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IEPs and 504 plans are essential tools to ensure positive learning outcomes for many students. They also have the potential to cause legal issues for schools if they aren't properly planned and carried out. This comprehensive guide will show you how to mitigate legal liabilities in IEPs and 504 plans. Take away valuable information you can use to spot potential issues in your school's IEP and 504 plan processes. Order today!
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LISA SELTZER BECKER is principle with Offit Kurman, where she practices education and family law (divorce and custody related issues). In her education practice, she represents students and families in school disciplinary matters, Title IX matters, special education cases and other education matter. In her family law practice, Ms. Becker frequently handles custody cases involving special needs children. Since 2016, she has been the Co-Chair of the Education Law Section of the Bar Association of Montgomery County, Maryland. In November 2016, Ms. Becker moderated the CLE, Handling Special Needs Children in Family Law Cases: A Legal and Practical Guide, given by the Bar Association of Montgomery County. She presented NBI’s Maryland Special Education Law in June 2013. She has been licensed to practice law since 1996, and barred in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Ms. Becker earned her B.A. degree from the University of Maryland and her J.D. degree from the American University, Washington College of Law.
MICHAEL J. EIG is the founder and owner of Michael J. Eig & Associates, P.C. He has been practicing special education law and advocacy since 1975. A former public school teacher, Mr. Eig has combined his interest and training in education with a commitment to special education law. He has served as counsel and/or amicus in special education cases before federal courts, including the Supreme Court. Mr. Eig has participated in countless IEP meetings and due process hearings. He has lectured and written in the area of special education law, including authoring the article on education of the disabled in the Dictionary of American History, as well as a number of articles on the special education rights of twice exceptional children. Mr. Eig earned his B.A. degree from Brandeis University, his M. Ed. degree from Harvard University, and his J.D. degree from Georgetown University Law Center.
MICHAEL S. GERTON is an attorney with the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. His practice is focused on defending the rights of students and families in school discipline and special education matters across all levels and age groups. Mr. Gerton routinely provides representation to clients in Maryland and the District of Columbia who have encountered suspensions, expulsions, academic sanctions and other disciplinary issues from elementary school all the way through postsecondary (college and graduate) settings. He also delivers services related to Child Find, IEPs, manifestation determinations, state complaints, mediation and administrative (due process) hearings. Mr. Gerton is a member of the American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, Bar Association of the District of Columbia, Bar Association of Montgomery County, Learning Disabilities Association and COPAA. He earned his B.A. degree, with high distinction, from the University of Rochester; his J.D. degree from the University of Maryland School of Law; and completed post-graduate training at the Institute of Special Education Advocacy at William and Mary Law School.
BRIAN GRUBER heads up the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C., a Washington, D.C., area law firm whose entire practice is dedicated to school law. Mr. Gruber has been representing children with special needs and their parents since 1997. He is well known in special education circles as a collaborative advocate who often is able to obtain the desired outcome for his clients without having to resort to adversarial, and costly litigation. Mr. Gruber has participated in well over 1100 IEP meetings, spanning several states, and more than 24 different school systems. As a special education trial lawyer, Mr. Gruber has been lead counsel in more than 200 special education meditations and due process hearings, and has appeared before in federal court, as well as the D.C. Circuit and 4th Circuit Courts of Appeals. In 2003, he was admitted to the bar of the United States Supreme Court. Mr. Gruber is a frequent speaker in professional and academic circles including the 2013, 2014, and 2015 LDA conferences. Mr. Gruber is a member of the American Bar Association, Council for Exceptional Children, LDA, and COPAA.
