March 2018 Legal Update

This month’s legal alert focuses on two recent cases with costly consequences, one arising from a student’s concussion (Lincoln-Sudbury Regional School District v. Mr. and Mrs. W. (2018)), and the other, the failure to have the IEP ready at the start of the school year (School District of Philadelphia v. Kirsch (2018)).

Click here to download the update and read more.

August 2017 Legal Update

This latest monthly legal alert summarizes two recent officially published federal court decisions, I.Z.M. v. Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan School District (2017) and I.L. v. Knox County School District (2017), that illustrate a wide range of continuing and emerging issues under the IDEA and Section 504/ADA, including accessible instructional materials, state seclusion/restraints laws, and state education agency (SEA) liability.

Click here to download the update and read more.

July 2017 Legal Update

This monthly legal alert reports two very recent cases that illustrate the continuing litigation concerning two major issues for students with disabilities–peer harassment, including bullying, and special education eligibility, including the “need prong.” Both are from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals: (1) Doe v. Columbia-Brazoria Independent School District (2017) for peer harassment under Section 504 and the ADA, and (2) D.L. v. Clear Creek Independent School District (2017) for special education eligibility under the IDEA.

Click here to download the update and read more.

** Due to temporary technical difficulties, last month’s legal update may not have reached your inbox. To read it, please visit **

March 2017 Legal Update #1, including Sec. 504 Eligibility Form

This month’s update provides the highlights and practical implications of one major legal development, plus a customizable Section 504 eligibility form:

  • The U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision on Feb. 22, 2017 that demarcated the scope of the IDEA’s exhaustion provision, which concerns whether parents must complete the impartial hearing process before proceeding in court.
  • In the absence of a second major legal development during the past four weeks, this month’s Alert provides the attached Section 504 eligibility form, which may be customized for local use with due acknowledgment per the asterisked note at the bottom of the form.

Click to download the March update.

October 2016 Legal Update

This month’s alert provides the following additions to your legal currency:

  • A new Second Circuit decision holds that eligibility under the IDEA does not necessarily mean eligibility under Section 504 and its sister statute, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
  • The Supreme Court agrees to decide two special education cases, with one (Endrew F.) being centrally significant.
  • The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which replaces the NCLB Act, introduced some major changes in relation to students with disabilities (e.g., elimination of the “highly qualified” teacher requirement).

Click to download October 2016’s legal alert (zirkel-legal-alert-october-2016).

September Legal Update

As a new feature, my site will periodically highlight major new legal developments. This first one (PDF linked below) addresses these three significant additions to your legal currency:

  • new ADA regulations that expand eligibility for 504 plans
  • a Ninth Circuit decision that raises IDEA eligibility issues for proactive practices in general education, such as RTI
  • one of the relevant changes as a result of the ESSA replacing the NCLB

Click to download the September Legal Update (zirkel-legal-alert-september-2016.pdf).