This specialty law group by OGC Solutions®, chaired by our Education Lawyer Laura A. Siclari , advocates for the rights of students in a variety of contexts. This includes special education and Section 504 issues in school, school disciplinary issues, HIB (harassment, intimidation, and bullying) investigations, higher education issues, and guardianships.
Special Education Lawyer
Every child between the ages of 3 and 21 who has a disability that adversely affects his or her education is entitled to a free and appropriate public education.
Our special education lawyer assists families of special needs students in accessing the support they need in school. We can participate in the initial assessment stage, help with negotiating an appropriate IEP (individualized educational plan) or Section 504 Plan, and file for Due Process or mediation when parents and their respective school districts have reached an impasse.
School Discipline & Bullying
When schools discipline students, parents must make sure that the school is following district policy and applicable New Jersey law. Similarly, when students are victims or the accused in a HIB allegation, the New Jersey Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights requires specific actions and a set timeline for the investigation.
We assist parents in navigating such matters to ensure that, whatever side of the disciplinary or HIB action their child may fall, the school follows its policies and New Jersey law to ensure that the rights of all students are protected. Our school bullying lawyer will ensure that your child is protected, and their rights are upheld.
Higher Education Attorney
Students’ rights do not end when they go to college. For college students with disabilities, both Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provide protections to ensure they are not excluded or unfairly limited. We counsel students and their parents to ensure that students obtain reasonable accommodations.
When students are faced with alleged academic integrity violations, Title IX investigations, or disciplinary issues, we provide assistance in developing defenses and negotiating fair and appropriate outcomes.
Our firm’s education attorney works to ensure that the due process rights of our students – whether victims or accused – are being asserted and met at all stages of the investigation and hearing process.
Individuals with serious developmental or cognitive disabilities or mental health issues often have difficulty caring for themselves or managing their finances independently. New Jersey law provides a process for parents, caregivers, and other loved ones to become the legal guardian of the person and/or property of their disabled loved ones once they have reached the age of 18.
We handle both sides of guardianship matters, representing petitioners seeking to become guardians or acting as private or court-appointed counsel of alleged incapacitated persons.
OPRA and Public Records
An often overlooked but sometimes important tool for a family in making informed education-related decisions for their children involves obtaining relevant public records from school districts and other government agencies. We are skilled at drafting narrow, targeted requests that will increase the probability that access will be provided to these records without the need for litigation.
When litigation is unavoidable, our attorneys are adept at obtaining court orders mandating disclosure and triggering the fee-shifting provision of the OPRA statute that is available to prevailing parties.
Please contact Laura Siclari for more information.