MELISSA LITTLE is an attorney in Blankingship & Keith, PC’s education law and litigation practice. Her primary focus is representing school districts in special education. She has worked in matters advocating for youth in school administrative hearings. Ms. Little has experience representing both plaintiffs and defendants in civil matters in state courts throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. She holds various leadership positions within the American Bar Association and the Virginia State Bar. Ms. Little is an ABA Young Lawyers Division liaison for the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law and serves on the American Bar Association’s Youth at Risk Advisory Committee. She serves on the Virginia State Bar Young Lawyer’s Conference Board of Governors and is a liaison for the Joint Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee Council. As a commissioner for the Children Youth and Families Collaborative Commission, Ms. Little works with the city of Alexandria, Alexandria City Public Schools, and related public and private entities to ensure that the city best meets the needs of its youth. She earned her J.D. degree from the University of Akron School of Law and her B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from the University at Albany. Ms. Little served as the assistant editor of the Akron Law Review and clerked for Judge Annalisa Williams of the Akron Municipal Court. She is admitted to the District of Columbia and the Virginia State Bar. Ms. Little is the 2017 recipient of the Virginia State Bar R. Edwin Burnette Jr. Young Lawyer of the Year Award.
CAITLIN McANDREWS is an attorney with McAndrews Law Offices, P.C., where she concentrates her practice on special education, estate planning and special needs trusts and planning. Prior to becoming an attorney, she worked as a special educator in schools in the Philadelphia area. Since law school, she has continuously represented individuals with special needs and their families. Ms. McAndrews presents on special education and disability related topics across multiple states and for national organizations. She is admitted to practice in Delaware, the District of Columbia, Virginia and Maryland. Ms. McAndrews earned her B.S.F.S. degree from Georgetown University, 30 credits toward M.S. degree (Special Education) from Penn State University, and earned her J.D. degree from George Mason University.
LYNNDOLYN T. MITCHELL is the owner of Lynndolyn T. Mitchell Law Offices, in Rockville, Maryland. Ms. Mitchell has been representing clients from all economic and social backgrounds in juvenile, family, misdemeanor criminal, and traffic matters in Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia for more than 27 years. She has served as a senior assistant public defender in Virginia Beach in juvenile division and felony trial division, and deputy public defender in the juvenile division of the Riverside County Public Defender’s Office. Ms. Mitchell has represented juveniles in delinquency and dependency matters in California, Virginia, and Maryland. She served an assistant adjunct professor for the University of Maryland University College’s Europe (UMUC) in the disciplines of paralegal studies and criminal justice from 1998-2003. Ms. Mitchell has extensive experience representing military families in all aspects of family law matters. She is a member of Maryland State Bar Association's Solo Small Firm Section (2007-present), Bar Association of Montgomery County’s Education Law Section (2007-present), co-chair 2009-2012, and has served as a member of the school board at Montrose Christian School in Rockville (2005-2008). Ms. Mitchell is admitted to practice in Virginia (1993), California (1987) (inactive), District of Columbia (2001), Maryland (2006), State Bar of California (inactive), and Montgomery County. She earned her B.A. degree from the University of Irvine and her J.D. degree from Antioch School of Law, Washington D.C. Ms. Mitchell currently handles pro bono education law matters for the Maryland Disability Law Center.
ASHLEY S. VANCLEEF is an attorney and a certified special educator with the Law Office of Brian K. Gruber, P.C. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. VanCleef led the Resolution and Compliance Unit (RACU) and served as the 504 coordinator for the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) in Maryland. There she instituted informal, collaborative solutions to assist families and school system staff to resolve concerns through the least adversarial means focusing on win-win resolutions. Prior to moving to Maryland, Ms. VanCleef worked for the state departments of education in both Texas and Oklahoma providing compliance monitoring of school districts, technical assistance for families to access the dispute resolution options of Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), and providing statewide training on special education requirements. Ms. VanCleef works with multiple groups to provide professional learning on federal and state education requirements. She is an adjunct professor at Morgan State University where she teaches legal aspects of educational administration and has been a guest lecturer for other colleges. Ms. VanCleef earned her B.S. degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and her J.D. degree from the University of Baltimore School of Law. She is a member of the Maryland State Bar Association and Mental Health Management Authority Board of Directors for Frederick County.