Home   |   Directory   |   Contact Us   |   Sign In   |   Join Us
2020 Breakout Session V

 

Sunday, March 8, 2020 ▪ 11:45 AM – 1:15 PM 

Title

Presenter(s)

Intended Audience

5.1

Continuing the Battle to Fully Recover Attorneys' Fees

Roy Atwood

Benjamin Hinerfeld

 

All Levels

Attorney

5.2

The Markedly More Demanding Standard: Three Years into Endrew F.

Michael Eig

Paula Rosenstock

Meghan Probert

Jennifer Engel Fisher

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

5.3

College Concerns: Helping Students with Disabilities Transition to College and Navigate Campus Discipline Issues

Susan Stone

Kristina Supler

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

5.4

How Much Justice Can You Afford? Reliance on Statutory Fee Shifting when Representing Families of Low- to Moderate Means as Private Counsel

John Rue

Saran Edwards

Advanced

Attorney/Advocate

5.5

Florida's New School Safety Law is Being Used as a Model for the Rest of the Country: What You Need to Know for Students with Disabilities

Stephanie Langer

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

5.6

Everything but the Kitchen Sink: Using a Variety of Strategies to Reduce the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Atlee Reilly

Ben Jones

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

5.7

The Role and Power of Independent Evaluations: How to Critically Evaluate and Use IEEs to Secure Appropriate Placements and Services

Matt Cohen

Brad Dembs

Elizabeth Hooper

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

5.8

The Most Important Person in the Room: Advocating for Meaningful Parental Participation from Evaluation Request to Due Process Hearing

Sarah Flohre

All Levels

All Attendees

5.9

Advocacy 2020: How COPAA's Policy Leadership Protects and Promotes the Civil Rights of Children

Denise Marshall

Laura Kaloi

All Levels

All Attendees

 

 

5.1 Continuing the Battle to Fully Recover Attorneys' Fees

 

Presenter:

Roy Atwood

Atwood Gameros LLP

116 N. Central Expressway

Suite 1400

Dallas, TX 75206

royatwood@atwoodgameros.com

 

Benjamin Hinerfeld

Law Office of Benjamin J. Hinerfeld

9 Stoddard Street

Plymouth, MA 02360

bhinerfeld@icloud.com

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

Attorneys

 

Brief Session Description:

The fee shifting provision in the IDEA is intended to facilitate a plaintiff's access to the courts to protect the plaintiff's civil rights by providing compensation sufficient to attract competent counsel. Unfortunately, courts have ignored Congressional intent. This presentation is directed at arming attorneys with arguments to fight for full fee recoveries and make attorneys aware of traps to avoid.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Roy Atwood is an experienced and successful trial attorney.  Roy spent many years with large regional and international law firms, including 14 years as a Trial Practice Partner at Jones Day, one of the largest law firms in the world.  In 2013, Roy took early retirement from Jones Day and opened the firm of Atwood Gameros LLP. This move to his own firm allowed Roy the opportunity to pursue a passion he has had for many years of representing families of students with special needs in securing their rights to a free and appropriate education.  As the parent of a son with special needs, Roy knows how intimidating the process can be of obtaining the educational opportunities students with special needs require.  Now, he brings his expertise as a trial lawyer and first-hand knowledge of the special needs of students with disabilities to the service of those who are not receiving the services to which they are entitled.  Since beginning his special education practice, Roy has participated in three Fifth Circuit appeals, including one in which the primary issue was attorneys’ fees.


5.2 The Markedly More Demanding Standard: Three Years Into Endrew F.

 

Presenters:

Michael J. Eig, Esq.

Michael J. Eig and Associates

5454 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 760

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

301-657-1740

Michael.Eig@lawforchildren.com

 

Jennifer Engel Fisher

Weinfeld Education Group

Assistant Director and Director of Advocacy

4865A Cordell Avenue, Suite 240

Bethesda MD 20814

301-681-6233

Jennifer@Weinfeldeducationgroup.com

 

Paula A. Rosenstock, Esq.

Michael J. Eig and Associates

5454 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 760

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

301-657-1740

Paula.Rosenstock@lawforchildren.com

 

Meghan M. Probert, Esq.   

