Our Practice Areas

Special Education

Special Education is a complex area of the law involving the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”), the American With Disabilities Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act as well as state law.  Concepts like “least restrictive environment” and “meaningful educational benefit” have been shaped, and continue to be refined, by court decisions since the IDEA was enacted over 40 years ago. These aren’t just words to the attorneys at Walsh Pizzi O’Reilly Falanga LLP, several of whom have first-hand experience in the application, and misapplication, of such concepts to children with special needs.

 

Our attorneys understand that ensuring that a disabled child aged 3 – 21 receives the education and services to which he or she is entitled from their local public school district is confusing and almost always challenging. Navigating the complexities of the special education system can be overwhelming for the parents of children with disabilities, particularly when their needs are not being met.

 

With backgrounds in complex litigation, mediation, and negotiation, our attorneys are uniquely equipped to assist the families of disabled children whether they need to enforce legal rights or seek our guidance in working collaboratively with local school districts. As parents of special needs children themselves, our attorneys have experienced difficult IEP meetings, worked with experts and reviewed evaluation reports, and pursued litigation on behalf of the children of clients as well as their own children. We provide consultation on how to establish a cooperative and collaborative relationship with local school districts and educate parents on how to advocate effectively for their children’s rights on their own.

 

The range of legal services that we provide includes:

 

  • Offering guidance on Early Intervention and Referral Services
  • Advising on Eligibility For Special Education and Related Services
  • Reviewing Individualized Education Programs (IEP)
  • Attending IEP meetings with the Child Study Team
  • Assisting parents in resolving program and placement issues
  • Assisting parents in when their children are being harassed or bullied
  • Representing parents who seek guardianship of their children when they attain the age of 18

 

When necessary, we also step in and enforce special education laws to ensure that the children of our clients receive the education and services to which they are entitled. Our attorneys have extensive experience practicing in the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law as well as the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.