Legal Services Program
CASB Legal Services Program TeamBeth Friel, Staff Attorney, biography
Robin Marlow, Executive Assistant, Legal
LSP's mission is to provide high quality, affordable legal representation to CASB members and related public education organizations.
In 2005, CASB created the Legal Services Program (LSP) to better assist our members with their legal needs. LSP provides you with attorneys who have extensive experience in many complex areas of education law.
LSP's attorneys provide general counsel services to school districts and boards of cooperative educational services, as
well as related public education organizations. Also, LSP attorneys provide special
counsel or co-counsel services for specific matters or cases in which a district or organization's attorney recommends additional legal support or outside counsel.
Kathleen Sullivan has many years of experience and expertise in the area of special education law, specifically including advising clients on and litigating cases arising under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, and the Americans With Disabilities Act. LSP attorneys frequently work with local school district attorneys and in-house attorneys on special education matters due to the complex matrix of laws and expedited nature of the cases.
LSP attorneys are experienced in representing clients in all types and levels of special education disputes, including due process hearings, federal district and appellate courts, mediations, and state and federal complaint investigations. In addition, LSP attorneys provide consultative services with respect to the legality of policies and procedures and assist school agencies in avoiding litigation and/or mediating disputes, where appropriate.
LSP's attorneys also provide legal representation in the following additional areas of education law:
- Athletic programs
- Board governance
- Charter schools
- Child abuse reporting
- Civil rights
- Contracts and leases
- Government relations
- Interscholastic activities
- Labor-management relations
- Public records
- Student discipline
- CASB’s Legal Services Program (LSP) offers a Special Education Practitioners’ Manual (New for 2009-2010) that can be provided digitally or in print form to special education professionals, from administrators to classroom teachers and service providers. The Manual provides practitioners with a single source that compiles the essential sources of law, board policies and state guidance. The purpose of this Manual is to equip building level service providers with the knowledge and resources to guide compliant special education processes in their building and to know when to appropriately access district-level resources. Particular attention is paid to:
- Understanding the requirements of the IDEA and how it functions in Colorado;
- Understanding the FAPE and Least Restrictive Environment requirements, and how they are related;
- Developing a procedurally and substantively appropriate IEP;
- Navigating the minefield of student discipline for students with disabilities;
- Understanding the relationship between the IEP and behavioral interventions;
- Practical tips and recommendations for addressing practitioners’ most frequent pitfalls and challenges.
Sample content from the manual can be found below in PDF format. These excerpts come from the chapter on FAPE and consist of law, policies and guidance.
For a specific discussion of your District or Organization’s needs and pricing, please contact Kathleen Sullivan.
- Acting as a hearing officer to convene required hearings in accordance with applicable laws, policies and regulations, making necessary findings and recommendations, and issuing decisions where appropriate.
- Inservice training sessions and seminars on school law topics to educate board members and staff about the legal issues affecting their school district or organization.
- Legal assistance, research and support for CASB's participation as amicus curiae ("friend of the court") in important cases affecting Colorado school districts, as long as it is not contrary to LSP's ethical and professional obligations to its clients.
- Legal assistance, research and presentations at CASB sponsored functions in areas such as advocacy, board member training and policy.
If you would like more information about CASB's Legal Services Program, please contact Kathleen Sullivan.