Thursday, August 24, 2006

Ninth Circuit: No Attorneys' Fees for Lawyer-Parents in IDEA Proceedings

The Ninth Circuit Wednesday issued an opinion in Ford v. Long Beach Unified School District. The question was whether parents who are attorneys can recover attorneys' fees for representing their children in proceedings under the IDEA. The court answered the question in the negative. This is a pretty unsurprising decision. In 1991, the Supreme Court held that attorneys representing themselves could not recover attorneys' fees under the civil rights fee-shifting statute. The Court has generally read the IDEA's fee-shifting provision consistently with that general statute (as in Arlington Central v. Murphy a couple of months ago), so it would almost certainly agree with what the Ninth Circuit did here.


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