Rina Grassotti is an attorney in the Denver, New Jersey and New York offices of Fisher Phillips who focuses her practice on the intersection of higher education and employment law. As an experienced litigator, Rina defends employee and student cases involving race, gender, age, disability and other types of discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Rina also litigates employee defection and trade secrets matters.
In the higher education realm, Rina is best known for her depth of experience with Title IX, and her experience as an internal investigator. Rina also regularly counsels colleges and universities on student and employee disciplinary issues, disability accommodations, college policies, and compliance issues relating to FERPA and the Clery Act, among other federal and state laws.
Prior to joining Fisher Phillips, Rina served as Associate General Counsel for the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, where she supervised litigation on behalf of the college and counseled senior administrators on matters ranging from Title IX and the Clery Act to employment matters and investigations. Prior to her in-house role, Rina spent nearly a decade as an attorney at a prominent mid-size New Jersey firm, where she gained invaluable experience as an employment and higher education litigator. After graduating law school, Rina served as Law Clerk to the Honorable Ariel A. Rodriguez, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.
- Obtained favorable ruling after bench trial in action by student asserting grade grievances and claim for breach of resident assistant contract against public university.
- Obtained favorable ruling after bench trial in action by student seeking reimbursement from public university for an undergraduate course.
- Second-chaired jury trial in defense of due process claims arising from public university’s expulsion of fourth-year dental student on behavioral grounds.
- Conducted internal investigation of allegations of bullying on public university’s athletics team.
- Conducted internal investigation of potential ethics violations against a tenured professor at public university.
- Conducted internal investigation of harassment charges against a tenured professor at private university.
- Obtained dismissal of action brought by former employee against public university seeking reimbursement of attorneys’ fees incurred in appealing an unemployment benefits decision.
- Defended public university in action brought by former employee alleging discrimination.
- Defended and negotiated favorable settlement of negligence action brought against private university arising out of alleged sexual assault
- Successfully opposed application for temporary restraining order on behalf of private university in action by learning-disabled student claiming violations of the Americans With Disabilities Act
- Obtained summary judgment for private university in action by student alleging unfair process and challenging suspension for sending sexually-explicit email
- Successfully opposed application for temporary restraining order and ultimately obtained dismissal of action brought by Engineering student against private university alleging various tort and contract-based claims arising from suspension for plagiarism
- Obtained partial summary judgment on behalf of public university in action brought by medical student alleging First Amendment retaliation and other constitutional claims after student was suspended for unprofessional conduct
- Obtained summary judgment on behalf of public university in action brought by student asserting contract-based claims and military discrimination arising from academic dismissal
- Counseled fitness company with regard to employee versus independent contractor classification and independent contractor agreement.
- Counseled fitness company in connection with breach of contract dispute with independent contractor.
- Counseled health food company with regard to employment agreements and termination of employee.
- Advised urban farming start-up with regard to independent contractor agreements and onboarding of employees.
Seminars & Speaking Engagements
- Seton Hall University School of LawJ.D., 2004
- University of MassachusettsB.A., 2001
- New Jersey
- New York