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ISSN: 1538-3202

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Supreme Court Issues 6-3 Decision in Arlington v. Murphy

Analysis of Arlington v. Murphy by Pete Wright

What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 & NCLB CAN Hurt You!

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U. S. Supreme Court Issues 6-3 Decision in Arlington v. Murphy


On Monday, June 26, the U. S. Supreme Court issued a 6-3 decision in Arlington Central School District Bd of Education v. Pearl Murphy, et. al. (548 U. S. __ (2006)

The question presented in Arlington v. Murphy was whether the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act authorizes prevailing parents to recover fees for services rendered by experts in IDEA actions.

Justice Alito, author of the majority decision, wrote,"We hold that it does not." Justice Breyer wrote the dissent and was joined by Justices Souter and Stevens.

Analysis of Arlington v. Murphy by Pete Wright

After Pete attended oral argument in Arlington v. Murphy on April 19, 2006, he wrote, "After listening to oral argument, it was my sense that the Supreme Court will decide that the word 'costs' does not include reimbursement for expert witness fees."

Read U. S. Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument to learn why Pete predicted a 5-4 or 6-3 vote.

In his Analysis of Arlington v. Murphy, Pete summarizes the majority and dissenting opinions.

He provides an overview of the background of the case and describes the different roles that lay advocates and expert witnesses play in resolving special education disputes.

What are the practical implications of this decision?

"From a psychological perspective, the Supreme Court's decision in Arlington v. Murphy may cause parents to think twice before initiating litigation - not a bad thing."

"If parents have taken the appropriate steps, they will use evidence from the psycho-educational evaluation by the private sector expert to support their position that the school's educational program is not appropriate and needs to be changed."

"It is unlikely that parents will fail to take the necessary steps to prepare for litigation because they do not expect to recover fees for their 'expert witness.'"

Wrightslaw Note: Analysis of Arlington v. Murphy by Pete Wright may be photocopied and distributed.
URL: http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/art/arlington.murphy.pwanalysis.htm

For additional information about the case, and links to decisions, pleadings, amicus briefs and news,
please go to the Arlington v. Murphy page.


What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 & NCLB CAN Hurt You!

Are you confused about changes in IDEA 2004? Don't understand how children with disabilities are affected by No Child Left Behind? You aren't alone!

In response to your requests for IDEA 2004 training, we developed
What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 & NCLB CAN Hurt You!


IDEA 2004 & NCLB: What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 & NCLB CAN Hurt You
is a one-day, six hour Wrightslaw program that focuses on changes in IDEA 2004, the interrelationships between IDEA 2004 and No Child Left Behind, and how to use these laws to get better special education services for children with disabilities. Sample agenda

You will learn about:
  • new requirements for evaluations, reevaluations, parental consent
  • new requirements for IEPs, IEP teams, IEP meetings
  • eligibility requirements for students with specific learning disabilities
  • accommodations on high stakes tests, accommodations guidelines, alternate assessments
  • new rules about discipline and manifestation reviews
  • new procedural requirements and timelines, including the “Due Process Complaint Notice” and “Resolution (IEP) Session”
  • implications of the Schaffer v. Weast decision
Presenters are are Wayne Steedman, Esq. or Peter W. D. Wright, Esq.

Learn more about What You Don't Know About IDEA 2004 & NCLB CAN Hurt You!

Learn about other Wrightslaw Training Programs.

Check the schedule to see when we are coming to your area.


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Contact Info

Pete and Pam Wright
Wrightslaw & The Special Ed Advocate
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Deltaville, VA 23043
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