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Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog LLP

Raleigh 919.828.5100 | Charlotte 704.332.8300 | Wilmington 910.777.6000

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Donna R. Rascoe

Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog

Donna R. Rascoe - Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog

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Click here to email Donna R. Rascoe - Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog

Donna R. Rascoe has been practicing defense litigation in Raleigh since 1994.  Donna is a former teacher and school administrator and has been with Cranfill Sumner & Hartzog since 1999.  Donna concentrates her practice in the Education Law Practice Group with a primary focus in matters dealing with special education.  Donna also handles employment and other civil litigation matters for school districts and other public entities.

Donna defends school districts in special education matters in due process hearings and federal court including claims related to evaluations, services, discipline, and private school placements. She defends public entities in lawsuits involving claims of wrongful termination; sex, race, and disability discrimination; and various constitutional violations. She also defends personal injury lawsuits involving claims by children and adults with traumatic brain injury, cognitive deficits, or learning problems

Representative Matters

Cases or matters referenced do not represent the lawyer’s entire record. Each case is unique and must be evaluated on its own merits. The outcome of a particular case cannot be predicated upon a lawyer’s or a law firm’s past results.

  • Obtained dismissal in favor of a school superintendent in a federal lawsuit alleging constitutional violations related to the termination of a school resource officer.
  • Obtained dismissals in favor of teachers accused of negligent supervision of students and improper discipline of students.
  • Successfully defended a multi-million dollar premises liability claim involving alleged injury to a disabled child.
  • Obtained summary judgment in favor of a housing authority in claims by plaintiffs that they suffered physical, cognitive and emotional deficits as a result of exposure to carbon monoxide.

Articles, Presentations, and Publications

  • “Educating Students with Disabilities,” NC School Boards Association – School Law Academy, March 2009
  • “Demystify the Role of the Child Care Commission and the General Assembly,”  NC Licensed Child Care Association, October 2008
  • “Liability for Educators,” Law Institute for Teachers sponsored by the NC Bar Association, August 2008
  • Religion in the Schools, Co-author, Jan ’07, Litigation Forum Newsletter
  • “Stimulant Medications and ADHD: Implications for Educational and Clinical Practice,” Panel Member, June Lyday Orton Memorial Lecture and Symposium, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, 2006
  • “Special Education Law for School Administrators,” Randolph County Schools, June 2006
  • “The New and Improved IDEA,” North Carolina Department of Public Instruction (Central Region Administrators), February 2006
  • “Special Education Law,” Catawba County Schools, December 2005
  • “Special Education Seminar,” Nash-Rocky Mount Schools, November 2004
  • “Special Education and Disability Law,” Principals’ Executive Program (Center for School Leadership Development, University of North Carolina), April 2004
  • “Student Admissions and Student Records,” Principals’ Executive Program, April 2003
  • “School Records: Contents, Access, and Use in Litigation,” CSH Seminar, November 2002
  • “Hot Topics in North Carolina School Law, Recent Case Law Update,” Lorman Education Services, November 2002
  • “Special Education,” Hoke County Schools Leadership Conference, June 2002
  • “Religious Challenges to School Facilities Use Policies,” North Carolina Bar Association Education Law Section Newsletter, June 2001
  • “Special Education,” Eastern North Carolina School for the Deaf, October 2001
  • “Student Discipline,” Martin County Schools, October 2001
  • “Access to Federally Protected Records,” North Carolina Guardian Ad Litem Staff Training, October 2000
  • “Religion and Sex in Schools,” North Carolina Bar Association Education Law Section Meeting, May 2000
  • “Special Education,” Principals’ Executive Program Fall Law Update, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003

Professional, Civic and Community Activities

  • North Carolina Bar Association (Education and Litigation Sections), Member
  • North Carolina and National Council of School Attorneys, Member
  • North Carolina Association of Women Attorneys, Member
  • North Carolina Association of Defense Attorneys, Member
  • Defense Research Institute, Member
  • Tenth Judicial District Bar Councilor to the NC State Bar:  2011
  • North Carolina State Bar Disciplinary Hearing Commission, Member:  2007 – present
  • North Carolina Child Care Commission, Chair:  2002 – 2009
  • UNC Law Alumni Association Board of Directors, President:  2005-2006


  • Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America® in the field of Education Law:  2009 and 2013
  • Selected by North Carolina Super Lawyers® as a Super Lawyer:  2012
For more information about Best Lawyers honors and methodology, please visit www.bestlawyers.com
For more information about Super Lawyer honors and methodology, please visit www.superlawyers.com.