Wrightslaw l No Child Left Behind l IDEA 2004 l Fetaweb l Yellow Pages for Kids l Harbor House Law Press

 Home > News > Alert! Delaware Supreme Court Issues  Decision in Arons Case


The Special Ed Advocate
It's Unique ... and Free!

Enter your email address below:

 

2014 - 2015 Training Programs

Dec 4 - OKC, OK

Jan 16 - Shreveport, LA

Jan 24 - Corpus Christi, TX

Jan 24 - Pensacola, FL

Jan 31 - Champaign, IL

Feb 19 - Lincroft, NJ

Feb 24 - Knoxville, TN

Full Schedule

Be a Hero ...

 Jason at Ft. Benning
... to a Hero
Learn more

Wrightslaw

Home
Topics from A-Z
Free Newsletter
Seminars & Training
Consultations
Yellow Pages for Kids
Press Room
FAQs
Sitemap

Books & Training

Wrightslaw Books & DVDs
Wrightslaw Storesecure store lock
  Advocate's Store
  Student Bookstore
  Exam Copies
Training Center
Bulk Discounts
New! Military Discounts
Mail & Fax Orders

Advocacy Library

Articles
Doing Your Homework
Ask the Advocate
FAQs
Newsletter Archives
Summer School Series
Success Stories
Tips

Law Library

Articles
Caselaw
IDEA 2004
No Child Left Behind
McKinney-Vento Homeless
FERPA
Section 504
Fed Court Complaints

Topics

Advocacy
ADD/ADHD
Allergy/Anaphylaxis
Assistive Technology
Autism Spectrum
Behavior & Discipline
Bullying
College/Continuing Ed
Damages
Discrimination
Due Process
Early Intervention (Part C)
Eligibility
ESY
Evaluations
FAPE
Flyers
Future Planning
Harassment
High-Stakes Tests
Homeless Children
IDEA 2004
Identification & Child Find
IEPs
ISEA
Juvenile Justice
Law School & Clinics
Letters & Paper Trails
LRE/Inclusion
Mediation
Military / DOD
No Child Left Behind
NCLB Directories
NCLB Law & Regs
Parental Protections
PE and Adapted PE
Privacy & Records
Procedural Safeguards
Progress Monitoring
Reading
Related Services
Research Based Instruction
Response to Intervention (RTI)
Restraints/Abuse
Retention
Retaliation
School Report Cards
Section 504
Self-Advocacy
Teachers & Principals
Transition
Twice Exceptional (2e)
VA Special Education

Resources & Directories

Advocate's Bookstore
Advocacy Resources
Directories
  Disability Groups
  International
  State DOEs
  State PTIs
Free Flyers
Free Pubs
Free Newsletters
Legal & Advocacy
Glossaries
   Legal Terms
   Assessment Terms
Best School Websites

 
Delaware Supreme Court Issues Decision  in Arons Case 

On July 6 2000, the Delaware Supreme Court upheld a finding that lay advocates who represent parents in Delaware special education due process hearings are engaged in the unauthorized practice of law (UPL).

According to the July 6 decision by the Court: 

"On August 8, 1996, the Office of Disciplinary Counsel ('ODC') filed a petition with the Board requesting that Arons, Watson and the Parent Information Center be declared to have engaged in activities constituting the unauthorized practice of law by representing families of children with disabilities in due process hearings." 

"While admitting the representation of at least five such families in Delaware due process hearings, Appellants denied that their activities, even if amounting to the practice of law, constitute the unauthorized practice of law. They argued that section 1415(h)(1) of the IDEA permits the representations in which they have engaged and preempts any state-law proscription against the unauthorized practice of law that might otherwise apply. That section provides that any party to a due process hearing 'shall be accorded . . . the right to be accompanied and advised by counsel and by individuals with special knowledge or training with respect to the problems of children with disabilities.' They also claimed that Delaware is alone among the fifty states in precluding non-lawyer representation in these circumstances."

The Delaware justices expressed the belief that Delaware parents can easily
find attorneys to represent children with disabilities:

"If it could be demonstrated that an unmet need exists and that the local bar could not adequately respond, this Court would consider the adoption of a rule allowing lay representation in a certain limited class of cases . . . At present, however, such a need has not been demonstrated."

You can download the Arons decision in html from the Law Library. You can also download the Arons decision in pdf

What next? 

Although this case applies only to advocacy representation in Delaware, it's impossible to predict if its impact will be limited to Delaware. We do not expect the Arons case to have an adverse impact in Virginia because the Code of Virginia, Section 22.1-214(C) states that: 

"The parents and the school division shall have the right to be represented by legal counsel or other representative before such hearing officer without being in violation of the provisions of § 54.1-3904 (the unauthorized practice of law section of the Virginia Code).

Note from Wrightslaw

Other states may have similar language in their statutes, regulations, or in opinions issued by their Attorney Generals. If you know your state's position and have specific legal authority, statute, regulation, legal opinion, or other authority, please send the information by email to: UPL@wrightslaw.com

Check your state statutes, regulations, and AG opinions. If your state laws or regs need to change to permit representation by lay advocates, you need to educate your legislators about these issues.

We are indebted to the Council of Parents Attorneys and Advocates listserve for staying on top of this case. David C. Vladeck, counsel for Arons, spoke at the last COPAA conference in Houston, and gave the inside story of this case as it was unfolding.

If you are an advocate or attorney who assists or represents children with disabilities, you need to join COPAA! For membership information, go to the COPAA site.

Email Newsletter icon, E-mail Newsletter icon, Email List icon, E-mail List icon The Special Ed Advocate: It's Free!

 

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About IEPs
About the Book

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board
About the DVD Video

 

Copyright 1998-2014, Peter W. D. Wright and Pamela Darr Wright. All rights reserved.

Contact Us | Press Mission l Our Awards l Privacy Policy l Disclaimer l Site Map

 

What's New!

Now Shipping!

Wrightslaw: All About Tests and Assessments
About the Book

Check it out!

Wrightslaw Store

The Advocate's Store

Get Help!

Blog the Wrightslaw

Wrightslaw on Facebook

Find us on Facebook

Wrightslaw Books

Student Discounts

Military Discounts


Wrightslaw: All About IEPs

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw: Special Education Law, 2nd Edition, by Pam and Pete Wright
About the Book
To Order


About the Book

To Order


Surviving Due Process: Stephen Jeffers v. School Board

About the DVD Video
To Order


To Order


Wrightslaw: No Child Left Behind

About the Book
To Order

Wrightslaw Multimedia Training


Understanding Your Child's
Test Scores (1.5 hrs)

Understanding Your Child's Test Scores

Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $
24.95
Wrightslaw Special: $14.95

Special Education Law & Advocacy Training
(6.5 hrs)


Wrightslaw WebEx Special Education Law & Training Program (6.5 hrs)


Learn More
To Order
Retail Price: $99.95
Wrightslaw Special: $49.95