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P-4. Advanced Advocate Training: Representing Parents in Impartial Hearings

TWO DAY Skill Building Session

Thursday, March 8th and Friday, March 9th

9:00 am - 5:00 PM

Audience Category:  Advocate *New optional offering, an advanced advocate certificate program.  Attend this pre-conference OR and one of the identified One day Thursday and Friday pre-conference then select sessions of interest to you on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. You will receive an advanced advocate training certificate for 24 hours of training. Must have at least 5 years advocacy experience to participate in the certificate program. 

Audience Level of Expertise: Advanced


Brief Session Description of Session:

This intensive two-day training will give advanced lay advocates the basic skills to represent parents in impartial hearings through readings, lectures, discussions, and skill practice in small groups as we work on an actual case together.  Participants will receive feedback from knowledgeable and experienced trainers.



Barbara J. Ebenstein
Attorney at Law
53 Pengilly Drive
New Rochelle, New York 10804
Voice: (914) 409-5761
Fax: (914) 355-5946
Email:  bjeslaw@aol.com
Website:  www.barbaraebenstein.com


Jean Marie Brescia
Attorney at Law
Mayerson & Associates
330 West 38th Street, Suite 600
New York, New York  10018 
Voice:  212 265-7200
Email:  jmtb2@optonline.net


Presenter(s) Biography(ies):

Barbara J. Ebenstein is an attorney whose law practice focuses on the representation of parents in special education and disability matters in New York State. Barbara is an adjunct associate professor at New York University where she teaches the graduate course in Education Law.  BJ served as a member of the Disability Policy Committee of the presidential campaign of Barack Obama, and she served as one of the surrogates speaking on disability issues on behalf of the campaign.  She also serves as an impartial hearing officer in New York City and Long Island, and as a Vocational Rehabilitation hearing officer in New York State. Barbara has extensive experience conducting CLE for attorneys and workshops for parents, advocates, school personnel, physicians, and other professionals from Hawaii to New Hampshire.  She served as the lead instructor for the New York pilot site of the federally funded SEAT Project (Special Education Advocacy Training) and she served as an attorney skills trainer for the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA).  Barbara has authored articles on special education law from the parents’ perspective for numerous national publications.  She  served as Chair of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) from 2005 to 2006. Barbara J. Ebenstein holds a J.D. from Pace University Law School, a M.A. in Education from Teachers College of Columbia University, and a B.A. cum laude from Boston University.


Jean Marie Brescia is senior counsel with Mayerson & Associates.  Upon graduating from Harvard Law School magna cum laude, Jean Marie was an associate at Sullivan & Cromwell. Since 1995, after an intervening stint with the Legal Aid Society, Jean Marie has been an active New York State impartial hearing officer (IHO), presiding over and deciding more than 500 special education due process hearings.  In addition to her highly respected work as an IHO, Jean Marie has been an Adjunct Law Professor at New York Law School, teaching Special Education Law and Practice.  

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