Tag Archives: Mediation

Ask for the Email

Published on November 18, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

Whenever parents retain my firm, I ask them to sign a form requesting all of their child's education records be sent to me as their special education lawyer.  It's a standard “FERPA” request…the easiest way to explain FERPA is that it is sort of like the educational version of HIPAA.  Bottom line is that I […]

The Calm Before The Storm

Published on June 29, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

I feel a little guilty for having neglected my blog most of this month, but the volume of IEP meetings, mediation, and Due Process Hearing commitments has prohibited me from writing much other than responses to Motions to Dismiss, 10 day notice letters, and a whole lot of nasty grams! The month of June has […]

It’s a New Year, So Sue Me

Published on January 6, 2010 by Jennifer Laviano

download osx snow leopard 10,6 Getting school systems to either fund additional special education services, or to reimburse parents who pay for necessary services themselves, has always been an uphill battle.  The reasons are numerous, but money is without question at the top of the list.  That’s nothing new.  However, over the years, most reasonable school […]

Enforcing Mediation Agreements

Published on November 23, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

We’ve covered whether to attend a Mediation.  There are benefits and risks, but generally it is a forum which I recommend, where appropriate. But what happens if you’ve already attended one, reached a Mediation Agreement, and the school district isn’t honoring it? Unfortunately, in my special education law practice, I am regularly contacted by parents […]

There’s Water on the Moon…What about FAPE?

Published on November 13, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

I had a discussion with a client today that went something like this: Client:  “I’ve about had it with this school district!  If things don’t get better, I’m going to move.” Me:       “You’re not moving anywhere, especially until you’ve spoken with me to make sure you’re not going from the frying pan into the fire.  […]

Stay Put

Published on September 30, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

There are a number of “procedural safeguards” under the IDEA which are designed to ensure that the rights of children with special education needs, and their parents, are protected.  They are all important, but, in my view, one of the strongest is what we call “stay-put.” We use the term “stay-put” to refer to the […]

Try to See The Forest, Not the Trees

Published on July 15, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

I had a discussion today with a former client whose child is now an adult.  As we were catching up, we started talking about how much more relaxed she seemed, having successfully navigated the special education system several times over the many years, and now obtaining appropriate adult services for her son.  We recalled how […]

Should I Attend a Special Education Mediation?

Published on May 23, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

Each State is required under the IDEA to make Mediation opportunities available for parents of children with special education needs.  In fact, it is a procedural safeguard ever since the 2004 IDEA.  While the process is voluntarily for both parents AND school districts, some parents feel pressured to attend a Mediation, or even believe it […]

The Advisory Opinion Process in CT Special Education

Published on May 20, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

The IDEA requires States to provide Mediation opportunities to parents of children with special education needs to resolve disputes with their school districts.  In addition to Mediation, States can elect to offer other types of dispute resolution procedures as alternatives to litigating a Due Process Hearing, and Connecticut has incorporated a procedure called “Advisory Opinions” […]

10 Tips for Starting a Special Education Law Practice, Part II

Published on May 4, 2009 by Jennifer Laviano

The stakes are incredibly high when one is representing the interests of children with special education needs.  While I think it is a good idea to weigh the “pros and cons” of entering any field of practice, or any profession for that matter, my personal belief is that this particular calling requires more consideration, research […]