Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Presents for the Vocational Association of Special Education Directors
Mary Ellen Sowyrda, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane presented to the Vocational Association of Special Education Directors. Ms. Sowyrda’s long career within special education, as well as being head of the firm’s Special Education Department, provided her with a high level of experience for this presentation. Her speech, titled “COVID-19 and Special Education Issues”, focused on resuming school and the factors that teachers’ and students’ will need to consider. Some of the factors she talked about included the status of the virus in Massachusetts, parents’ willingness to return their children to in-person learning, and the willingness of the school’s staff regarding flexibility for remote learning. She also discussed the in-person considerations, MASC policy on face coverings, remote instruction considerations, and more. Throughout her presentation, Ms. Sowyrda provides many considerations that anyone in any education field would find useful.
Ms. Sowyrda is a partner in the firm and heads the Special Education Department within Murphy, Hesse, Toomey and Lehane, LLP. The firm currently represents approximately 160 school districts and educational collaboratives in the practice area of Special Education Law. She is involved in all aspects of litigation and alternative dispute resolution at the Bureau of Special Education Appeals, including representing clients at hearings, settlement conferences, pre-hearing conferences and mediations. She provides clients with daily advice on school-related legal issues including all aspects of special education, Section 504, student discipline, student records and anti-bullying laws, and deals with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and other state agencies that are associated with the provision of special education services to students. Ms. Sowyrda is a Phi Beta Kappa summa cum laude graduate of Boston College and a graduate of Boston College Law School. She is a member of the Massachusetts Bar Association, and has been annually named a Super Lawyer by Boston Magazine from 2006 to the present.
Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP is deeply saddened to announce that one of the founding partners of the firm, Michael C. Lehane, passed away on January 11, 2021. Mr. Lehane was a giant of a lawyer, an incredible mentor and friend to all who worked with him. He was highly respected by his colleagues, whether it be his fellow partners, judges, clients or friends. Renowned for his quick wit and intelligence, grace under pressure, sense of humor and Read More
Unpacking the Federal Stimulus Package’s Direct Payments, Enhanced Unemployment Payments, and FFCRA Leave Extension
There has been a great deal of discussion in the news lately about the latest Congressional stimulus package, which was ultimately signed by President Trump on Sunday, December 27, 2020, following his initial pushback. The stimulus package, officially known as the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 (the “Stimulus”), is a behemoth piece of legislation that consists of nearly 5,600 pages, covering a broad array of appropriation matters.