On-Demand Video

School Law Update 2022

  • City:
  • Start Date:2022-11-13 19:00:00
  • End Date:2024-11-13 19:00:00
  • Length:
  • Level:Various
  • Topics:Education

$249.00 ["ProPass"]

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School Law intersects with wide and varying areas of law that continue to evolve and change.

The 2022 PBI School Law Update will guide practitioners on the latest developments in Pennsylvania education law and practice.

Learn about three different areas of School Law and developments in each:

Litigating the IDEA in Federal Court – A Conversation with the Federal Judiciary
This panel aims to provide guidance to special education practitioners when litigating IDEA cases in federal court. Three esteemed federal judges–Judges Pratter, Kearney, and Baylson from the Eastern District of Pennsylvania–will answer questions about best practices for litigating IDEA cases in federal court, their personal practices when presiding over IDEA cases, and some of the challenges associated with IDEA cases.  

Waivers 101 for Special Education Law Practitioners
Many students who require educational accommodations will require additional services once they reach adulthood. How can educational lawyers advocate for the services the students need right now while making sure their rights to long-term services are also protected? Expert panelists will explain the considerations involved in navigating the complicated eligibility standards for Pennsylvania waivers, federal SSI, CHIP, Medicaid, Medicare, and more.

PA School Funding Lawsuit
Hear from the attorneys bringing the landmark suit William Penn School District v. Pennsylvania Department of Education, including the current status of the case, the likely effects of forthcoming rulings, and the many twists and turns they endured in their long path to obtaining a merits ruling.

School Law Continues to Evolve and Change

All attendees will receive the course book as a digital download. A printed copy of the course book is available, at a discount to attendees, for $40. Additional copies are available at full price. If you wish to purchase the printed version of the course book, please call PBI Customer Service at 800-932-4637. Please allow up to two weeks after the program for the printed versions of the course book to be shipped.

Recorded in November 2022.



David Berney Esq.

Mr. Berney is the founder of Berney & Sang, a firm that concentrates its practice in education and employment law. Mr. Berney serves as an adjunct professor of special education law at the Drexel University Thomas R. Kline School of Law. He also writes as a guest columnist for the Legal Intelligencer on education-related legal issues. Over the years, he has been an active member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, serving as a Chair of its Civil Rights Committee. From 2008-2022, Philadelphia Magazine named David a “Super Lawyer.” Mr. Berney is a graduate of Lehigh University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. Mr. Berney can be contacted directly at djberney@berneylaw.com or 215.564.1030.

Michele Leahy MS, CPWIC

Ms. Leahy is the founder and CEO of Leahy Life Plan (http://www.leahylifeplan.com/), a firm dedicated to life planning for those with disabilities as well as their families. She understands disability challenges from both a professional and very personal perspective. Her goal is to assist in developing strategies of funding special needs trusts and creating a roadmap to meaningful adult supports. Ms. Leahy received her M.S. in Non-Profit Management from Eastern University and an B.A. in Communications, Division of Humanities, from Penn State. She had more than a decade of varied professional work experiences before she established her own company. She was the first non-veteran Executive Board Member of the United Spinal Association, a national disability rights organization, where she served for over 8 years. In 2018, she spoke on disability issues at the Philadelphia Women’s March on the steps of the Art Museum. She has been a key player in organizations such as AHEDD (a specialized human resource organization), the Epilepsy Foundation, Liberty Resources, Inc., and the American Association of People with Disabilities, and she has served on many community advisory boards that advocate for individuals with disabilities. Ms. Leahy has spoken both nationally and locally at PBI’s Exceptional Children’s Conference, PaTTAN, National Down Syndrome Conference, Spina Bifida National Conference, VoiceAmerica and on the floor of the Pennsylvania Senate.

Julie Moyer BSW

Julie Moyer has worked for Chester County Department of Mental Health and Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (MH/IDD) for 21 years. She started as a Supports Coordinator, and then moved into a supervisory position, then a management position, and now is part of the Administrative Entity as a Program Specialist.  Although the roles have changed, she has done intake with the department for 18 years.  She works with individuals, families, schools and providers to help determine if individuals are eligible, and then helps them with understanding the system as well as getting connected to a supports coordinator.  Additionally, she coordinates the Self Determination group, which is a group of Self-Advocates, families and providers who work to advocate in our local community for individuals with disabilities to live everyday lives. Prior to working for MH/IDD, Julie was a Psychiatric Social worker for Sacred Heart Hospital in Chester, now part of the Crozer-Chester Medical System. Julie has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from West Chester University. Outside of her work with the county, Julie helped to start and now coordinates a support group called Trans-Parents.  The group is a safe space for parents of kids and adults who are transgender, non-binary and gender non-conforming to share their stories, ask questions and share resources so that they can be the best support to their kids as they can be. 

