Avoiding and Surviving Special Education Due Process Litigation: How to Protect Your School and Staff at Every Step

Event ID:14001

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CD Only                $349.00 includes recorded presentation, slides, and Q&A
Duration: 90 minutes including question and answer session.
Presenter(s): Joanne Butler, partner, Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP
Price: $349.00, CD includes full audio presentation, question and answer session and presentation slides. CD option is subject to a $5.95 handling charge.
Who Should Attend? K-12 administrators, district legal counsel, principals, department heads, superintendents
Best For: K-12

Public school districts regularly face the likelihood of due process litigation related to the provision of special education and related services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). Litigation can be filed challenging each decision made by the child study team, from whether or not to evaluate, to the components of the IEP, to the imposition of discipline. This program will assist your districts in meeting disabled students’ needs in accordance with the federal law.

Each step under the IDEA requires very specific procedures which must be implemented on an individualized basis to meet each student’s needs. This program will address compliance at each step, providing strategies to avoid due process issues including, but not limited to: Pre-referral interventions; referral and determinations to evaluate; the scope of evaluations; the determination of eligibility; the creation of a legally defensible IEP, including present levels of academic performance, accommodations and modifications, behavioral intervention plans, goals and objectives, and placement in the least restrictive environment; progress monitoring; imposition of discipline; consideration of outside evaluations; procedural violations including timelines and meetings; and communications.

Please join Joanne Butler for a program that will provide insight into surviving due process litigation. There are no quick fixes or easy answers in special education. Smart planning, with compliance always in the forefront, will lessen the risk of litigation. Thorough analysis of your case and its attendant risks, once due process has begun, will bolster your likelihood of prevailing.


Just a sampling of what this webinar will cover:

  • Evaluations
  • The creation of a legally defensible IEP
  • Progress monitoring
  • Discipline
  • Procedural violations
  • Sensitive communications
  • Precautions to take before due process is filed
  • Steps to take when due process is filed
  • Outlining a strategy
  • Determining the strength of your case
  • Knowing when to consult an expert
  • Assessing the impact on your staff
  • Evaluating the impact on your budget
  • When and why to consider a settlement


Your conference leader for “Avoiding and Surviving Special Education Due Process Litigation: How to Protect Your School and Staff at Every Step” is Joanne Butler. Ms. Butler is a partner at Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP and represents numerous boards of education as general or special counsel. In addition to providing daily counsel to her school district clients, Ms. Butler conducts in-service training at all levels and represents her clients in investigations and litigation before the Department of Education, the Office of Administrative Law, the Public Employment Relations Commission, the Division on Civil Rights, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and various state and federal courts. A co-chair of the Labor & Employment Practice Group, Ms. Butler also offers employment counseling to private employers.

Ms. Butler frequently shares her knowledge and experience in the areas of school law and labor and employment law through lectures and in-service training on various education and employment issues. Topics have included harassment/intimidation/bullying; student discipline; expulsion and alternative education; residency issues; student records; student surveys; Individualized Education Program (IEP) preparation; special education; avoiding/surviving due process; Section 504; New Jersey Family Leave and Federal Family and Medical Leave; sexual harassment; search and seizure; technology on and off school grounds; and school safety concerns.

Prior to joining Schenck, Price, Smith & King, LLP in 1996, Ms. Butler was a partner with the West Orange firm of Young, Dimiero & Sayovitz. Early in her law career, she served her judicial clerkship with the Honorable Clarkson S. Fisher, former Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

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