Pro Bono Client Wins Special Education Benefits for Seventh Consecutive School Year

April 18, 2018

On April 18, 2018, Cleary Gottlieb successfully settled a claim brought against the New York City Department of Education (DOE) on behalf of M.H., a student with autism, and his parents.

Cleary has represented M.H. and his parents since 2011, and because M.H. turned 21 this year, the firm represented him for the last time in seeking a free and appropriate public education from the DOE. The DOE promptly agreed to settle the matter, offering M.H.’s parents full tuition reimbursement for the cost of attendance at the school of their choice for the summer of 2017 and the 2017-2018 school year.

In their 10-Day Notice letter, M.H.’s parents alleged that the DOE failed to provide M.H. with a free and appropriate public education as required under state and federal law by failing to offer him a school placement that fits his needs. This is the seventh claim that M.H.’s parents have made in as many years due to the DOE’s consistent failure to comply with the law regarding M.H.’s education. As a result of the DOE’s failure, M.H.’s parents, for the seventh year, unilaterally placed M.H. in a private school appropriate for his needs and sought reimbursement for the cost of his tuition from the DOE.