Gene Pratter

Judge Pratter is a District Judge for the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She began her judicial service in June 2004. Judge Pratter practiced law with Duane Morris LLP, where she concentrated in commercial litigation, professional liability litigation, as well as employment, contract and insurance coverage disputes. Judge Pratter became that firm’s first General Counsel and was also vice-chair of the firm’s Trial Department, and a member of the firm’s Partners Board. Judge Pratter continues life-long service in numerous professional, community and education organizations, including the University of Pennsylvania Inn of Court, the American Law Institute and the American Bar Foundation, as well as Christ Church Preservation Trust and others. She is an Adjunct Faculty member of the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she previously served on the Board of Overseers. Judge Pratter was appointed by Chief Justice John Roberts to the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules. As part of her service on that National Committee she participated in the recent amendment of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The Chief Justice has recently appointed her to the Judicial Conference Rules of Practice and Procedures Committee (“Standing Rules Committee”). She was a member of the Executive Committee of the ABA’s National Conference of Federal Trial Judges. Judge Pratter has traveled several times to former Soviet-bloc countries that are now part of the European Union as a discussion leader and teacher for judicial ethics and case management for complex litigation in joint Department of State/Department of Justice Rule of Law programs. Judge Pratter earned her bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and her J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. 

Michael Baylson

Judge Baylson was appointed to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania by President George W. Bush and took office on July 12, 2002. He was born in Philadelphia in 1939 and graduated from Cheltenham High School (1957), the Wharton School of Finance & Commerce (B.S. Economics, 1961) and the Law School (LL.B., 1964) of the University of Pennsylvania. After clerking for Judge Joseph Sloane of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas and volunteering with the Defender Association, Judge Baylson began serving as an Assistant District Attorney under District Attorney Arlen Specter in January 1966 and became Chief of the Homicide Division in 1969. In January 1970, he joined Duane Morris and became a partner in 1974. Judge Baylson handled complex civil litigation matters and tried numerous cases, specializing in class actions, antitrust and securities issues. After serving as United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania from October 1988 through January 1993, he returned to Duane Morris and resumed an active law practice. Judge Baylson served as Chair of the Trial Department and as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee. He was a founder, and later counsel, to Gaudenzia, Inc., the largest non-profit provider of drug, alcohol and mental health rehabilitation services in Pennsylvania. Judge Baylson served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Civil Rules of the Judicial Conference of the United States from 2005 to 2010. He currently serves on the Third Circuit Committee on Model Criminal Jury Instructions. Judge Baylson is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. He has previously taught at the Temple University Beasley School of Law program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, and served as moderator at the Aspen Institute Justice and Society seminar in Aspen, Colorado. Judge Baylson is a frequent speaker at Continuing Legal Education programs and seminars.

Mark Kearney

President Barack Obama commissioned Mark A. Kearney as the 100th judge in the history of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania in December 2014 following a Senate voice vote. He presently sits by designation in the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and presides over the session replay MDL 3074 (2023). He served as the 2014-2015 President of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute and 2009 President of the 2200-member Montgomery Bar Association and 2010 President of the Montgomery Bar Foundation. His trial experience included serving as lead counsel for both plaintiffs and defendants in class actions, multi-district litigations, mass tort actions, and in regulatory investigations throughout the United States. The Montgomery Bar Association honored Judge Kearney as the 2014 Trial Lawyer of the Year. He was repeatedly elected (2011-2015) as a Top 100 lawyer in Pennsylvania and in the Philadelphia Metropolitan area by Thomson Reuters. Benchmark Litigation selected Judge Kearney as one of the top 50 “Litigation Stars” in Pennsylvania for 2013 and 2014. Judge Kearney received his Bachelor’s in Arts in Economics and English with honors followed by his Juris Doctorate from Villanova University in 1987. He served as the judicial law clerk for the Honorable Maurice A. Hartnett, III of the Delaware Court of Chancery following law school. A member of the Delaware and Pennsylvania Bars, he is published as a lead author on Delaware fiduciary standards in two editions of the Villanova Law Review (1995, 1996) and was a multi-year contributing editor to Butterworths Journal of International Banking and Financial Law. He presently writes and edits articles for the Federal Judicial Center.  He presently serves on the Third Circuit’s Community and Courts Committee and as the Chair of the District Court’s Community Outreach and Public Relations Committee, Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Law Related Education Committee, and a Vice Chair of the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Federal Practice Committee. He is also an elected director representing the Third Circuit judges on the Federal Judges Association Board. He continues to serve on Charles Widger Villanova Law School’s Board of Consultors. He is an adjunct professor on trial advocacy and frequent speaker to business and legal communities.