Michael J. Eig and Associates

5454 Wisconsin Avenue, Suite 760

Chevy Chase, Maryland 20815

301-657-1740

Meghan.Probert@lawforchildren.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

The presenters discuss the impact of Endrew F., explaining the importance of the Court’s Decision.  An overview of Endrew F. in federal courts across the country is provided; explaining which Courts have recognized the significant change and which have been slower to respond.  The presenters also explain the role of Endrew F. in practice for both the special educator and the attorney.  

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Michael J. Eig, the founder and owner of the firm, Michael J. Eig and Associates, has been practicing special education law and advocacy in the metropolitan D.C. area since 1975. His educational background includes degrees in cultural anthropology and education from Brandeis University (1970), a Masters in Education and Social Policy from Harvard University (1972), and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center (1975). A former public school teacher, Mr. Eig has combined his interest and training in education with a commitment to special education law, and advocated on behalf of children with disabilities and their families for the past thirty-eight years. He has served as counsel and/or amicus in special education cases before federal courts, including the Supreme Court. He was counsel in Schaffer v. Weast, before the Supreme Court, class counsel in the landmark Mills v. D.C. Board of Education, amicus in Smith v. Robinson and North v. D.C., and served as plaintiffs' counsel in Doyle v. Arlington School Board. He has participated in countless IEP meetings and Due Process Hearings since the 1970s and has lectured and written extensively in the area of special education law, including authoring the current article on Education of the Disabled in the Dictionary of American History.

 

Jennifer Engel Fisher, M.S, is the Assistant Director and Director of Advocacy of Weinfeld Education Group, an Educational Consulting Group that services Maryland, DC, and Northern Virginia. Jennifer earned her bachelor's degree in Psychology from the University of Maryland Baltimore County and her master's degree in Special Education from The Johns Hopkins University. She holds certifications in both Elementary Special Education. Jennifer taught in Howard County in both inclusive and self-contained settings with a variety of populations including those with specific learning disabilities, emotional disabilities, ADHD, autism, and intellectually disabilities. Jennifer also worked as a Learning Specialist at Lowell School in D.C. where she co-developed the Resource Program. Jennifer’s certifications in a variety of methodologies including Orton-Gillingham, Fundations, and Project Read allow her to bring a specialized skill set to the IEP or 504 Table. Jennifer is the co-author of Take Control of Asperger’s Syndrome:  The Official Strategy Guide for Teens with Asperger’s Syndrome and Nonverbal Learning Disorders. She is currently working on her second book, Take Control of Reading Difficulties.  Jennifer is also a contributing author of School Success for Kids with ADHD.

 

Paula A. Rosenstock holds a B.A. in psychology from Tufts University, magna cum laude, and a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School. She was admitted to the Virginia Bar in 2003, the District of Columbia Bar in 2005 and the Maryland Bar in 2014. Ms. Rosenstock has spent nearly her entire legal career practicing special education law in the Washington D.C. area.  She provides support and guidance to parents seeking to secure appropriate educational services for their children through the IEP process, administrative due process appeals and in federal court.  Prior to law school, she worked in several schools and programs for children with disabilities.

 

Meghan M. Probert holds a B.A. in History and Spanish from Saint Michael’s College, cum laude, and a J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. She is a member of the District of Columbia Bar.  She has worked in special education law since 2012, providing support and guidance to parents seeking to secure appropriate educational services for their children through the IEP process, administrative due process appeals and in federal court.  Ms. Probert has a longstanding passion for working with children and adults with disabilities. She served as President of the St. Michael's chapter of Best Buddies, an organization creating opportunities for one-to-one friendships for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as engaged with representatives from around the country at the Best Buddies National Leadership Conference in 2003.


5.3 College Concerns: Helping Students with Disabilities Transition to College and Navigate

Campus Discipline Issues

 

Presenters:

Susan C. Stone, Partner

Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, LLP

1375 E. 9th St., 29th Floor

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 736-7220

scs@kjk.com

 

Kristina W. Supler, Partner

Kohrman Jackson & Krantz, LLP

1375 E. 9th Street, 29th Floor

Cleveland, OH 44114

(216) 736-7217

kws@kjk.com

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:  

