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IDEA Claim Waivers: Have I Given Up My Rights?

Posted on: September 28, 2017
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You might be wondering whether an IDEA claim waiver you made in the past is legally binding in court. This very issue came up in the case of W.B. v Matula, an influential 1995 Third Circuit decision that has been cited in nearly 500 cases. Specifically, the case dealt with whether a waiver of claims in a settlement agreement was sufficiently clear that the courts would enforce it. The Matula court held that for a waiver of IDEA rights in a settlement to be legally binding, the agreement has to be clear and specific, as well as voluntary, deliberate and informed.
The facts in the case are straightforward. W.B. was the parent of a child, E.J., who exhibit…

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When Former Board of Education Officials Go Low…

Posted on: July 13, 2017
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A former official from Montclair Public Schools publicly voiced his displeasure about our firm on Facebook. We thank him for the compliment. For the past two years, we have been involved in heated litigation with the Montclair Board of Education. On behalf of two clients—the parent of triplets diagnosed with autism and the parent of a preschool-aged girl who is blind—we have fought to ensure that the board is fulfilling its legally-required duty to provide a free and appropriate education to special education students, and for the parents’ right to know if the services their children were offered are comparable to those provided to other children. S…

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Domestic Violence Against Men: The Invisible Victims

Posted on: February 24, 2017
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Under New Jersey law, a victim of domestic violence is any person “who is 18 years of age or older or who is an emancipated minor and who has been subjected to domestic violence by a spouse, former spouse, or any other person who is a present household member or was at any time a household member.” The victimizer may also be any person with whom the victim has a child in common, or with whom the victim will imminently have a child (i.e., one party is pregnant), or with whom the victim has had a dating relationship. N.J.S.A. 2C:25-19. The idea that only women can be victims of domestic violence is a long-held misconception. After all, men are generally…

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The President May Change, But Employment Discrimination Law Largely Unaffected

Posted on: February 18, 2017
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With the inauguration of a new President, some things will change; but much will stay the same, because of the limits on the power of the President to make changes to existing law without the consent of Congress. Regardless of the rhetoric, employees should know that protections against discrimination in the workplace do not change just because a different person is sitting in the White House or because the public dialogue may sound different. Under both federal and state law, workers are protected against discrimination based on age, disability, genetic information, national origin, race, color, religion, and gender (including pregnancy). New Jersey…

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Law Office of John Rue & Associates Investigates Possible Claims Against Wells Fargo

Posted on: December 15, 2016
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John Rue & Associates (“JR&A”), a New Jersey civil rights law firm, is investigating potential claims involving possible wrongdoing by Wells Fargo and Prudential Life Insurance. Prudential offers insurance and related products worldwide. Wells Fargo and Prudential had a partnership to sell low-cost life insurance through Prudential to Wells Fargo customers, primarily under the name “MyTerm.” Wells Fargo recently admitted that thousands of its employees had created as many as two million unauthorized accounts for its customers. A New York Times article dated December 9, 2016 linked the Wells Fargo fraud to approximatel…

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When Procedural Violations Add Up to a Denial of FAPE

Posted on: August 8, 2016
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Procedural violations of the IDEA alone are usually not a basis for a court to find a student has been denied a free appropriate public education (FAPE). A recent decision by the United States Court of Appeal for the 2nd Circuit, however, found multiple procedural violations, did deprive a student of educational benefits he was entitled to under the law. K.T., a now twenty-year old autistic student, began attending a public special education school in the Bronx, New York in 2009. His mother, L.O., filed for due process in December 2011 after K.T. began to refuse to attend school. L.O. claimed the three IEPs developed for her son were inappropriat…

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Should I hire an Education Lawyer or a Non-Attorney Parent Advocate? Part Four

Posted on: August 2, 2016
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Money. I promised to return to this. I am very familiar with the leading advocates and parent-side special education lawyers in Northern New Jersey. Based on that knowledge, I can tell you that the average non-attorney parent advocate charges about half the hourly rate of the average parent-side education attorney. Assuming that you have all the money in the world (and you don’t, or you’d just pay for your child’s education needs and forget about it), you should still pick the right professional for the job based on the factors discussed above. But if, like most people, you often have to make choices to fit your budget, you should co…

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Should You Hire an Education Lawyer or a Non-Attorney Parent Advocate? Part Three

Posted on: July 26, 2016
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Having described these roles, I repeat the question, and then briefly flesh out my answers. Should you hire an advocate or an education lawyer? My answer is “it depends.” It depends on three things: First, at what stage is the disagreement or suspicion between you and the school district? Second, at what stage is in the IEP process are you? And third, what is your desired outcome, and how willing and able are you to compromise? 1. The stage of the disagreement. Perhaps I’m assuming too much. Maybe there’s no disagreement yet. Maybe you’re just confused and want to better understand your rights…

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Should I Hire an Education Lawyer or a Non-Attorney Parent Advocate? Part 1

Posted on: July 12, 2016
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When the IEP process starts to feel like more than you can handle, one of the most important questions a parent of a child with disabilities needs to answer is what kind of professional assistance to seek navigating the special education system. The two most common answers to this question are (1) an education attorney, […]

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Should You Hire an Education Lawyer or a Non-Attorney Parent Advocate? Part Two

Posted on: June 19, 2016
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The Role of a Non-Attorney Parent Advocate. Unlike attorneys, no certification exists for non-attorney parent advocates. (I’ll just use the word “advocate” from here on.) But many advocates have years of experience and training. You should choose one who has such experience and training. And you should not hesitate to ask a potential advocate what […]

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John Rue & Associates, LLC
37 Main Street
Sparta, New Jersey 07871

Email
info@johnruelaw.com

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