Special Education Lawyer: Serving California
At California Special Needs Law Group (“CSNLG”) our primary focus is Special Education Law and Education Advocacy. We represent families who have children struggling in school. Our clients' needs range from having a child with a mild learning disability who requires tutoring or classroom “push-in” support services to children who require a home program or residential treatment facility.
As a Law Firm, we assist in negotiating the appropriate special education and related services for our clients from school districts and/or regional centers. This includes among other things helping our clients navigate the complicated area of special education law, guiding our clients through the independent assessment process, advocating for our clients at IEP meetings and when necessary filing a complaint with the California Department of Education (“CDE”) or the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”).
It is our goal to keep the relationship between the local educational agency (LEA) and our clients amicable and friendly. The students we represent often attend the same school district year after year. Therefore, we work hard not to damage that relationship. When possible, we work to develop a stronger rapport between our clients and their child's school district, putting the family in a position of power and respect.
It can be hard for families to remain calm and respectful to the agency they feel is not providing their child with the appropriate level of special education and related services. It is our job not only to empathize with our clients but to also remove the stress each family has from dealing with their school district. When we attend IEP meetings we strive to alleviate our clients’ anxiety which is often increased by making sure the school district remains professional and in compliance with the law.
Even though we may have to file a lawsuit against the school district we work very hard to settle each case through settlement discussions and mediation. Typically, a reasonable approach leads to a reasonable resolution. It is our job to get the best results for our clients at the least possible cost. We would rather see our clients spend their money providing additional services for their child than spending it needlessly fighting the school district.
Part of our recommendation of services is giving our clients a cost/benefit analysis. That is, we compare the cost of our proposed action to the possible benefits obtained. Additionally, it is usually fiscally advantageous to the school district to settle a case and avoid trial. Trials are expensive and mostly unnecessary. Unfortunately, some school districts will not negotiate or even offer an appropriate special education program unless a formal lawsuit is filed.
In an effort to protect the rights of families, the law is very clear that parents have the right to seek reimbursement of their reasonable attorneys' fees if they prevail at a due process hearing.