Settle or Fight?

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In This Issue . . .

Circulation: 80,906
ISSN: 1538-320

June 8 , 2010

If you have a dispute with the school, should you settle or fight?

Litigation is not for everyone. Children are better served when they receive appropriate services, supports, programs, and placements sooner, not later.

Settling a case avoids the delay, expense, uncertainty, and emotional strain associated with litigation. A settlement agreement offers more flexibility in crafting a remedy.

In some cases, as in Jarron Draper's case, there is no viable choice except to litigate.

In this issue of the Special Ed Advocate, learn about the tough questions Jarron Draper's family faced ... and the outcome. Read about settlement agreements in "Demystifying Settlement Agreements" by Jarron's attorneys, Steven Wyner and Marcy Tiffany.

Please don't hesitate to forward this issue to other friends, families, or colleagues.

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A Saturday Morning Question: Settle or Fight?

On a Saturday morning in 2005, I was in the office catching up on work when the phone rang. The caller was Denice Morgan from Georgia.

Denice was thinking about representing her nephew, Jarron Draper, in a due process case against Atlanta Public Schools.

Denice's immediate question was this: "Should the family settle or continue to fight?"

For the answer to this question, read "A Saturday Morning Question: Settle or Fight".


Demystifying Settlement Agreements by Wyner and Tiffany

"In drafting a settlement agreement, the devil is in the details." - Pete Wright.

Settling a case avoids the delay, expense, uncertainty, and emotional strain associated with litigation. A settlement agreement offers more flexibility in crafting a remedy.

Yet few agreements are more complex than settlement agreements. A well-crafted settlement agreement can be very effective in resolving disputes and allowing the parties to move forward. A poorly-crafted agreement can create new problems, and lead to even more litigation.

In "Demystifying Settlement Agreements," Steven Wyner and Marcy Tiffany explain how settlement agreements should be structured, and common pitfalls to avoid.

Demystifying Settlement Agreements is available from

To illustrate their points, Wyner and Tiffany provide a Sample Settlement Agreement to explain the basis and importance of each clause. The Sample Agreement is available in Word and PDF:

Be sure to print the article, Demystifying Settlement Agreements, and the Sample Settlement Agreement. As you read the article, you need to have the Sample Agreement before you.

For more articles about special education law and practice, go to:

Jarron Draper

Congratulations Jarron!

On Friday, May 28, 2010, Jarron Draper received his high school diploma from The Cottage School. His accomplishment took years of hard work, courage, sacrifice, and faith on the part of Jarron and his family.

When U. S. District Court Judge Marvin Shoob issued his decision, 20 year-old Jarron was stocking shelves at Target and working as a security guard. Despite his best efforts, he couldn't read, earn a high school diploma, or fulfill his dream of attending college.

Judge Shoob ordered Atlanta Public Schools to pay Jarron Draper's tuition at a private special education school for four years as compensatory education for their persistent failure to educate him..

For those who do not recall the facts in Jarron's case, read "A Lesser Spirit Would Have Been Crushed Years Ago: J.D. v. Atlanta Public Schools."

You can read the U.S. District Court decision at

Ultimately, Jarron’s case went up to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. That Court upheld the District Court's decision. You can read the decision at


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