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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. Get a comprehensive overview of legal liabilities in IEPs and 504 plans from our experienced faculty. Take away valuable information you can use to spot potential issues in your school's IEP and 504 plan process. Order today!
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PETER S. FARRELL is a senior associate with Tamkin & Hochberg LLP, where he practices in the areas of business and civil litigation, special education law, employment and corporate. Mr. Farrell has also developed an area of expertise in special education law working with families of children with special needs in the development of individualized education plans (IEP) and ensuring those plans are implemented appropriately. Mr. Farrell graduated, cum laude, from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and attended Suffolk University Law School. He founded the UMass Legal Alumni Network, an affinity network of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. He was recently elected to the Board of Directors of the UMass Amherst Alumni Association. Mr. Farrell is actively involved in the Parent Association at the South Shore Charter Public School where he serves as chair and sits on the Board of Trustees. (New Bedford and Brookline locations)
ASHLEY FRANCISQUE is an education attorney at the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, LLC, a Subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services and a nonprofit organization in Brockton that provides legal services to low-income individuals and families in the south shore region of Massachusetts. Ms. Francisque represents students and their families in various school related issues, including school discipline and special education matters. Previously, she was the Bart Gordon fellow for two years working in partnership with the Center for Law and Education on a project focused on addressing school policies that negatively impacted students who attended Brockton, New Bedford and Fall River school districts. She received her B.A. degree in political science at Boston College and received her J.D. degree from Suffolk University Law School. (New Bedford location)
JODI GUINN is a staff attorney at the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts, LLC, a Subsidiary of South Coastal Counties Legal Services and a nonprofit organization in Brockton that provides legal services to low-income individuals and families in the south shore region of Massachusetts. Prior to her current position she was a fellow at Massachusetts Advocates for Children and clerked for the Massachusetts Appeals Court. She received a B.A. degree, summa cum laude, from Dartmouth College and her J.D. degree from Harvard Law School. (New Bedford location)
EILEEN M. HAGERTY is a partner with Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP, in Boston, Massachusetts. She concentrates her practice in special education law. Ms. Hagerty represents and advises parents regarding all aspects of special education disputes, including the TEAM meeting process (evaluations, eligibility determinations, IEP development, program and placement disputes); suspension and expulsion hearings; mediation; formal due process proceedings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA), including discovery, negotiation, pre-hearing conferences, settlement conferences, and administrative hearings; federal district court and appellate court litigation; and attorneys’ fee litigation. She represents students with all types of disabilities, including autism spectrum disorders, dyslexia and other learning disabilities, attention deficit disorders, and mental health issues. Ms. Hagerty has been named as a Massachusetts Super Lawyer in the field of education law each year from 2004 to the present. She has been chosen as one of Boston’s AV Preeminent Top Rated Lawyers (2012, 2014 and 2015). She has been selected as one of the Top Women Attorneys in Massachusetts (Boston Magazine, 2013, 2014) and as a Top Woman of Law in Massachusetts (Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly, 2014). She has co-chaired Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education’s Annual School Law Conference each year from 2010 to the present. She contributes case commentary to the Massachusetts Special Education Reporter and edits the Massachusetts School Law Sourcebook and Citator. Ms. Hagerty is a cum laude graduate of Harvard Law School. Prior to joining Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP, Ms. Hagerty was co-founder and partner at a small civil litigation firm. Before that, she served as an assistant United States attorney and a special assistant district attorney, and litigated at a large Boston law firm. She served as law clerk to Judge Frederick B. Lacey of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey. Ms. Hagerty participates in various public service activities, including serving as a member of the Board of Directors of a non-profit advocacy organization, Massachusetts Advocates for Children (MAC), and serving as MAC’s board chair from 2006 to 2012. She also serves as a member of MAC’s Autism Advisory Committee. Ms. Hagerty lectures and writes frequently on topics in special education law for both legal and lay audiences. (New Bedford and Brookline locations)
CARLA C. LEONE is a solo practitioner who represents children with special needs in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals Division of the Department of Education. She is admitted to practice law in all state and federal courts in both Massachusetts and New York State. She represents school-age children with disabilities who are not being provided with a free, appropriate public education. At her current location in Lexington, Massachusetts, her emphasis in this practice is to be a strong advocate for children, while bringing a constructive, collaborative approach to the table. She received her J.D. degree, cum laude, from New England School of Law, Boston. (New Bedford and Brookline locations)
MARLIES SPANJAARD, staff attorney at the Committee for Public Counsel Services, is the director of education advocacy for the Edlaw Project, an initiative of the Youth Advocacy Foundation of the Massachusetts Public Defender Agency, the Committee for Public Counsel Services. The EdLaw Project was created in 2000 with the mission to shut down the school to prison pipeline. EdLaw provides Massachusetts’ most vulnerable children with legal support and access to expert education advocacy. She is responsible for supervising staff attorneys and interns, making program-wide policy decisions, and cultivating relationships with other individuals and agencies in an effort to promote the Edlaw Project mission. Prior to serving as director, Ms. Spanjaard gained valuable experience as a staff attorney with the EdLaw Project during which time she represented students in school disciplinary hearings, special education team meetings, and administrative hearings before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals. She has provided trainings on education related issues throughout the state and before a wide variety of audiences including parents, youth workers, students and attorneys. She also teaches at Wheelock College in the Juvenile Justice and Youth Advocacy Concentration. She earned her J.D. degree and her M.S.W. degree at Washington University Law School, and George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis, Missouri. (Brookline location)