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Special Education Law

Education

Special education law is a unique practice that is constantly evolving due to the complex federal and state laws governing the education of students with disabilities. Our special education attorneys are focused on proactively assisting clients with concerns regarding evaluation, identification, Individualized Education Program (IEP) development, Least Restrictive Environment (LRE), and disciplining students with disabilities. We also frequently represent clients in IEP, Multi-Factored Environment (MFE), or Section 504 meetings and review draft documents to provide feedback before the discussions.

Practice Group Leader

Christina Henagen Peer, Partner

Christina provides counsel to boards of education on student discipline, collective bargaining agreements, employee grievances, employee evaluation and discipline issues, the First Amendment, public records requests including Sunshine Laws, records retention policies, social media issues, residency and custody disputes, and the drafting and implementation of board policies.

216.928.2918
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Our Special Education Law Difference

In the event of a dispute, we counsel clients on dispute resolution strategies to resolve the matter without the need for a formal complaint. Our collaborative approach saves district resources and allows parents and schools to work together as the child continues their education.

If alternative resolution efforts are not successful, and a complaint is filed, we represent clients in all phases of due process proceedings — from the administrative hearing through the appeal process. Our attorneys are also well versed in handling complaint proceedings before the Ohio Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights.


Recognition

U.S. NEWS – BEST LAWYERS® 2022 “BEST LAW FIRMS” RANKINGS

  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Education Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Litigation – Labor & Employment

U.S. NEWS – BEST LAWYERS® 2021 “BEST LAW FIRMS” RANKINGS

  • Metropolitan Tier 1: Education Law
  • Metropolitan Tier 2: Litigation – Labor & Employment
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Experience

  • Representing school districts concerning the development of legally defensible IEPs and ETRs and all aspects of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) procedural compliance
  • Attending numerous IEP and Evaluation Team Report (ETR) meetings on behalf of school districts to provide legal support to teams in contentious situations
  • Resolving numerous due process complaints in mediation in a cost-effective and expedient manner
  • Representing school districts in all phases of IDEA due process hearings – from the administrative hearing to the U.S. Supreme Court – in matters involving requests for private placement, allegations of denial of Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE), and student discipline issues
  • Representing school districts in class action complaint proceedings before the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children
  • Representing school districts in numerous cases involving the U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights including issues of disability discrimination, race discrimination, harassment, and bullying
  • Assisting school districts with the development of policies/procedures for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
  • Assisting school districts with the development of procedures for independent educational evaluations
  • Assisting school district teams in developing quality ETRs, IEPs, Behavior Intervention Plans (BIPs), and functional behavioral assessments (FBAs) through training, review, and guidance
  • Representing school districts in IDEA hearings alleging denial of FAPE, violations of Section 504, and Child Find claims
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