Attendees learn how to assist students with ASD transition to the non-academic/social aspects of college. Attendees will also be educated on the disciplinary challenges students with ASD may face on campus. Finally, information and guidance are provided on the steps to take if a student with ASD faces disciplinary action or is contacted by law enforcement.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Susan Stone represents clients in matters ranging from special education issues, such as advocating for optimal 504 Plans and IEPs, to disciplinary matters, Title IX investigations and criminal investigations. She regularly represent students and professors across the country in all phases of institutional disciplinary proceedings. When cases do not resolve at the university level, she has experience fighting in state and federal courts around the country to obtain favorable outcomes for clients. She also partners with fellow KJK attorney Kristina Supler to represent people charged with crimes in the state and federal systems. Susan is particularly experienced working with individuals with ASD and possesses a deep understanding of mental health and neurological disorders. This allows her to formulate creative defenses for those student with ASD facing school discipline or investigation by law enforcement. She is sensitive to the multiple challenges facing this growing population. Susan is also a nationally published author, blogger and speaker on criminal and education law including Title IX, Twice Exceptional Students, FERPA and the handling of educational records, and manifestation determinations.

 

Kristina Supler has achieved great success representing students and professors in campus Title IX proceedings and handling a variety of matters involving educational services and student discipline. Her strengths involve navigating the challenges and complexities of parallel university and law enforcement investigations, while her extensive experience with sexual assault cases proves invaluable for clients subject to Title IX proceedings. When campus misconduct matters require litigation, she has filed suit in federal courts across the country and successfully negotiated resolutions.Advocating on behalf of students with ASD, she understands the significance of 504 plans and IEPs, and works to protect the rights of students facing manifestation hearings and related criminal prosecution. In addition, she effectively communicates the social and behavioral deficits associated with ASD to prosecutors, judges and educators.Kristina is a frequent lecturer and nationally published author on criminal defense matters relating to sentencing, mental health mitigation, and the use of technology in building defenses. She has also gained a national reputation for her presentations on Title IX.


5.4 How Much Justice Can You Afford?  Reliance on Statutory Fee Shifting when

Representing Families of Low- to Moderate Means as Private Counsel

 

Presenter:

John Rue

Principal

John Rue & Associates, LLC

37 Main St.

Sparta, NJ 07871

(862) 283-3155

john@johnruelaw.com

 

Intended Audience:

Advanced

Attorney/Advocate

 

Brief Session Description:

Representing low to moderate income clients in IDEA and other civil rights suits can present unique challenges. This presentation discusses navigating the complex obstacles to serving this specific demographic, and specifically the implications to a firm’s business model of relying on statutory fee-shifting, providing an overview of the repercussions of such reliance on the firm’s case intake process, engagement agreements, and other ethical concerns related to this area of practice.

 

Presenters’ Biography: 

John Rue has been representing parents of children with disabilities in disputes with their schools over the provision of special education services for over a decade. He leverages his background as a sophisticated civil litigator, having begun his career at White & Case LLP defending nationwide class actions for multinational corporations, to bring the maximum pressure to bear on school districts to reach a settlement that his clients can accept. Mr. Rue serves as General Counsel for the Innisfree Foundation, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that assists parents of children with disabilities to advocate for the education rights of their children, and he represents Innisfree (as well as other clients) in dozens of OPRA disputes.  He is currently acting as lead counsel in a class action (until class counsel is appointed by the court) against the New Jersey Department of Education, seeking remedies related to the state’s systemic violation of federal and state timelines for the resolution of special education disputes. Mr. Rue came to special education practice through personal experience. When his son was classified at a young age, early in Mr. Rue’s career as an attorney (still a junior litigator at White & Case), Mr. Rue decided to become the terrifying combination of a blue-chip New York litigator who knows New Jersey special education law inside and out. From that time forward at White & Case, he focused all of his (voluminous) pro bono practice on New Jersey special education litigation. And when he started his own firm, John Rue & Associates, LLC, education law became the cornerstone in the firm’s practice. Mr. Rue was just married, and lives in Sparta New Jersey with his lovely bride, Krista, and their two dogs, Taco and Jackson (named after the defendant in a recent case).  Mr. Rue’s son, Jack, has graduated from high school and is now a college student; Jack divides his time between Sparta and his mother’s home in Glen Ridge NJ.


5.5 Florida's New School Safety Law Is Being Used As A Model For The Rest Of The

Country: What You Need To Know For Students With Disabilities

 

Presenter: 

Stephanie Langer, Esq.

