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Special Education Attorneys
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Special Education Attorneys
We are an Albany family with a special needs kid who is now getting pushback
from the school. We are hoping to speak to a lawyer about next steps. Does
anyone have a recommendation on an education lawyer who is familiar with the
Albany Unified district?
I'm mom to two special needs children in Oakland, ages 4 and 7. I have found
FRN (Family Resource Network) to be of HUGE help in these matters. I suggest
talking to one of the parent advocates there before seeking a lawyers'
services. They will often help you resolve issues before letting things get
that far. I believe the director, Eileen is an Albany parent herself. They
will attend IEPs and mediations etc. Their number is 510-547-7322
Special education lawyer needed
We are looking for a special education lawyer for our
underserved child in OUSD. Does anyone have any recent
recommendations for someone who has experience in OUSD and
good at coaching parents? The current atmosphere due to
budget cuts, etc adds to the frustration and need for
someone experienced and successful. Thanks!
Are you sure it's a lawyer you need? I ask because
oftentimes people are advised to ''get a lawyer'' when
actually what they need is an advocate. I would caution you
strongly about starting off by hiring a lawyer because that
will immediately change the tone of your dialogue with the
school district, unless that's what you want. Hiring a
lawyer is usually the last step you take when you're ready
to go to court. Advocates can very easily do the same thing
that you would think you need from a lawyer but they are
cheaper, less adversarial (in theory) and most of the time
faster. I'm sure you'll get some names from this list, but
just please be careful about your next steps. I could give
you more advice if I knew more about your situation and your
reasons for being anonymous here are obvious. Please feel
free to contact me directly if you think it would help you
and your child.
Special ed funding comes from a separate source of federal funds. You
should only focus on the services that your child needs and not their
Have you requested a full set of evaluations; they are crucial to
getting services. And you are entitled to independent evaluations if
you are unsatisfied with the evaluations that the school district
Education/Special Education Lawyer
We are looking for recommendations from the BPN community
for an experienced lawyer who is familiar with education
laws, Federal and State, and has a successful track record
working with families in OUSD getting services for children.
Our biggest fear is creating a hostile environment for our
child, however, we do need help since there are many
compliance issues. If you have a recommendation, it would be
helpful if you asked the moderator for my email address.
I empathize with the concern that advocating for one's child will
create a hostile environment in future interactions with the
district or the school or the service providers or the mediators or
all of the other administrator's that provide these services.
And its ridiculous that society operates a service for which one of
its results is the wear and tear on the parents of the children
who, in truth, really do receive some of the benefits that should
However, it has been my experience that one should not operate out
of fear of raising a hostile atmosphere. The special education
providers, and their associates have no use for a hostile
environment any more that the recipients of the services.
The first understanding that a parent should have with the staff of
special education providers is that this ''case'' will be a
continuing and regular responsibility of all those involved, and
that all will be cooperatively focused to provide the services and
catch problems as they happen. I have found that this a key to a
I have a 15 yr old son who I am navigating through the system.
I have a child in Special Education with ADD and some
language processing issues. We have been in an ongoing
disagreement with our school district (Albany USD) over
his IEP and are at the point that I think we need an
attorney to help us, as we are heading toward filing a
suit (due process complaint) against the district for
failing to provide appropriate services, and several other
issues. Any suggestions?
Unhappy Albany parent
Catherine Doble is a great attorney from what I have heard. Unfortunately I do
not have her number.
I am also an Albany parent and unhappy. Would be interested to know which
school your child attends and what grade he/she is in. Also are you a member
of the Yahoo groups put on by an Albany Parent for families who have children
with special needs?
My child has processing issues and I would have to agree that I don't think they
are addressing the issues appropriately. Frankly, I don't think they know what to
DREDF will be able to provide some legal advice.
They may also be able to refer you to an attorney.
Looking for a referal for a special education attorney, for
my child who has Autism. Is there anyone that you can suggest
to be good or if you know of an attorny you would not suggest,
I would like to know as well; If you could share your
This is for Mary, who was looking for a special ed attorney
for her child who has autism. I would recommend LaJoyce
Porter, 1814 Franklin St., Suite 800, Oakland, CA 94612.
I worked with Ms. Porter at an inhouse law firm, and she
cared passionately about children's rights. She has special
needs children, and she decided to put her passion and the
expertise she had gained working on behalf of her children
into her law practice. So she left the corporate world for
her own practice emphasizing education law.
Tamara Loughrey. She's taken on the special ed system as a
parent and a lawyer.
We are looking for a special education lawyer or advocate who is familiar with working with
Oakland School District. Our son is almost three years old and was diagnosed as being on
the autism spectrum about a year ago.
We need a good attorney / advocate to guide us through his first IEP with Oakland because
this is the transition IEP from services funded by the Regional Center to services funded by
the school district. Thank you in advance.
You may begin by contacting CASE (Community Alliance for Special
Education). They are located in San Francisco. They do good
work, mainly advocating for those needing special education
services. They should be able to locate resources for this
purpose. Their website is www.caseadvocacy.org.
