I have been a trial attorney for the past thirteen years. I began my career as an Assistant District Attorney, in the Bronx County District’s Attorney’s Office. My last year in the office, I was assigned to the Felony Narcotics Bureau where I prosecuted and tried felony cases dealing with the sale and possession of narcotics. I left the District Attorney’s Office to pursue a career as a plaintiff’s personal injury attorney advocating for the rights of those who had been injured by the negligence of others. I have experience analyzing the reports of psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, and other doctors and professionals that I have cross-examined over the years at trial. While it is possible and preferable that a dispute over a child’s educational needs be settled prior to going to a hearing, it is vital to build a solid case and have an attorney at your side who is able to offer you the right advice and who is not afraid to fight for what your child needs. I understand your frustrations because I have been where you are. I am not only an attorney advocating for children with special needs but I am also a parent of child with special needs. I will advocate for the full amount of services required for your child so that they can reach their fullest educational potential.
Several years ago my twins were born three (3) months premature. After 3 months of visiting our children in the hospital NICU, my son, Sam, was diagnosed with Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL). When he was two (2) he was officially diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. When my wife and I were faced with Sam’s first Committee on Special Education meeting (CSE) we had no idea what to expect or how far we could push the school district. That is when I began to study the specific laws applicable to our situation so that I could become the best advocate for Sam. During that first CSE meeting I realized how much the system was slanted in favor of the school district. My wife and I were shocked to discover that all of the important decisions concerning Sam, were being made by a room full of people who had never met him. Listening to some of the explanations as to why he shouldn’t receive certain services made me cringe at how ridiculous they were; they needed to be challenged. Thankfully, I had my trial experience to fall back on and I began to cross examine the school district’s psychologist (Ph. D). It was effective and Sam received the additional services he needed. Sam was placed in a blended general education class. We were fortunate that our district provided him with an effective Individualized Education Plan (IEP). After that initial CSE meeting, I committed myself to learning everything I could about the area of School/Special Education Law.
As a parent, I believe that the school district could always provide more, but as an attorney, knowing what the law deems appropriate is the key to winning these negotiations with your district. I will always remain current and conversant in this area of law since my son has several years left in the public education system. As stated earlier it is preferable that any dispute over a child’s educational needs be settled amicably with the school district, prior to the need to attend a hearing before an Impartial Hearing Officer (IHO), and it is crucial to build a solid case in order to maximize your chances of success at such hearing. Therefore, it is necessary to have an attorney on your side who is able to offer you the right advice and who is not afraid to fight for what your child needs. It is my responsibility as your counselor-at-law to determine who your child is, what their needs are, and what your goals are for them. I understand your frustrations because I have been where you are. I will advocate for the full amount of services necessary for your child so that they can reach their fullest educational potential. I will also teach you how to become the most effective advocate you can be for your child.