by Kaylee Willis
Children with disabilities have specific and unique needs when it comes to their education. Though the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) makes it so that all children with disabilities have access to a free appropriate public education designed to meet their unique needs, there are still many families that struggle to get the services the act entitles them to. The act makes appropriate evaluations, individualized educational plans (IEP), least restrictive environments, and parental participation the right of each special needs child. However, school boards often try to spend as little as possible on providing for children with disabilities, so parents must rely on the legal system to make sure schools provides for their children's needs.
Since lawyers are prohibitively expensive, making it difficult for qualified professionals to participate in the process leaves families with no affordable options for legal guidance. In September, the New Jersey Supreme Court Ethics Committee released an opinion that would make it even more difficult for families to get appropriate help from experts concerning their child’s special educational needs. In response, we submitted a comment which resulted in the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on the Unauthorized Practice of Law superseding that opinion with one that answered many of our requests.
Written by Josh King
Tom has already posted about the NJ Supreme Court's summary rejection of Responsive Law's challenge to that state's latest ethics opinion impacting Avvo Legal Services. But as Avvo's former Chief Legal Officer, I wanted to offer a few of my thoughts on the Court's lazy, arrogant, and retrograde decision.
Sorry—I may be frontrunning my conclusion here.
Written by Tom Gordon
The New Jersey Supreme Court has declined to review a bar ethics opinion prohibiting lawyers from participating in fixed fee legal services platforms such as Avvo Advisor. The court’s inaction will most immediately impact consumers of legal services in New Jersey, but ultimately could expose members of the New Jersey bar ethics committees to antitrust liability.
Written by Danny Foster
Recently, we wrote a guest post for our friends over at UpCounsel on Fee Sharing, Innovation, and the Consumer Interest. You’ll have to click through to read the whole thing, but (briefly) the argument runs as follows:
The New Jersey State Bar Association's Advisory Committees on Professional Ethics and Attorney Advertising issued a joint opinion on March 26th effectively banning lawyers from creating virtual law offices. The decision requires every attorney to maintain a permanent address. This comes as virtual law offices, in which the attorney maintains an online or "virtual" law office and rents office space as needed, are growing in popularity. According to New Jersey State Bar Chief Allen Etish, "[t]he need for a bona fide office is necessary," while acknowledging "that the idea of a virtual office needs more study," noting that virtual law offices are "not totally wild-eyed or preposterous."