Page 5 - Special Education Booklet
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In addition to the SELC, we regularly provide in-service     > Represented CSBA in the mandated cost reimburse-
        trainings to school districts on a wide variety of top-  ment litigation against the State of California that re-
        ics, ranging from student discipline to Section 504 to   sulted in a $1 billion settlement in favor of the school
        avoiding disproportionate representation of minority     districts.
        students in special education. Our attorneys are also     > Represented districts in countless due process cases,
        regularly invited to present at statewide and national   mediations, and numerous appeals to federal District
        conferences, including the ACSA Every Child Counts       Court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.
        Symposium, LRP National Institute, and LRP School
        Attorneys Conference.                                  Other notable cases:
                                                               G.M. v. Dry Creek Joint Elementary School District, Ninth
        MEDIATION AND LITIGATION SUPPORT                       Circuit Court of Appeals, Case No. 12-17242. In 2014, on
        The firm encourages its clients to build strong relation-  appeal, the Ninth Circuit issued an unpublished mem-
        ships with parents, to consider alternative dispute res-  orandum affirming an OAH due process hearing in
        olution (including mediation), and to be proactive, fair   favor of the District. The Ninth Circuit panel affirmed the
        minded, and responsive while setting reasonable limits.   U.S. District Court’s grant of summary judgment in the
        As do most school districts, the firm’s clients informally   District’s favor on the plaintiff’s section 504 claims, as
        resolve most special education due process cases at    well as an award of attorneys’ fees sanctions against
        mediation or before hearing. When a hearing has been   the parent’s attorney.
        necessary, Lozano Smith attorneys have successfully    F.S.D. v. Santa Barbara Unified School District, U.S.D.C.
        represented clients through that process. Our attorneys   Central District of California, Case No. 2:13-cv-03191.
        have successfully moved for dismissal of cases prior to   Lozano Smith attorneys obtained a favorable outcome
        hearing when circumstances allow.
                                                               for the district on an appeal of a due process decision,
        To minimize client costs, the firm’s Special Education   coupled with various civil rights claims under section
        Practice Group has created for use by our attorneys an   1983, section 504 and the ADA. Lozano Smith repre-
        expansive internal library of special education tem-   sented the district successfully during the underlying
        plates including settlement agreements, presentations,   due process decision and appeal of same, defending
        manuals, policies, procedures, forms, pleadings, statu-  OAH’s ruling, which the Court affirmed in full. As a result
        tory settlement offers, legal opinion letters and mem-  of that victory and elimination of any remaining viable
        orandums, prehearing conference statements, opening    theories for the plaintiff’s civil rights claims, the plain-
        briefs, witness questions, and closing briefs.         tiff ultimately stipulated to dismissal of the remaining
                                                               causes of action in the litigation.
        Lozano Smith has brought and defended numerous         Alex G. v. Bd. of Trustees, U.S.D.C. Eastern District of
        lawsuits including appeals from administrative hearing   California, Case No. 8:03-2258. Lozano Smith success-
        decisions and attorneys fee actions. We have filed ac-  fully moved for partial summary judgment on behalf of
        tions to obtain restraining orders to change the place-  the District, resulting in one of the first published de-
        ment of special education students who pose a danger   cisions applicable in California to stand for the propo-
        to themselves or others. The firm’s special education at-  sition that a plaintiff seeking to impose liability under
        torneys have handled matters involving virtually every   Section 504 “must show that the educational decisions
        conceivable legal issue in the field. For example, Lozano   relating to the student were so inappropriate as to con-
        Smith:                                                 stitute either bad faith or gross misjudgment.”

      California’s Premier Public Agency Law Firm                                     
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