Monday, December 08, 2008

City suing to recover SpecEd funding

The District is suing a local lawyer to recover the cost of fighting frivolous lawsuits filed by the lawyer's firm.
Attorney General Peter J. Nickles announced that the District has filed suit against a private District lawyer, John A. Straus, and his firm, James E. Brown & Associates, to recover the cost for DCPS attorneys’ work in meritless special education litigation instituted by Straus.

The suit is the District’s first effort to recover legal expenses under the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, a Federal law amended in 2004 to allow school districts to recover funds from attorneys who initiate baseless special education litigation.

The District’s suit alleges that Straus filed an administrative complaint under IDEA seeking a psychiatric evaluation of a District of Columbia Public Schools student. Straus disregarded the efforts by DCPS which had previously authorized that evaluation, and had also notified the student’s parent that she could obtain an evaluation at DCPS’ expense.

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