Staff Attorney

Disability Independence Group, Inc.

2990 SW 35th Avenue

Miami, Florida 33133

305.669-2822

slanger@justDIGit.org

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description: 

Florida’s new school safety law passed in the aftermath of the devastating school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Florida is being used as a model for other states. This presentation explains the new provisions of the law and how it is impacting Florida’s public schools and students with disabilities.

 

Presenters Biography: 

Stephanie Langer has been practicing law since 1998. She began her legal career in the Miami Dade County State Attorney’s Office as an Assistant State Attorney.  Stephanie has been litigating education cases since 2006.  Stephanie spent two years as a staff attorney with the Southern Poverty Law Center with a focus on education cases.  In May of 2014, Stephanie opened Langer Law, P.A. a boutique law firm focusing on education and other issues impacting families with children with disabilities. In March 2018, Stephanie joined Disability Independence Group, Inc. (DIG) a nonprofit organization that promotes recruitment, education and employment of persons with disabilities and helps empower people with disabilities to become self-advocates by giving them access to the tools they need to be educated on their legal rights. DIG is a resource center for persons with disabilities, their families, lawyers, and other professionals regarding individuals’ rights in the community, the legal system, the education system and employment. Stephanie is admitted to practice law in Florida, Georgia, New York and New Jersey. She is also permitted to appear in the U.S. District Court in Florida’s Southern and Middle Districts. Stephanie attended college at Syracuse University in New York (’90) and law school at The Catholic University of America, Columbus School of Law in Washington, D.C. (’98). Stephanie was also a U.S. Congressional Page for Congressman Claude Pepper in 1988 and selected to work for Senator Bill Bradley’s PAC, Participation 2000 in 1994.


5.6 Everything but the Kitchen Sink: Using a Variety of

Strategies to Reduce the Use of Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

           

Presenter:

Atlee Reilly

Managing Attorney

Disability Rights Maine

160 Capitol Street, Suite 4

Augusta, ME 04330

207.626.2774 x220

areilly@drme.org

 

Ben Jones

Staff Attorney

Disability Rights Maine

160 Capitol Street, Suite 4

Augusta, ME 04330

207.626.2774 x221

bjones@drme.org

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

This session provides an overview of potential strategies to address the use of restraint and seclusion in schools in your state or school district, including: individual legal advocacy; systemic legal advocacy; legislative advocacy; data collection, analysis and report writing; coalition building; and press strategies. 

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Atlee Reilly manages the education law practice at Disability Rights Maine. He has been representing students and their families on a wide range of education related issues for the last twelve years. Atlee has extensive experience as a trainer on education law, juvenile justice and civil rights issues.  He received his J.D. from the University of Minnesota Law School, his M.Ed. from Arizona State University, and his B.A. from Bowdoin College. Prior to becoming an attorney, Atlee was an elementary school teacher.

 

Ben Jones is an attorney in the educational advocacy program at Disability Rights Maine. He represents students with disabilities all across Maine and has been with DRM since 2014.  He has developed particular expertise in addressing the use of restraint and seclusion in schools and the delivery of early childhood special education services. He has worked in public interest law since 2011. He received his J.D. from New England Law and his B.A. from University of Vermont.


5.7 The Role and Power of Independent Evaluations – How To Critically Evaluate And Use

Independent Evaluations And Test Data To Secure Appropriate Placements And Services

 

Presenters:

Matt Cohen, Attorney

Matt Cohen and Associates

155 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 715,

Chicago, IL 60601

866-787-9270

mdcspedlaw@gmail.com

 

Brad Dembs, Attorney

Matt Cohen and Associates

155 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 715,

Chicago, IL 60601

866-787-9270

 

Elizabeth Hooper, Advocate and Educational Consultant

Matt Cohen and Associates

155 N. Michigan Ave., Suite 715,

Chicago, IL 60601

866-787-9270

 

Intended Audience:

Intermediate/Advanced

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:  

This session provides information on types of independent evaluations, their potential use as evidence and as a tool for settlement, and how to evaluate test data and evaluations and position them for maximum impact.

