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Conference of the Council of Parents, Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA)
Orlando, March 13-16, 2003

The Fifth Annual Conference of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA), a national organization of parents of special education students and their advocates and lawyers, will be held at the Hyatt Orlando in Kissimmee, Florida on March 13-16, 2003.

Links to the schedule, conference brochure, and registration forms are at the end of this Alert.


The COPAA conference will be of most interest to parents, advocates and attorneys who represent or are interested in representing special education students.

This conference provides unique opportunities for training and networking with the most experienced and knowledgeable attorneys and advocates for students and parents on special education issues.

The program includes an intensive three-and-a-half day Attorney Skills Training - a choice of two day-long intensive workshops on either Parent / Advocate Training or IEP Advocacy, and a rich array of workshops and plenary information sessions.

Participants will learn about the most recent cases, legislative changes, and tricks and tactics from experienced attorneys, advocates and parents.

Schedule at a Glance

Attorney Skills Training

Beginning on Thursday, March 13, continuing through the last day, there will be a specialized strand of sessions called the Attorney Skills Training. Participation is limited to forty attorneys. Legal assistants who prepare cases for trial and write legal pleadings may also attend this strand.

On Friday, March 14, there will be two separate day-long programs for attorneys, advocates and parents. Noted author and professor, Barbara Bateman will focus exclusively on IEP Advocacy. The Parent / Advocate Training program includes seven workshops by experienced litigators, advocates and parents.

The Opening / Keynote session will start at 5:00 p.m., followed by a Reception.

On Saturday, March 15, there will be an Opening Session, followed by four separate workshops, then a luncheon speaker, four additional workshops, break, and four new workshops. The Attorney Skills Training will be in its third day of continuous training.

The day will close with a General Session and optional social activities.

On Sunday, March 16, the day will open with a General Session, four new workshops and close with a Legislative Update Panel around 12:30 pm.

Conference speakers include:

Selene Almazan, Esq. Barbara Bateman, Esq. Robert Berlow, Esq. George Crook, Esq. Judith Gran, Esq. Stewart Hakola, Esq. Frank Hickman, Esq. Pat Howey; Brad Johnson, Esq. Mark Kamleiter, Esq.

Also, Sonja Kerr, Esq. Leslie Margolis, Esq. Arlene Mayerson, Esq. Michael McIntire, Alice Nelson, Esq. Michael O'Connor, Esq. Robin Rosenberg, Esq.

Also, Jodi Siegel, Esq. Diane Smith, Esq. Dawn Smith, Esq. Rebecca Spar, Esq. Wayne Steedman, Esq. Torin Togut, Esq. Joseph Tulman, Esq. Patricia Waldman, Esq. Pete Wright, Esq.


COPAA will be applying for Continuing Legal Education Credit for almost all sessions offered throughout the conference.


Registration fees vary, depending on the date your form is received, days attended, and COPAA membership status. All registrants receive a continental breakfast, the Friday evening reception and Saturday lunch. Lunch is provided for all registrants for the Attorney Skills Training, and Friday's IEP Advocacy and Parent Advocate Training.

For hotel reservations, call the Hyatt at (407) 396-1234. Explain that you are attending the COPAA conference to receive the discount daily rate.

Learn More About COPAA Conference

You can download more information about the conference from the COPAA site at

Schedule of Events:

Brochure & Registration Form:

Help Get the Word Out

Please distribute this Alert to groups whose members may be interested in attending the conference and to any appropriate mailing lists of which you are a member. Please feel free to post this information on your web sites, with a link to


To learn more about the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, please follow this link:

For membership information, please go to:

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