Tuesday, April 7, 2009

I Use Your Comments; Voice Posting - Kinks

Thank you to all who posted comments or emailed me regarding decision writing. I used many of your comments in my presentation at UCLA. The hearing officers present enjoyed hearing comments from various stakeholders. This blogging thing really comes in handy.

The California conference was extremely good. There were about 75 ALJs from California. Attendance was down but there were also ALJs/HOs from Maryland, Florida, Wisconsin, Utah, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. It was a very good group. My presentation on Friday seemed to be well received, and the participants were very interactive during my session.

I also attended on Thursday. One topic was whether special education disputes have been overlegalized. This has caused me to do some serious thinking, and will be the subject of a future post. My preliminary thought is that the dispute resolution process is overlegalized in those seven to ten states that generate about 85% of all hearings. I think, however, that it is underlegalized everywhere else. In many places, parents and advocates tell me that parents cannot find experienced special education lawyers to represent them. I'm not advocating more due process hearings in the other states, but I do think that having a lawyer is very important the way the system currently stands. More on this later.

The technical problem is really pretty small. I'm learning how to work the voice recognition system that allows me to post by cell phone. I have to learn to speak more clearly. The first post on the overlegalization presentation was made at the conference, but was too garbled to take. On the way home, I tried again. The second one heard "special ed" as "special as"... kinda takes the steam out of it, eh? The third try was the charm; I was able to post a conference happening by cellphone! If you click on "listen" on the most recent blog post, you can hear my voice carefully articulating the words. I'm learning.


  1. I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.



  2. Jim - can you tell me a little more on what you mean by "overlegalized". I believe I may be following you on this though would like some clarification. Appreciate and and thanks for the blog post today on the brief filed by the Solicitor General re: Forrest Grove School District v. TA

  3. Thanks Legalezzz,

    I will follow up with a future post on this, b ut in a nutshell: The original intent of a due process hearing was an informal and quick decison on the merits of a claim. Many feel that it has become more like a court trial.

  4. Thanks Jim - I see that you posted the follow up.

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