Maura McInerney Esq.

Maura McInerney (she/her) is Legal Director at the Education Law Center, a non-profit legal advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all children in Pennsylvania have access to quality public education. Maura has been a litigator in the private and public sectors for over thirty years. Since arriving at the Education Law Center fourteen years ago, Maura has litigated precedent-setting state and federal cases on behalf of underserved children, including a class-action lawsuit filed on behalf of children in foster care which resulted in the dismantling of an inferior, segregated school and the awarding of compensatory education services to hundreds of children in foster care, and a federal case that established several important educational rights of homeless children. She is ELC’s lead litigator in our fair school funding case, scheduled to go to trial in September 2021. In addition to leading ELC’s litigation efforts, Maura engages in legislative and policy work at the national and state level and is recognized as a national expert on laws involving the education rights of children who are homeless and those in foster care. She helped found and represents ELC as a member of the national Legal Center for Foster Care and Education. In 2012, Maura was named Child Advocate of the Year by the Pennsylvania Bar Association’s Children’s Rights Committee for her work on behalf of children in foster care. She has also received the Unsung Hero Award from the Legal Intelligencer for her litigation on behalf of students experiencing homelessness. Before joining ELC, Maura served as Special Counsel in the Trial Department at the international law firm Duane Morris for twelve years, where she co-counseled over sixty cases, including numerous trials and appeals at the federal, state and administrative level. As an Assistant Attorney General for the State of Maryland, she handled dozens of administrative hearings and appeals. She also served as a law clerk for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. In 1990, Maura co-founded a transitional housing program in Columbia, M.D., which continues to provide housing, legal support and social services for families. Maura graduated from Fordham Law School in 1988.

Claudia De Palma Esq.

Ms. De Palma joined the Public Interest Law Center in 2018 as a staff attorney and works across several practice areas, primarily education and employment. Some of Ms. De Palma’s recent representations include the school funding case challenging Pennsylvania’s failure to provide a constitutionally adequate system of public education, and a variety of lawsuits to stop discrimination against people with criminal records, including a challenge to the U.S. Small Business Administration’s criminal record ban for Paycheck Protection Program loans. Before joining the Law Center, Ms. De Palma was a litigation associate at Hangley Aronchick Segal Pudlin & Schiller, where she successfully defended the City’s implementation of the Philadelphia Beverage Tax. Before moving to Philadelphia, Ms. De Palma worked on civil rights issues in New York City, including as a legal fellow at Sanctuary for Families, and clerked for the Honorable Vanessa L. Bryant in the U.S. District Court for the District of Connecticut. Ms. De Palma graduated cum laude from Yale University with a BA in American Studies (2005) and received her JD cum laude from the NYU School of Law (2012), where she served on the editorial board of the NYU Review of Law and Social Change.

Jennifer Sang Esq.

Ms. Sang is a partner with Berney & Sang, where she is focusing her practice primarily in the area of education law. She has represented hundreds of families in special education cases. In 2015, The Legal Intelligencer named Jennifer a Lawyer on the Fast Track. And in 2017, the Philadelphia Magazine named her one of the best attorneys under the age of 40 in Pennsylvania practicing special education law. Prior to joining Berney & Sang, she served as a fellow for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, where she participated in constitutional litigation. Ms. Sang earned her J.D. degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law and her B.A. degree from New York University.

Daniel Urevick-Ackelsberg Esq.

Mr. Urevick-Ackelsberg is a Senior Attorney at the Public Interest Law Center. His practice focuses on education and housing issues. Mr. Urevick-Ackelsberg’s work includes leading the Law Center’s litigation team in Pennsylvania’s landmark school funding trial and serving as class counsel in a challenge to misrepresentations by attorneys representing landlords in Philadelphia eviction filings. Prior to joining the Law Center, Mr. Urevick-Ackelsberg was an attorney at Community Legal Services, an Assistant Chief Counsel for the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission, and a law clerk to the Honorable Cheryl Ann Krause of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the Honorable L. Felipe Restrepo of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Mr. Urevick-Ackelsberg graduated from Macalester College with a B.A. in Political Science and earned his J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

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