2:05 - 4 p.m.
Keep Calm and FAPE On: The Aftermath of COVID-19
Schwartz and Shaw, PLLC, Raleigh, N.C.
The year 2020 and COVID-19 brought predicaments to schools never before contemplated and only intensified the challenges of educating children with disabilities. Rachel Hitch will provide a historical overview of the development and evolution of guidance from governing agencies on how to proceed during and after the COVID-19 pandemic. She will also review cases that have arisen out of the pandemic and discuss common claims and defenses that appear in COVID-19 special education litigation. You will be provided practical advice for resolving procedural and substantive disputes related to COVID-19 issues and closures and recommendations for future planning in the event of similar or recurring extended school closures. Veteran attorneys and those new to the field will glean strategies for discussing pandemic-related issues at IEP and 504 meetings and for ensuring compliance with special education laws.
4:15 - 5:30 p.m.
Ethics | Disclosure Exposure:
Records You Can, Can't, and Must Disclose
Betsey A. Helfrich,
Mickes O'Toole, LLC, St. Louis, Mo.
As education lawyers, we regularly advise clients regarding their records obligations. But what about us? Unfortunately, records and confidentiality issues faced by school attorneys rarely lend themselves to easy answers. Common questions include: What duty does an attorney have to bring information to the attention of other constituents within an entity when representing an organizational client? To what extent is the duty of confidentiality affected by the availability of information in public records or public knowledge? Further complicating ethical compliance is the fact that school attorneys often access information as a "school official" under FERPA, which imputes obligations in addition to those found in the Model Rules. Betsey Helfrich will dig into these issues and provide useful takeaways for every lawyer!