June 2017 Legal Update

This latest monthly legal alert summarizes a recent published, federal appellate court decision that is significant for its multiple issue rulings. In M.C. v. Antelope Valley Unified School District (2017), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals made several rulings that were completely or partially against the defendant district that appear to have notable implications for special education practice and litigation. Although not at all limited to these particular facts, the child in this case was a high school student who had a genetic disorder that rendered him blind and with a host of developmental delays in all academic areas. This decision is binding only in the nine states in the Far West that encompass the Ninth Circuit. However, it is not unusual for published federal appellate decisions to have a radiating, persuasive effect on other jurisdictions. Some of these rulings are much more likely than others to “stick” in jurisdictions beyond the Ninth Circuit.

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