Susan's son has learning disabilities. The family is very thoughtful and knowledgeable of his needs but were running into consistent brick walls with the school district. We filed due process and after hard negotiating reached a settlement. The following is a testimonial reflecting on her experiences with me as their attorney.
The circumstances that lead a parent to conclude they need to hire a special education attorney for their child is painstaking. The process of finding, interviewing and eventually hiring an attorney seems to be another overwhelmingly emotional task that evolves around the “special needs” child. However, the time, energy, and cost of not hiring a special education attorney when discord begins with a school district can be even more detrimental to a family.
I chose Charles Fox as my son’s special education attorney after interviewing two other high profile special education lawyers in the Chicago land area and after exhausting the use of a lay advocate. Of course, my decision to hire Mr. Fox was based on good “gut” feeling, but it was also founded on what I considered to be paramount considerations when making such a critical decision involving your child’s future. Unlike the other attorneys, I especially liked the fact that I would be working directly with Mr. Fox and not a paralegal, partner or secretary. Also, from a financial standpoint, the retainer and fee schedule seemed fair and reasonable compared to some of the astronomical figures loosely thrown around by the other attorneys. Finally, it was imperative that my objectives, input and principles would be honored while building our case; in other words, we would work as a team and not “add labels” to my child in order to build a stronger case.
After hiring Mr. Fox, I found that he was accessible, dependable and honest. In fact, he was always reachable by e-mail or cell phone, he was never late to a meeting, and he even helped keep my expenses down by allowing me to do some of the communication with my district. Consequently, I was never shocked when I received a bill. And, he was always compassionate regarding our frustrations. Perhaps, because he is a parent of a special needs child too.
In IEP meetings and our subsequent mediation, Mr. Fox was extremely knowledgeable regarding special education law, had a commanding presence, promoted teamwork, and was tenacious when he needed to get my district’s attention and make them accountable! We had a very successful mediation and were able to avoid due process.