Special Education Law
Special education is a significant part of Parker & Covert's legal services and became one of the cornerstones of our law practice soon after our founding in 1978. Our special education attorneys are prepared to represent school districts at administrative, trial, and appellate levels in both federal and state venues throughout California.
We provide proactive and timely counsel to school districts with respect to special education issues in order to avoid unnecessary and costly litigation or liability. Not only are our special education attorneys extremely well-versed in the applicable laws, but they use their expertise to address matters from a practical and real-world perspective as well.
In the event a dispute does arise between a school district and parents over a student's identification, assessment, or services, we provide comprehensive representation in IEP and Section 504 meetings, resolution sessions, mediation conferences, and due process hearings, as well as respond to compliance complaints filed with the United States Office for Civil Rights and the California Department of Education. Our special education attorneys' preparation for representation includes an analysis of records and consultation with staff to understand the circumstances that led to the dispute and plan an appropriate strategy for responding to the demands of parents and/or the allegations included in a complaint.
If a matter proceeds to a due process hearing, our special education attorneys fully prepare school district staff to appear as witnesses, present to the hearing officer comprehensive documentation in support of the district's proposed resolution of the dispute, and represent the district in federal court should a hearing decision be challenged or an attorneys' fees dispute arise. We work with the district at all stages of a dispute to formulate a proposed settlement offer and response to offers presented on behalf of students, taking into account the merits of the complaint, the likelihood of success at the hearing, and the exposure of the district should the opposing party prevail on one or more issues.
Following the resolution of complaints, we offer consultation services to the school district in order to identify lessons learned and any areas of the district's practices or procedures that may benefit from revision. Our special education attorneys also offer in-service trainings and legal updates to assist district staff in keeping abreast of developments in the state and federal statutes and regulations as well as pertinent case law that may impact the district's practices or procedures.
In addition, where issues involving student discipline cross over into the area of special education, we provide advice on procedural matters, such as a manifestation determination, and assist the school district by presenting cases, advising administrative hearing panels and boards, and defending school administrators in court.
Parker & Covert looks forward to serving you with respect to your special education needs, placing at your disposal decades of proactive, timely, cost-effective, and efficient expertise.