What kinds of matters do you take?
We are very selective in accepting client engagements. While we have represented families in more than 30 states, we primarily represent families living in New York City. We also have represented many families who are moving to, or back to, the New York metropolitan area from other states or countries.
My child is not in the right program – what should I do?
The earlier you engage our firm, the faster we can begin to pursue your objectives while ensuring that you do all of the many things you need to do and avoid the kinds of pitfalls that can adversely affect your matter. In many instances, we are able to work on a consultation basis with families and help them achieve their goals without the need to engage in litigation. Where litigation is indicated, we lay the groundwork to file meritorious claims.
Why do I need a lawyer?
Unfortunately, the education system can make it very difficult for families to advocate on their own. We are able to assess your case, provide you with guidance at each step of the way, prepare your family for the IEP process, help your family identify appropriate school options and/or services, avoid potential pitfalls, and prepare your matter for litigation, if necessary. We work with our client families to make sure that the required notices are timely sent and that parents comply with their other obligations in the IEP process. Once we win or settle your case, our firm’s reimbursement specialist works with your family to recover your money for tuition and/or services from your school district until all of the funds have been paid.
Do you offer a free consultation?
Yes, your very first 15 minute phone consultation is free. If, after reviewing your objectives, there is agreement that your matter appears to be meritorious and would be a good fit with the firm’s practice, we can offer your family an appropriate engagement.
How do you determine your fees?
The fees a client family will be charged vary and are designed to complement and reflect the unique circumstances of the case. Factors that we take into consideration include the venue of where the case would be filed, the cost and time of travel, the complexity of the anticipated claims, the complexity of your child’s educational program, the anticipated length of any hearing, and the scope of your child’s unilateral program. Our fee structure will be discussed with you at the outset after we have had an opportunity to consider the above factors.
What kinds of engagements do you offer?
The amount that a family will be charged is customized to meet the anticipated circumstances and complexity of the case. Sometimes, a one-hour “mini consult” is all that is needed. In other instances, particularly where the objective being sought is a school tuition or the cost of a home-based program, we can offer flat fee billing to include all legal fees up to the second day of hearing.
How long will the reimbursement process take?
The length of the reimbursement process varies. Assuming you prevail at a hearing or negotiate a favorable settlement, the issue of when you will actually begin receiving reimbursement funds depends on a number of factors including but not limited to: when you give your Ten Day Notice when your Demand for Due Process is filed, who from the DOE is assigned to your matter, the Impartial Hearing Officer assigned, how promptly the DOE responds to our requests, how quickly the Comptroller’s office approves a settlement, etc. Our team, spearheaded by the firm’s full-time reimbursement specialists, regularly follows up on each client matter in an effort to minimize any payment delays. We remain active in pursuit of your money until it is fully recovered and accounted for.
At what stage should I engage your firm?
Many clients will call after a problem is already in full bloom. Other clients anticipating trouble will call to engage us before problems arise. We believe in the benefits of early intervention. We prefer to be involved at the earliest stage so that we can help families avoid what can be costly or time-consuming mistakes.
I have an insurance policy that covers a significant portion of the costs that I am seeking. Do our insurance benefits need to be accounted for?
If you are fortunate enough to have access to insurance benefits, it is essential that you do not “double dip.” It is essential to disclose the existence of insurance benefits early on to give the district’s counsel and the hearing officer the assurance that you are acting equitably and in good faith.