At LRP’s Special Education School Attorneys Conference, you’ll gain new insights from leading attorneys and gather valuable guidance you can use to help your school district clients avoid costly legal missteps when serving students with disabilities.
MaryGrace Bell Kittrell is an attorney in the Atlanta office of Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP. Before going to law school, she was an elementary school teacher in Atlanta. After becoming a lawyer, she worked as a prosecutor where she personally tried over thirty jury trials. She now uses her experience to represent school districts in litigation matters and specializes in special education matters. The majority of her practice is representing school districts in IDEA due process hearings. She also represents school districts in federal and state litigation involving constitutional claims, employment disputes, state torts, and students matters. As a former educator, MaryGrace understands that school district employees are unaccustomed to litigation, and she aims to make them feel comfortable and valued throughout the process. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Florida and a Juris Doctor from the Emory University School of Law. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, two young sons, and “high-energy” dog.
A former OCR attorney with over 15 years of experience working with schools, Jackie Gharapour Wernz is a sought-after national speaker and expert witness on all things Title IX and civil rights. Thousands of school attorneys, administrators, and employees turn to her each year for engaging training, including on the interplay between sexual harassment processes and special education. Her peers in the legal field regularly seek her expertise as an outside investigator and decision-maker in Title IX cases and as a consulting and testifying expert in Title IX lawsuits. Jackie attended the University of Virginia School of Law on a full-merit scholarship and was a member of the Virginia Law Review. She graduated summa cum laude with a triple major from the Donaghey Scholars honors program at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. Jackie lives in Dallas with her husband, two kids, and two vizsla dogs.
Jordan Johnson is a school lawyer in the law firm of KSB School Law where he focuses his practice exclusively on representing public school districts and related entities. Jordan grew up in South Dakota and graduated from the University of Nebraska College of Law. Jordan has focused much of his work at KSB on the big and ever-changing federal laws and published cases that apply to schools, in particular under the IDEA, Section 504, Title IX and the ADA.
Christina L. Lane is a partner with Maiello Brungo & Maiello and an accomplished school, municipal, labor and employment attorney with over twenty years of experience in representing school districts. Christina concentrates her practice upon education and employment law. She has considerable expertise in disability, employment, and related litigation before administrative agencies such as the Special Education Due Process, Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, state and federal courts. Christina routinely provides counsel to clients on issues of regulatory compliance, policy development, collective bargaining, employee discipline, student services, accommodation requests, and litigation avoidance. She possesses considerable expertise in litigation management providing consistent, client- based and cost-effective legal services to her clients.
Jeremy Neff is a shareholder with Ennis Britton, a statewide school law firm in Ohio. Jeremy works out of the firm’s Cincinnati office. Before becoming an attorney, he was a high school social studies teacher and coach for several years, and he served as the firm’s law clerk. Jeremy assists clients with a variety of education law issues, including special education, student discipline, and labor and employment matters. As a former teacher Jeremy particularly enjoys presenting on school law. Outside of work he is a proud and active father of three girls. In what spare time remains he volunteers with an addiction recovery running team and is an artist who works with a diverse group of neighbors in Cincinnati’s historic Over-the-Rhine community.
Brandon K. Wright is a partner in the firm of Miller, Tracy, Braun, Funk & Miller, Ltd. in Monticello, Illinois. He has served as an Adjunct Faculty Member at Southern Illinois University's Carbondale and Edwardsville campuses, as well as at Eastern Illinois University. Brandon is the immediate past Chair of 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 local, state, and national conferences on issues of school law and special education, including LRP’s National Institute.