WE are looking to hire a legal advocate familiar with the
IEP process to be an advocate for our son who has special
ed needs and is in the Accalanes School District. Our son
was diagnosed with comprehensive ADHD and emotional
problems and is classified as AB 3632. However, we are
finding it difficult for the district to meet his needs
and are looking for an advocate in the East Bay area to
help us with the IEP process.
If you want an attorney, I highly recommend Kathryn Dobel in Berkeley, tel.no.
(510) 548-2004. She helped me twice with my special ed kid, back in 1994 and
2000, when I had to fight against the school district's recommendations. We
reached an agreement before we went to court and both times my son got what
he needed. She's extremely knowledgeable and a fantastic advocate. The only
problem is that she's extremely busy and may be working part-time now. But it
wouldn't hurt to call and see what kind of help she can provide. Good luck.
Can anybody recommend an attorney who works on special education
issues? I'm anticipating an IEP-related fight with the school
district. Somebody other than Katherine Dobel, who doesn't
return phone calls. I'm also already familiar with DREDF.
221 G Street, Suite 207
Davis, CA 95616
She just had a baby so I don't know if she is working. If she
isn't, however, any referral she would provide would be
excellent. Another way to go would be to get an educational
advocate, who attends meetings with you and helps structure the
IEP, but is more collaborative and less hardball. Ask other
IEP parents or attorneys for referrals.
Hang in there
Can anyone recommend a good attorney to help with an IEP, or
relate your experiences, good, bad or mixed, with special ed
attorneys? There have been great recommendations for Sarah
Clarke, but her number is disconnected, and I don't think
Catherine Dobel is taking new clients.
Not all special ed attorneys will attend IEPs, but some do, or work with local special
Attorneys in the Bay Area include Elizabeth Aaronson 650-322-6387, Dave Sherman
of Sherman & Zieglar, Valerie Montague 415-789-5693, Mike Zatopa of San
Also check the Council of Parents Attorneys Advocate website: http://
and select ''California''
We got past advice from Sarah Clarke but she decided to get out
of special ed law Spring '05. What a loss to parents as she was
very good. She referred us to Jonathan Quint in Oakland. We used
him in what we felt was a successful mediation with our school
district. His number is 510-595-9130 x120. We came with our
paperwork organized for review and he was very straightforward
about what would happen. He knew the various parties that would
be involved with our case. He was good in the mediation. Good luck.
I am the mother of an 8 year old boy who was expelled from a
private oakland school. I believe he was discriminated against
because of his learning disabilities and that the school breached
our contract by expelling him without allowing me to be involved,
having never been put on probation or suspended before and not
having allowed me to get a physicians diagnosis or psychological
evaluation. He was also in the middle of an IEP. I am looking for
a lawyer who has experience with ADA civil rights in the private
realm, learning disabilities and contract law. Any help or
suggestions would be app
There is an organization called DREDF, Disability Rights
Education and Defense Fund, that may be able to help you. Their
main office is in Berkeley:
2212 Sixth Street
Berkeley, CA 94710
Their web site is:
You probably have these resources, but I would call Community
Alliance for Special Ed (CASE) at 415-928-2273, Protection
and Advocacy (510-839-0811) or Disabilty Rights Education and
Defense Fund (DREDF) at 510-644-2555. I would think they could
counsel you and/or refer you to an attorney. Good luck!!
I have heard that Katherine Dobel in Berkeley is a lawyer for
ADA education related issues. You might also try CASE which is
an advocacy group. I am sure they would have recommendations
for this kind of situation. I believe they have an office in
Marin. If I can get my hands on their contact information, I
will send it in. Also, Marjorie Kaplan, who is an educational
therapist in Orinda, has worked with advocacy cases and would
likely know some lawyers to contact. Good Luck.
I believe you might want to speak to a lawyer by the name of
Rhoda Benedetti. Not sure exactly where she is located, but
I believe in the Walnut Creek area. She has a disabled
daughter herself and is now an advocate for children with
disabilities who are maneuvering through the school
system. She is a rel go-getter! Sorry I cannot give you her
phone #, but imagine you could find her out here without too
much difficulty. Good luck!
I need recommendations for attorneys who have been successful in suits
against the Berkeley Unified School District. I have a child in Special
Education and I believe she is being inappropriately place and underserved.
This message is forwarded from the ADA coordinator for the City of
There are two excellent national disability rights firms located in the East
Bay. The Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF) is located in
Berkeley and Disability Rights Advocates (DRA) is located in Oakland.
Either firm might take your case.
Oakland City Manager/ADA Programs
ccalabrese AT oaklandnet.com
Are you in need of an attorney or an advocate? We have an
autistic child (13 yrs old) who is being tossed about in the Berkeley
Special Ed Nightmare Machine. So, I know your travail, here.
I can give you the name of an advocate, or I can ask our advocate
for the name of an attorney he trusts. There is a big difference in the
process and outcome. Our advocate is so skilled in these things that he
has the bearing and expertise of a lawyer, but his expertise is in
educational programs for the handicapped, physically, developmentally,
learning disabled, etc. He has never lost a case. Sharp as a tack.
Sweet and funny, too. His non-combative nature during IEPs is all ordered
and part of a plan. He can get you what you need. Please contact me and
I'd be happy to discuss this with you.
this page was last updated: Oct 1, 2013
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