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ERIC Number: ED444321
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Jul
Pages: 39
Abstractor: N/A
The Role of Attorneys in Special Education Mediation. Briefing Paper.
Feinberg, Edward; Beyer, Jonathan
This briefing paper examines the role of attorneys, and to a lesser extent advocates, in special education mediation. It attempts to "mediate" the debate by adopting the structure of mediation. It begins with a background chapter offering a historical basis for conflict resolution in special education. It then examines the positions held by both proponents and opponents of permitting attorneys and advocates to participate in special education mediation. These positions include, for proponents, the ability of attorneys and advocates to overcome power imbalances, provide a valuable viewpoint, and facilitate settlement and, for opponents, the possibility that attorneys and advocates may undermine collaboration by using adversarial approaches. It then considers the interests and concerns shared by advocates of the two opposing views. These include that each side should enter mediation capable of understanding and representing its rights and interests and that mediation should foster a fair, candid, and respectful dialogue during the incipient stages of a dispute. Examples of innovative practices in various states are offered. Finally, the paper concludes with practical recommendations that attempt to satisfy these common interests. Three appendices provide federal legal documentation. (Contains approximately 100 references.) (DB)
CADRE, Direction Service, P.O. Box 51360, Eugene, OR 97405-0906. Tel: 541-686-5060; Fax: 541-686-5063; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Special Education Programs (ED/OSERS), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: Consortium for Appropriate Dispute Resolution in Special Education (CADRE), Eugene, OR.