Attorney Wong joins leading Massachusetts Attorneys for Children with Special Needs in Response to Settlement Agreement Investigation
Yesterday, in response to a recent news story about the role of settlement agreements in special education disputes, many of Massachusetts' leading special education attorneys for students with special needs, including Attorney Lillian Wong, issued the following statement:
To Channel 5 News:
The undersigned are attorneys who represent parents and children in education cases throughout Massachusetts. Some of us work for not-for-profit law firms and others engage in private practice, but we all have substantial experience with the settlement process as well as with special education litigation in Massachusetts.
Your recent story about settlement agreements in special education cases was somewhat misleading in appearing to suggest that such agreements are an unusual and perhaps inappropriate practice. While all students are entitled to a free appropriate public education from their local public schools, as in many areas of today’s society, it is not unusual for there to be disputes between the participants in the process. In the vast majority of all special education matters, parents and school districts work together and agree on appropriate accommodations, services and programs for special education students.
However, for a small fraction of all special education students, parents and school districts disagree about how a school district should provide the student with a free appropriate public education. When these matters cannot be resolved at the local level, parents have the right to go to a due process hearing before the Bureau of Special Education Appeals.
Like any litigation, a special education hearing can become expensive and risky. Therefore, many parents choose to enter settlement agreements, even paying part of the costs of special education programs, rather than go to a full hearing and risk losing. This is reflected in statistics from the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, indicating that over the last 10 years between 95 and 97 percent of all of these disputes are resolved without a full hearing. (See attached) This is not an unusual statistic. In Superior Court in Massachusetts the percentage of all types of litigation disposed without a trial is strikingly similar. (See attached)
As with any area of law, the terms of settlement agreements vary based on the individual facts in the case, including the strength of the merits of the case. Thus, the very fact that settlement agreements vary does not necessarily mean that the agreements are unfair or that they reflect discrimination or favoritism. To suggest otherwise is both misleading and unfair.
We are pleased to announce that for the third consecutive year, Attorney Lillian Wong has been selected to the Super Lawyer New England Rising Star list for her work in School and Education Law.
Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with third party research. No lawyer pays to be selected to the list.
Lillian Wong is a special education attorney who represents and advocates for children's educational rights throughout Massachusetts. Her office is located in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
Attorney Lillian Wong will be one of the faculty members presenting in a 2-day practical course, Special Education Law From A to Z. This comprehensive seminar will lay out all the essential requirements surrounding IEP development, discipline procedures and due process hearings.
Crowne Plaza Boston-Woburn
15 Middlesex Canal Park
Woburn, MA 01801
May 5 and May 6, 2015 from 9:00am - 4:30pm
Have you seen the latest issue of Autism Asperger's Digest? If you did, you might have read Attorney Lillian Wong's feature article, "Hiring a Special Education Attorney." Attorney Wong's article provides parents throughout the country with important and practical advice about choosing the right law firm to represent and advocate for their child in a special education dispute.
This issue of the magazine also includes a number of interesting articles, including Temple Grandin, PhD's thoughts on the autism label and James Ball, EdD, BCBA-D's explanation of positive behavior support. Dr. Grandin, Dr. Ball and Attorney Lillian Wong all serve on the advisory board of AADigest. In addition, Attorney Lillian Wong represents and advocates for parents and their children, many of whom are on the autism spectrum, in the Boston area and throughout Massachusetts.
Attorney Lillian Wong is pleased to announce that she has accepted seat on the advisory board of Autism Asperger's Digest.
AADigest debuted in 1999 as the first national magazine published for the autism community. Its purpose is to provide practical, actionable information to help parents and professionals improve the quality of life and quality of care for individuals on the autism spectrum. Temple Grandin, Ph.D is one of the magazine's regular contributors.
The AADigest Advisory Board is comprised of professionals, parent-professionals, parents and individuals with ASD. Attorney Wong is honored to be the only special education attorney on the board.
If you have a child with Autism, Aspergers, or PDD-NOS or any other Autism Spectrum Disorder and have questions about special education law and IEP rights, contact the North Shore Law Office of Lillian E. Wong today.
A recent survey by Autism Speaks named Boston one of the best places to live if you have Autism. The survey included questions about educational services, employer support, access to recreational activities, medical care, and respite care, and proximity of services and resources
Still, even some of those individuals who were generally satisfied with their child's educational services emphasized that it was a "fight" to get their child the appropriate supports and services.
If you need help advocating for your child's special education rights, contact attorney Lillian E. Wong today.
On September 24, 2011, Attorney Wong was honored to accept an award from her alma mater, Berwick Academy, an independent day school in South Berwick, Maine.
Attorney Gregory Michael's presentation the Young Alumni Award for Distinguished Achievement highlighted Ms. Wong's work as a special education attorney and advocate in Massachusetts.
Look for Attorney Wong's latest article, True Potential: Your Child's Rights to Testing Accommodations, in the September/October 2011 edition of Autism Asperger's Digest.
Read the entire article here.
If you have a child with an autism spectrum disorder or having any questions about testing accommodations, contact the Boston area Law Office of Lillian E. Wong to schedule an initial consultation.
Attorney Wong has recently been featured on ADDitude magazine, a nationally-recognized publication serving families and adults living with attention deficit disorder by publishing expert information about ADHD diagnosis & treatment, school accommodations, parenting ADD kids, getting organized with ADD, and much more.
Read Attorney Wong's article here.
If you need help advocating for your ADD/ADHD child's educational rights, contact Boston area attorney Lillian E. Wong today.
Attorney Wong was recently interviewed about Massachusetts' new anti-bullying law and how the law affects children with special needs. Read the entire article Some Question Whether Mass. Anti-Bullying Legislation Will Leave Special Needs Students Vulnerable here.
If your child is being bullied or being labeled a bully, contact the Massachusetts North Shore Law Office of Lillian E. Wong.
It is doubtful that any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education.
Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483 (1954)
The Law Office of Lillian E. Wong, LLC
15 Morningside Drive
Topsfield, MA 01983
15 Morningside Drive
Topsfield, MA 01983