LaPointe & Butler, P.C. is dedicated to assisting our clients in navigating the complex and ever-changing laws affecting students with disabilities. Our focus on IDEA, Section 504 and the ADA allows us to offer a superior level of skilled representation. One of the most important services we provide to our clients is access to our attorneys to discuss and answer questions. These questions may relate to a specific set of circumstances, or may be of a more general, procedural nature. In either situation, our firm will attempt to provide an answer, or, if a clear answer is not available, an assessment of options.

As a retainer client, our firm can provide your district with such services as:

 

  • Immediate consultation on a reasonable basis by telephone
  • Direct e-mailing of “news flashes” concerning developments in disability law
  • An annual full-day retainer client workshop
  • Assistance in locating and recommending experts/consultants
  • Representing districts before the Department of Education with regard to complaints, requests for deviation/waivers, and state aid disputes
  • Access to exclusive content on our website including current legal news updates, pertinent archived documents, legal questions and answers, and back issues of An Ounce of Prevention News.

 

Subject areas in which our firm can assist include:

  • Least Restrictive Environment (LRE) issues:
    • Consulting on the development of plans for integrated programs
    • Dealing with OCR complaints & OCR representatives
    • Determining LRE for hearing impaired students
    • Advising on the limits for inclusion
  • Private placement issues
    • Determining a district’s obligations under IDEA when the student is parentally placed
    • Advising as to IDEA and Auxiliary Service Act implications
    • Assessing whether placement is needed for educational or non-educational reasons
    • Identifying other sources of money
  • Medically fragile students
    • Assisting districts in obtaining necessary medical information
    • Determining the extent of the obligation to provide services
    • Advice on problems with student’s physicians/insurers
    • Consulting on how services can be provided while minimizing potential liability risks
    • Advice on do not resuscitate (DNR) orders
  • Implementation of Early-On services for infants and toddlers with disabilities
    • Drafting inter-agency agreements
    • Sharing records with other provider agencies
  • Guidance on the suspension and expulsion of students with disabilities
    • Advising districts on the implementation of state law and IDEA
    • Addressing the question of whether the behavior is caused by the disability
    • Development of district policies and checklists
    • Seeking interim alternative placements under the “dangerousness” exception
    • Injunctive relief through court action
    • Alternatives to discipline policy, e.g., positive behavior supports, interventions, and strategies
    • Designing behavior interventions that are compliant with state and federal guidelines/requirements on restraint and seclusion
  • ISD plans
    • Advice on the authority of the PAC
    • The validity of specific ISD plan provisions
    • Advice on contracts with local districts regarding programs
  • Advising on confidentiality issues and the Federal Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) in relation to procedures for the destruction of educational records and responding to requests for copies of test protocols and answer sheets.
  • Assisting school districts in developing 504/ADA policies and procedures
  • Revising or creating forms to comply with IDEA

 

The following are some frequently asked questions and answers on how to become a retainer client or subscriber to the services provided by this page.

 

  • Q: How can I access exclusive content on this website?
  • A: Access to this content requires a login name and a password. You will be provided with this information when you become a retainer client of LaPointe & Butler, P.C. The exclusive content is only available to those who have signed a retainer agreement.
  • Q: Can anyone become a “subscriber” or “retainer” client in order to access the exclusive content?
  • A: No. LaPointe & Butler, P.C. is a law firm which specializes in representing school districts in special education, Section 504 and ADA matters. Only a school district may become a “subscriber” or a “retainer” client.
  • Q: What is the difference between a “subscriber” and a “retainer" client?
  • A: Since access to the content is designed to assist school districts in fulfilling their obligations to students with disabilities, access is limited to school districts. School districts in the state of Michigan may become a “retainer client” and receive a password as part of their retainer agreement. As a retainer client, a Michigan school district would be provided  with a subscription to the newsletter OP News, access to content on this website, the annual retainer workshop and access to an attorney for consultation. Time and consultation in excess of the retainer agreement is also billed at a reduced rate.

"Subscribers" receive OP News subscriptions and the ability to access online archived issues of OP News. Subscribers do not receive consultation time or access to other restricted areas of the website.