The School District of the City of Philadelphia recently learned an expensive lesson about special education in I.W. v School District of the Philadelphia, 67 IDELR 14 (ED Pa 2016). There, the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania awarded the parent’s attorney $600.00 an hour after the parent prevailed in a special education case against the district. The court, in reaching its decision, noted the parent’s attorney had focused her practice on special education for 27 years and had presented at numerous national conferences related to special education law. Of course, not every parent’s attorney has these credentials. Nevertheless, this case painfully illustrates the importance of compliance with special education laws and the consequences of taking the wrong case to hearing.
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