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Donnalynn Darling Spearheads Meyer Suozzi's Special Education Law Practice

Feb 5, 2003Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Media Source:, Glen Cove Record Pilot

Meyer, Suozzi, English & Klein, P.C., announces the formation of a new Special Education Law practice group expanding the firm’s impressive array of personal, corporate and government practice areas. Chaired by partner Donna Darling, the parent of a special needs child, Meyer, Suozzi is responding to increasing requests for assistance to secure timely educational evaluations, services and accommodations for children in public and private school settings under federal and state regulations.

“Beyond the usual flurry of activity each spring, which determines education placements and services for the following year, students are faced with increased expectations for academic performance. More than ever, students with special learning needs require additional assistance, services and accommodations from their school. As a child’s learning becomes stressed, concerned parents often need help in securing all the services and assistance entitled by law,” stated Donna Darling. “An opportunity lost in a child’s education is an opportunity never regained,” she added.

“The rules are complex and economic conditions often result in fewer services offered to children with special learning needs. Schools are being pressured to reduce the number of children receiving individualized assistance,” she explained. “The key to our legal services is to facilitate the partnership among schools, family and child, and outside specialists to diagnose a child’s needs and secure the services and accommodations imperative in compensating for bona fide handicapping conditions.”

Joining Ms. Darling in the Special Education Law practice is Lynn M. Brown, also the parent of a special needs child. “The parents of special needs students are emotionally involved, while the rest of those in the process are doing their jobs,” stated Ms. Brown. “We are able to advocate effectively through both our legal training and parental experience. We appreciate first hand how intimidating it can be for many parents attending large formal meetings with school administrators who use unfamiliar acronyms to describe diagnoses and services. We’re able to translate the language of special education law, and guide our clients around the procedural pitfalls on their child’s behalf.”

“Special education law is a perfect example of the expertise, energy and vision of our partners and staff, as they identify new ways to serve our clients,” stated Managing Attorney and President, Lois Carter Schlissel. “There is a clear and compelling need for this service as demonstrated by clients who, as dedicated parents, approached us for assistance in navigating this complex educational arena,” she continued. “Special education law enables us to further augment our tradition of quality, comprehensive representation for all our clients on Long Island, in New York City, the State and the region,” added Ms Schlissel.