Author: Michael P. McKeon

Does One Wrong Equal No Rights? Connecticut Lets Its Surrogate Parents’ Contracts Lapse

Due to the State Department of Education’s failure to provide new contracts in a timely manner, Connecticut’s approximately 74 surrogate parents have found themselves in limbo.  Surrogate parents are appointed by the State Department of Education [“SDE”] to advocate on behalf of disabled students who have no parents, whose parents are incapable of meaningfully participating…

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Pullman & Comley’s April 21, 2015 Special Education Legal Issues Forum

Pullman & Comley School Law attorneys Michael McKeon, Mark Sommaruga and Susan Scott will present a forum for special education directors and administrators reviewing legal developments and trends including: settlement agreements, Section 504, Common Core and “Smarter Balanced” Tests-opt outs and other impacts, and review, revisions and updates to IEP Forms. Tuesday, April 21, 2015…

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Commentary: Newtown School Lawsuit Offers Painful Casting of Blame

Attorney Michael McKeon has a very insightful article about the lawsuits filed against the Newtown School District relating to the 2012 Sandy Hook school shooting tragedy.  Mike discusses legal as well as practical issues involved in the plaintiff’s lawsuit.  You can find the Connecticut Law Tribune article here.  …

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The Ends Justify The Means: Ha v. Northwestern University and Responding to Sexual Harassment Under Title IX

The recent decision in Ha v. Northwestern University,   reiterates the leeway educational institutions have under Title IX when crafting a response to claims of sexual harassment.  The plaintiff in Ha alleged that in February 2012, when she was a freshman, a professor, Peter Ludlow, sexually assaulted her at his off-campus apartment after he had “caused her…

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Attorneys Michael McKeon, Mark Sommaruga and Zachary Schurin To Speak at 2014 CABE/CAPSS Convention

Pullman & Comley School Law attorneys Michael McKeon, Zachary D. Schurin and Mark Sommaruga will speak at the annual Connecticut Association of Boards of Education (CABE) and Connecticut Association of Public School Superintendents (CAPSS) 2014 convention, the theme of which is: “Public Education in 2027: Courageous Leadership Teams.” In the Section B Workshop, Mark —…

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Pullman & Comley’s November 21, 2014 Special Education Legal Issues Forum

Pullman & Comley School Law attorneys Michael P. McKeon, Mark J. Sommaruga, and Susan L. Scott discussed recent, noteworthy court and hearing officer decisions in the area of special education, as well as reviewed trends and best practices pertaining to manifestation determinations, private placements, independent evaluations and common PPT conundrums at Pullman & Comley’s Fall…

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Discipline as Defamation: Title IX, Disciplinary Panels, and The Risks of Righteousness in The Wake of Wells V. Xavier and Harris V. St. Joseph’s

Two recent court rulings illustrate some of the perils facing university administrators when handling internal disciplinary complaints against students who have been alleged to have committed on-campus sexual assaults. These risks were previously discussed in the context of the plaintiff, Dez Wells’ Title IX claims in Wells v. Xavier University.  Of perhaps equal significance, however,…

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Summertime Blues: T.M. v. Cornwall and The Mainstreaming of Extended-School-Year Programs

In a decision that will likely result in both practical challenges and financial burdens for public school districts, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit held in T.M. v. Cornwall Central School District that the legal obligation to educate special education students in the least restrictive environment, or “LRE,” is not limited…

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Wells v. Xavier University: Investigating Campus Sexual Assaults and The Perils of Predetermination Under Title IX

The recent wave of Title IX complaints filed with the United States Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights [“OCR”], claiming that colleges and universities were either ignoring or mishandling reports of sexual assaults has underscored the importance of implementing effective student sexual harassment policies and procedures. At the same time, the recent case of…

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Vergara v. California: Part Two: Is Tenure in Connecticut At Risk?

As discussed in a prior post,  the recent decision in the case of Vergara v. State of California, et al., will, if upheld on appeal, eviscerate California’s public school teacher tenure law. Given that 46 states have some form of teacher tenure, Vergara has unleashed a sonic clash between keening prophesies of pedagogical collapse and…

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