Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Legal Advice - The Meaning of the Disclaimer

Occasionally people call me or post comments seeking legal advice about a specific special education case. I'm sorry to say that this blog is not set up to accomplish that function. As the disclaimer on the side of this blog states "(t)his Special Education Law Blog is intended for educational purposes only. Nothing said in the posts, comments or elsewhere in this blog should be construed as legal advice."

I don't like to do anything unless I can do it right. In order to give solid legal advice, I would first have to have a lengthy discussion of the often complex facts in order to make sure that I fully understand the situation. Only then would I be able to apply the rapidly changing law of special education to the facts of the case and give advice regarding legal options and discuss potential strategy. Otherwise, I might give bad advice, and that would impair my professional reputation.

Also I have a number of conflicts of interest to consider. I work for a number of states, either as a special education hearing officer and mediator, or else as a consultant on special education law. In those states I cannot and will not represent parents or school districts. If you are not in one of those states, you can hire me to represent your child or school district, but only if you are willing to put in the time to fully discuss the controversy. Blogs are great as a means of disseminating information on a topic, but they cannot yet replace the old fashioned yet very important lawyer-client interview process. I hope you understand why I must take this position. It is not that I am not interested in your situation; the blog just isn't the appropriate forum for such advice.

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