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Law Center News: August 2014
Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia  
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Special Education Update: Speech/language, ESY Services Victories
C.H. is a 10th-grader with a talent for art. He also has autism and a severe language disorder. As part of the Law Center's work to make sure children with special needs in the School District of Philadelphia are receiving adequate speech, language and Extended School Year services, we helped C.H. obtain an improved speech and language program.

We also assisted E.W., a little boy who has difficulty reading and writing and whose parent asked that he have reading help this summer. The District had delayed and proposed an insufficient program not based on E.W.'s needs but based on its "one-size-fits-all" program for Extended School Year services. The hearing officer in this case said, "Decisions were made by the District about ESY programming, and the applicability of its standard ESY program, without any input from the student's IEP team," and found that E.W. was without appropriate services and ordered remedies for the same.

Law Center Event: Back to School Boot Camp 
The Law Center is kicking off its 2014/2015 Know Your Child's Rights seminar series with a Back to School Boot Camp. Featuring presenters from Temple University Institute on Disabilities, The Arc of Philadelphia, McAndrews Law Offices, and more, the full-day conference takes place from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, September 20. Through six seminars, this conference will cover many aspects of special education, including Early Intervention, Dyslexia, Discipline, Charter Schools and Inclusion. Get your tickets today and make sure you are prepared to protect your child's rights this upcoming school year. 
Matt Monsour
Pro Bono Spotlight:
Matthew Monsour

We and McGuireWoods LLP are celebrating an additional victory in a case declaring unconstitutional the city of Dubois' zoning restriction, which effectively barred a methadone clinic. The court awarded significant attorney fees for the work accomplished by both firms. The fee award is the last chapter in a long-standing fight to end discrimination against people seeking to overcome opioid addiction. Matt Monsour, our pro bono partner at McGuireWoods LLP, was lead counsel and had this to say about his experience working with us:

"I wanted to serve an organization that fights for people who cannot fight for themselves; an organization that consistently stands up against discrimination and refuses to be bullied. PILCOP is the epitome of this kind of selflessness and dogged determination. My experience with the organization made me more aware of the legal obstacles facing the disadvantaged and more appreciative of those willing to advocate on their behalf to ensure equal justice for all."
Annual Event Update: Honoring PA NACCP
The Law Center is pleased to announce that the Pennsylvania State Conference of NAACP Branches will be awarded a Thaddeus Stevens Award at the Law Center's Celebration of Civil Rights on Tuesday, October 14th. The award will recognize the Branches' advocacy, which brings resources and strategies to address the most egregious instances of discrimination throughout the Commonwealth. The Branches have joined forces with us over the years to defeat the state's voter ID law, to halt and refund excessive truancy fines in the Lebanon School District, to address discriminatory placement of polling places in Chester County, and to fight over-representation of African-American children in special education. Click here for details and to purchase tickets to our Annual Event. 
Richard Pasquier
Board Member Spotlight:
Richard Pasquier, FMC Corporation
Our August board member of the month is Richard Pasquier, assistant general counsel at FMC Corporation where he is the lead business lawyer for the Industrial Chemicals Group and the lead in-house lawyer for corporate financing activities. He is co-chair of the Law Center Nominations Committee. 

When asked why he joined the board, Rick said, "The decision to join the PILCOP Board is one of the best I have made recently. Where else do you get a comparable opportunity to work with great colleagues to support an organization that has such a track record of success using our civil justice system to impact people's lives for the better? And what better time to support PILCOP than now, an era when elected officials seem to need the courts to remind them to keep our elections fair and open to all and to fund a thorough and efficient public school system for our children." 
Law Center Update: New Staff, Board and Advisory Board Members
From L to R: Claudette Benton; (top) Kevin Harden, Jr., H. Robert Fiebach, Monique Galloway; (bottom) George Gordon, Stacy Hawkins, Rayman L. Solomon
This month we welcomed some new faces into the Law Center community, while others agreed to stay on in new capacities. Claudette Benton joins the Law Center as our new paralegal. Also new is Kevin Harden, Jr., associate at Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott, LLC, who joins us as an ex-officio board member from the Barristers' Association of Philadelphia. H. Robert Fiebach, Monique Galloway, George Gordon and Stacy Hawkins, all former board members, joined our Advisory Board. Rayman L. Solomon, provost and dean emeritus of Rutgers University-Camden, also joined the Advisory Board.
Saturday, September 20, 2014, 8:30 A.M. - 3 P.M.
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway

Tuesday, October 14, 2014, 6:00-8:30 P.M.
The Center for Architecture, 1218 Arch Street

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