference on Special Education Law -- San Antonio and Arlington -- April 17 and Ma7 2, 2013 -- A Legal Update on the Discipline of Students with Disabilities

28th Annual University of Texas School Law Conference -- February 21, 2013 -- When OCR Comes Knocking at the School House Door

TCASE Great Ideas Convention -- January 23-24, 2013 -- Making the Grade: Determining Fair and Equitable Grades for Students with Disabilities -- Co-presenter with Paula Long and Cathy Sartain; Legal Issues Regarding Special Education Evaluations; Coffee with Counsel Question and Answer with Legal Panel

25th Annual GCASE Law Conference -- December 14, 2012 -- Section 504 and Food Allergies

Education Law Association Annual Conference -- November 9, 2012 -- Representing School Districts in Bullying Lawsuits -- Co-presenter with Kelly Frels of Bracewell & Giuliani LLP

National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys' 2012 School Law Practice Seminar -- October 13, 2012 -- Reel Ethics: Legal Ethics for the School Lawyer -- Co-presenter with Lisa Brown of Thompson & Horton LLP

Region 4 Education Service Center -- October 3, 2012 -- Special Education Update on Due Process Hearings, Complaints and Legal Issues

Goose Creek CISD Section 504 Coordinator Training -- October 2, 2012 -- Complying with Section 504: A Legal and Practical Perspective

26th Annual Sate Bar School Law Retreat -- Austin, Texas -- July 13, 2012 -- Charter School within School Districts: The Sky's the Limit -- Co-presenter with Maureen Singleton of Thompson & Horton LLP and Ellen Spalding of Rogers, Morris, & Grover, L.L.P.

TASB Special Education Roundtable -- Austin, Texas -- July 12, 2012 -- Special Education Evaluations, The Role of the Lawyer and Hot Topics in Special Education -- Co-presenter with Dave Richards of Richards, Lindsay & Martin, L.L.P. and Jim Walsh of Walsh, Anderson, Gallegos, Green & Trevino, P.C.

26th Annual TCASE-Legal Digest Conference on Special Education Law -- San Antonio and Arlington -- April 3 and 11, 2012 -- Special Education Evaluations: The Legal Issues

TCASE Great Ideas Convention -- January 18, 2012 -- Getting Prepared for Service Animals in the Public Schools

GCASE Annual Conference -- December 12, 2011 -- The Expanded Reach of Section 504

HouMet 2011 Conference -- November 10, 2011 -- Collaborate, Communicate, Coordinate -- Legal Update

Tarkington ISD Inservice -- November 2, 2011 -- Laws Applicable to  Claims of Bullying

Region 4 Aspire Program -- October 18, 2011 -- Surviving a Due Process Hearing -- Understanding the Process, Analyzing Claims and Preparing the Case

TCASE Legal Academy -- October 4, 2011 -- School Health and School Nurse Services: Diagnosing Common and Uncommon Concerns

TASB/TASA Annual Convention, Council of School Attorneys Seminar -- October 2, 2011 -- Defending School Districts in Bullying Lawsuits

Goose Creek CISD Counselor Training -- September 21, 2011 -- Parent Issues, FERPA Issues and Section 504 Update

Region 4 Special Education Law Conference for School Personnel -- August 1, 2011 -- Service Animals in Public Schools

TCASE Summer Conference -- July 20, 2011 -- Complying with Section 504: A Legal and Practical Perspective -- Co-presented with Annie Stein and Lynn Grell-Boethel

Behavior Support Conference -- June 22, 2011 -- Discipline 101 and Beyond: Key Rules for Everyday Compliance and Lessons Learned the Hard Way

Needville ISD Board Training -- March 9, 2011 -- Employment Issues in an Ailing Economy

GCASE Annual Conference -- December 10, 2010 -- Review of Cases on Autism

Rice Education Entrepreneurship Program -- November 6, 2010 -- Important Legal Considerations for School Leaders

TCASE Legal Academy -- November 2, 2010 -- School Health and School Nurse Services: Common and Uncommon Issues and Twenty Questions General Educators Should Know about Special Education

Humble ISD Inservice -- October 13, 2010 -- Effective ARD Committee Documentation

TASB/TASA Annual Convention -- September 25, 2010 -- LGBTQ* (*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) Issues -- The School Lawyer's Perspective -- Co-presented with Chris Gilbert of Thompson & Horton LLP

Houston ISD Autism Inservice -- August 17, 2010 -- Legal Update for the New Year

Spring Branch ISD Training for Campus Administrators -- August 4, 2010 -- Student Discipline, Employees Investigations, Sexual Harassment and Grievance Process

Region 4 Personnel Conference -- August 4, 2010 -- LGBTQ* (*Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Questioning) Issues -- The School Lawyer's Perspective

Region 4 Education Service Center Autism Conference – April 16, 2010 – Legal Issues Involving Students with Autism

Region 4 Education Service Center Chat with the Attorney – March 25, 2010 - Legislative Issues, Issues Concerning Section 504, Cases that Get our Attention

GCASE Annual Conference – December 11, 2009 – Update on Cases Involving Students with Autism

Rice Cohort Presentation – November 11, 2009 – Employee Documentation: A Workable System; Employment Contract Issues: Navigating Chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code; Understanding the Grievance Process: Nuts and Bolts; Discipline Management under the Texas Education Code; Disciplining Students with Disabilities; Rights of Parents in the Public Schools

Region 4 Education Service Center Legal Update for District/Campus Leaders – October 7, 2009 – Grievances:  Nuts and Bolts; Preparing for Terminations and Nonrenewals: Lessons Learned; A Sampling of New Legislation Affecting Schools; Three Legislative Changes Worthy of Further Discussion: Student Discipline, Student Sexual Abuse, and Grading; Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: Changes to Regulations; Top Ten First Amendment Issues for Texas School Districts;

Ten More Things Every Administrator Should Know About Special Education

2009 TCASE Legal Academy – San Antonio and Arlington -October 1 and 5, 2009 – Update on Cases Involving Students with Autism

23rd Annual TCASE-Legal Digest Conference on Special Education Law – San Antonio and Arlington – April 15 and 20, 2009 - What’s New Regarding Services for Children with Autism

Region 4 Education Service Center Chat with the Attorney – January 22, 2009 - The Amendment of the IDEA Regulations, Revocation of Consent for Services and Other Issues; The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 and Changes to Section 504; The Texas Legislature in Action

Region 4 Education Service Center Legal Update for District/Campus Leaders – October 1, 2008 – An Update on the Rights of Parents in the Public Schools; Dealing with Parental Complaints; Discipline Management and Student Responsibilities Under the Texas Education Code; Student Expulsion Hearings: A Refresher on Due Process; Employment Contract Issues: Navigating Chapter 21 of the Texas Education Code; Are you Communicating Clearly?; Documentation Guidelines for School Districts; Ten Questions Administrators Should Know About Special Education

22nd Annual TCASE-Legal Digest Conference on Special Education Law – San Antonio and Arlington – April 17 and 21, 2008 – Legal Issues Involved in Identifying Children with a Specific Learning Disability