 

Presenters’ Biography: 

Matt Cohen is a private attorney with 35 years experience representing children and adults with disabilities and has represented thousands of students in disputes with public schools and higher education institutions in Illinois and other states.  He is a founding board member of COPAA (and currently serves on the COPAA board) and has served as the chair of the Illinois Attorney General’s Committee on Special Education for over 25 years, as well as serving on many other not-for-profit boards.  Matt has conducted hundreds of trainings for parents, advocates and educators throughout the United States. He is the author of “A Guide to Special Education Advocacy: What Parents, Advocates and Clinicians Need to Know” and has authored many articles on special education and mental health law.   

 

Brad Dembs joined Matt Cohen & Associates in 2017. Brad’s passion for disability rights, and special education in particular, comes from his experience working with and advocating for individuals with disabilities in various contexts over the past two decades. Prior to joining MCA, Brad spent five years working as a Staff Attorney for Michigan Protection and Advocacy Service, Inc., where he focused on special education law. His duties included representing families of children with disabilities in all stages of disputes with their school districts, from advocating at IEP meetings, Section 504 Plan meetings and disciplinary hearings to filing Due Process complaints and subsequent appeals. Brad also has experience arguing cases in federal district court and in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. Brad is licensed to practice law in Illinois and Michigan.

 

Elizabeth Hooper works as a special education advocate and educational consultant at Matt Cohen and Associates in Chicago.  Previously, Elizabeth has served as an educational advocate and tutor for families with students with disabilities in the Western suburbs.  Prior to that, she had over 10 years experience as a special education teacher, including experience with inclusive programming, behavior intervention support, and ESL.  She received certifications in California for Moderate to Severe and ESL and has an LBS I certification from the Illinois State Board of Education.  Elizabeth has a Masters Degree in Special Education from San Francisco State University and a Bachelors Degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


5.8 The Most Important Person in the Room:  Advocating for Meaningful Parental

Participation from Evaluation Request to Due Process Hearing

 

Presenter:

Sarah L. Flohre

Supervising Attorney

Children’s Law Center

501 3rd Street NW, 8th Floor

Washington, D.C. 20001

P: 202-467-4900 ext. 682

F: 202-467-4949

E-mail: sflohre@childrenslawcenter.org

 

Intended Audience:

All Levels of Experience

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description:

Although the right to parent participation is enshrined in the IDEIA, there are many barriers to ensuring meaningful parent participation as part of special education advocacy especially for low-income parents. This presentation and facilitated discussion will provide the audience with tools to ensure meaningful parent participation at each stage of a special education case drawing from the presenter’s experience representing parents and caregivers, as well as audience experiences.

 

Presenters’ Biography:

Sarah Flohre is a supervising attorney in the Healthy Together program. She joined Children’s Law Center as a special education staff attorney in 2012, after working for many years in private practice, advocating for the special education needs of low-income children and families. She has litigated over thirty administrative due process hearings, has litigated appeals of Hearing Officers’ Decisions under IDEIA in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, and has assisted with class action litigation on post-Katrina health care issues. Sarah has also presented on special education issues and special education litigation practice in many forums, including at the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (“COPAA”) Annual Conference.


5.9 Advocacy 2020: How COPAA's Policy Leadership Protects and Promotes the Civil

Rights of Children

 

Presenter: 

Laura Kaloi

COPAA Policy Advisor

lkaloi@stridepolicy.com
Washington, DC

 

Andrew Feinstein, Esq.

COPAA GR Committee Co-Chair

feinsteinandrew1950@gmail.com

Mystic, CT

 

Michele Kule Korgood, Esq.
COPAA GR Committee Co-Chair

mkule@educationlawny.com

Forest Hills, NY

 

Intended Audience:

Novice

All Attendees

 

Brief Session Description: 

This session educates participants in COPAA’s policy priorities and ongoing federal and state policy work through an engaging and interactive presentation designed to energize participants to act. Information provided connects and contextualizes what's happening in Washington, DC -- including highlighting who's who in Congress -- on key education, school safety and school climate issues that impact students with disabilities and their families. Participantsl gain a basic understanding of the federal appropriations process, essential authorizing priorities in the 116th Congress; ultimately connecting how they can play a role with COPAA nationally and at home in support of key advocacy initiatives.  

