It’s always a problem that you don’t know what you don’t know. I have more of a full spectrum knowledge of the various issues that schools are dealing with. I may recognize that in responding to this court order we need to keep mindful of FERPA which is the federal Student privacy right act and we can’t just turn over student records without analyzing the privacy issues that would go along with that.
There’s lots of different issues that could come up that just a general litigator or general practitioner wouldn’t be aware of. There’s particular issues when you’re dealing with and ESE student. There may be a heightened level of expectation of what duties the school district owes to a student who has an IEP or Individualized Education Plan. Again, if you haven’t worked with those issues you just wouldn’t necessarily know to ask those questions in the first place.
I feel like it’s a really good day for me as an attorney when I could ask my clients some questions that make them stop and think, hey, why don’t we try to do something in a different way to avoid a problem in the first place. To avoid there being a lawsuit or some kind of claim or issue coming down the road.