LRP’s Special Education School Attorneys Conference, January 14 - 16, 2016, Hilton Austin, Texas REGISTER

Conference Speakers
Teri Engler Teri Engler
Engler Callaway Baasten & Sraga, LLC, Oak Brook, Ill.
Teri E. Engler is one of the founding partners of Engler, Baasten & Sraga LLC. Ms. Engler received her undergraduate degree from Northwestern University in 1976 and worked as a high school teacher before earning her Juris Doctor degree from Loyola University of Chicago in 1980. She concentrates her school law practice in the areas of special education/disability law and other student issues. Ms. Engler is a member of the Executive Committee of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys, the National Louis University Special Education Advisory Board, and numerous other professional committees and organizations in the fields of law and education. She regularly lectures on school law topics at local, State and national conferences and training programs, and has frequently been recognized by Chicago Magazine as an “Illinois Super Lawyer” in the area of schools and education.

Karen Haase Karen Haase
KSB School Law, P.C., L.L.O., Lincoln, Neb.
Karen Haase practices exclusively in the area of education law representing public school districts and other educational institutions. She frequently presents in‐services and speaks to all manner of education groups. She graduated from the University of Nebraska School of Law with highest distinction and obtained an M.A. in political rhetoric from Kansas State University and a B.A. from Hastings College. She has authored several articles in academic journals and is a past president of the Nebraska Counsel of School Attorneys and a member of The National Counsel of School Attorneys and the Nebraska Bar Association. She is admitted to the U.S. District Court, District of Nebraska, the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, and the Nebraska Supreme Court.

Sara Hardner Leon Sara Hardner Leon
Powell & Leon, LLP, Austin, Texas
Sara Hardner Leon focuses her practice in all areas of school law, with a particular emphasis on student rights, employment law, litigation, election law, redistricting, and public school finance matters. Ms. Leon has significant trial and appellate experience, and has represented Texas public school districts and educators in administrative hearings, state and federal trial courts, as well as in appeals to the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Courts of Texas and the United States. Ms. Leon has been an equity partner with the firm since 1998.

Melinda Jacobs Melinda Jacobs
Law Office of Melinda Jacobs, Townsend, Tenn.
Melinda Jacobs has devoted her career to the field of special education and disability law, working in government, private publishing, and the representation of public school agencies as a private practitioner. After receiving her law degree from the University of Alabama in 1984, Ms. Jacobs returned to Tennessee and accepted a position as an attorney in the Office of Special Education Programs for the Tennessee Department of Education. In 1989, Melinda joined LRP Publications as Associate Publisher for Education and Disability Publications. She returned to Tennessee in 1996, and joined a small special education law firm representing public school districts throughout the State. On March 1, 1999, Ms. Jacobs opened The Law Office of Melinda Jacobs, exclusively representing school districts in matters pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and related state and federal laws. Since 1999, Ms. Jacobs has successfully represented school districts at all levels of practice, including administrative due process hearings, the U.S. District Courts for the Western, Middle, and Eastern Districts of Tennessee and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. In addition to her law practice, Melinda consults with school district staff and school board attorneys in several states on special education legal issues.

Jose Martín Jose Martín
Richards, Lindsay & Martín, LLP, Austin, Texas
A graduate of the University of Texas School of Law, Jose Martín's legal practice focuses exclusively on the representation of public school districts in consultation and litigation involving students with disabilities. His background in journalism has led him to write frequently about disabilities law issues affecting public schools. He currently serves on LRP’s advisory board for The Special Educator® newsletter, and is the author of Effective Strategies to Resolve Special Education Disputes Without Due Process (LRP Publications, 2011), as well as various other LRP articles and pamphlets. Jose is also a frequent speaker on disability law and education topics at local, regional, state, and national conferences.
Alisia St. Florian Alisia St. Florian
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, Quincy, Mass.
Ms. St. Florian is a partner in the firm's Special Education Law Group, representing school districts in special education disputes. Ms. St. Florian received her Bachelor's degree from Bates College, her Master's degree in Education in Counseling Psychology from Boston University and her Juris Doctor, with honors, from Suffolk University Law School. While in law school, Ms. St. Florian was a member of the Moot Court Honor Board and published in the Suffolk Journal of Trial and Appellate Advocacy. Prior to joining the firm, Ms. St. Florian worked for five years as a Victim/Witness Advocate in the Suffolk County District Attorney's Office, Child Abuse Unit, and for seven years in a general civil litigation firm where part of her practice included the representation of children and parents in special education matters. Ms. St. Florian has been appointed by the Norfolk County Juvenile Court to serve as a Guardian ad Litem/Educational Advocate and by the Department of Education to serve as an Educational Surrogate Parent.

Alisia St. Florian Andrew Tatgenhorst
Underwood Law Firm, Austin, Texas
Andrew Tatgenhorst focuses his practice on the representation of school districts, and other educational entities, in all aspects of school law with particular emphasis on special education and disability law. He regularly attends Admission, Review, and Dismissal meetings and represents schools in special education mediations, due process hearings, agency complaints, and court proceedings. Prior to representing school districts, Andrew was a legal editor with LRP Publications; the leading national resource for special education conferences, trainings, and publications. In that role he was tasked with monitoring trends in special education law and developing educational content for school administrators and lawyers.

Brandon K. Wright Brandon K. Wright
Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd., Monticello, Ill.
Brandon K. Wright is a partner in the firm of Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd. in Monticello, Illinois. Brandon graduated with a B.S. in Speech Communication from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, and a master’s degree in educational administration from the Department of Educational Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Illinois College of Law. Prior to becoming an attorney, Brandon served as a member of the Anna-Jonesboro Community High School Board of Education from 1999-2003, the youngest person to be elected to a school board in Illinois at that time. He has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Southern Illinois University’s Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, and currently teaches school law courses as an Adjunct at Eastern Illinois University. Brandon currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Illinois Council of School Attorneys. Brandon focuses his practice on school law, having developed a particular interest in the field of special education, due process, and cooperative school districts. He regularly speaks at state, local and national conferences on topics of school law and special education.

William J. Zee William J. Zee
Barley Snyder, Lancaster, Pa.
William Zee is a member of the firm’s Education Law group offering extensive experience representing public and private schools, intermediate units and institutions of higher education. He serves as general counsel, solicitor, and special counsel in a variety of matters, representing clients in an advisory capacity, in administrative proceedings and in matters that resort to litigation. Drawing on practical experience in the classroom as a former public school teacher and university administrator, he helps school clients effectively and efficiently navigate complex legal issues. Zee was named a Rising Star by Pennsylvania Super Lawyers in 2015 for the sixth straight year (School & Education category), as well as a "Select Lawyer" in Susquehanna Style magazine in 2015 and 2016. He provides proactive training and support related to developments in education law and is regularly invited to provide expert commentary on student service and disability-related legal issues for interest groups and national publications.
School Attorneys