 

Presenters’  Biography:

Laura Kaloi is COPAA’s public policy consultant and is an accomplished senior level executive who cares deeply about advancing policies and best practices so that more children ‐‐ especially those atrisk and those who struggle ‐‐ have access to a high quality education as well as the supports and services needed so that they can achieve their full potential and live independent, meaningful lives in today's global economy and modern world. With her COPAA hat on, Laura is a co-chair of the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities Education Task Force and engaged with the education task force of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and led our efforts on ESSA.  Laura leads client strategic planning and implementation in: funder research and fund development; government affairs; communications; research and analysis; grassroots advocacy; as well as the development and implementation of largescale and minicampaigns targeting the U.S. Congress, the White House, federal agencies, key states, the media and grassroots advocates. Highlights of issues and areas of focus include: education, civil rights, special education, early intervention, literacy, assessment, system accountability, accessibility, employment, social/emotional learning, atrisk youth, disability and health. She recently wrote a report for the SWIFT center on Braiding and Blending of federal/state dollars for the SWIFT Center.  Prior to joining Washington Partners, Laura was public policy director for The National Center for Learning Disabilities; public affairs director, American Health Quality Association; communications director, HealthInsight; and, legislative associate, Congressman James V. Hansen. Laura is also the parent of three great children, including her teenage son who has dyslexia and dysgraphia.

 

Andy Feinstein has represented children with disabilities and their families pursuing appropriate educational programs for the past twenty years, first in Hartford with David C. Shaw, from 2008 to 2015, as a solo practitioner in Mystic, Connecticut, and, since July 1, 2015, as the owner of Feinstein Education Law Group, LLC. He serves as co-chair of the Government Relations Committee for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the preeminent national special education advocacy organization and an adjunct professor of special education law at Central Connecticut State University. Attorney Feinstein graduated from Wesleyan University in 1972 and the New York University School of Law in 1975. He completed the Senior Manager in Government Program at the Kennedy School, Harvard University, in 1983. He has served as a professional staff member of the House Committee on Armed Services and Chief Counsel of the House Civil Service Subcommittee. Formerly, he chaired United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Hartford and served on the Board of Community Health Charities of Connecticut for many years. Andy lives in Mystic with his wife Liz Bochain and their grandson Jacob.

 

Michele Kule-Korgood is the founder and managing attorney of Kule-Korgood & Associates, P.C. Michele has devoted more than twenty-five years, in private practice, to representing parents of children with disabilities in order to secure an effective education for their children.  While studying psychology as an undergraduate, Michele became a personal care assistant for a classmate with cerebral palsy.  Her classmate’s refusal to be defined by his disability inspired Michele to pursue a career in teaching special education.  Years later, as a special education teacher, Michele’s efforts to help a student obtain assistive technology, so he could have a voice in the world, again changed the course of her life.  In order to effect change for a greater number of people, she decided to attend law school and become a legal advocate on behalf of people with disabilities.  Today, Michele is one of the most well-known, respected attorneys in the field and has successfully handled thousands of matters in special education, ensuring that every child receives equal access to the high quality education to which he or she is entitled.  Her experience working closely with other professionals in the field, as well as her extensive knowledge of educational programs, allow Michele to assist parents in finding and accessing appropriate placements and services.  As a former special educator, Michele brings unique insight into the complex issues related to obtaining effective opportunities for children. Michele is highly sought after as a speaker on special education law and policy. She has chaired many conferences, and presented on various topics in special education law at numerous conferences, including those held by the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), the New York State Bar Association, the Practicing Law Institute, Lehigh University, and at various agencies which provide education and advocacy services.  Michele is a Past Chair of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and serves on its Board, and on the board of the Center for Learning Differences. Michele has argued and presented cases involving novel issues in the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, Eastern and Southern District Courts, the Appellate Division and state Supreme Court (including as lead counsel, along with Greenberg, Traurig, in the landmark decision of Mr. and Mrs. A v. N.Y. City Dep’t of Educ. (S.D.N.Y. 2011), holding that the exercise of rights under IDEA cannot be made to depend on the financial means of a disabled child’s parents, and extending the right for direct tuition payment to schools for parents without economic means, pursuant to the Burlington/Carter analysis).  She has a number of published decisions in various courts in special education and additional education-related areas of law. Michele earned her Juris Doctor Degree from Hofstra University School of Law and prior to that obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Boston University.

 

Membership Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal