Special Education Law

Overview

Special education law is a unique practice due to the complex laws governing the education of students with disabilities. We believe special education matters are best handled proactively, so we routinely assist clients regarding evaluation, identification, IEP development, least restrictive environment and disciplining students with disabilities. We also frequently represent clients in IEP, MFE or Section 504 meetings and review draft documents to provide feedback prior to meetings.

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

Experience

The Special Education group’s experience and services include the following:

  • Representation of school districts with respect to the development of legally defensible IEPs and ETRs and all aspects of IDEA procedural compliance.
  • Attended numerous IEP and ETR meetings on behalf of school districts to provide legal support to teams in contentious situations.
  • Resolved numerous due process complaints in mediation in a cost-effective and expedient manner.
  • Representation of school districts in all phases of IDEA due process hearings – from the administrative hearing to the United States Supreme Court – in matters involving requests for private placement, allegations of denial of FAPE, and student discipline issues.
  • Representation of school districts in class action complaint proceedings before the Ohio Department of Education’s Office for Exceptional Children.
  • Representation of school districts in numerous cases involving the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights including issues of disability discrimination, race discrimination, harassment, and bullying.
  • Assisted school districts with development of policies/procedures for Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
  • Assists school districts with development of procedures for independent educational evaluations.
  • Assists school district teams in developing quality ETRs, IEPs, BIPs, and FBAs, through training, review, and guidance.
  • Representation of school districts in IDEA hearings alleging denial of FAPE, violations of Section 504, and Child Find claims, among others.

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