Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP Partner Prevails in U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a Partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received her second favorable decision in a month in the case of G.D. v. Swampscott Public Schools et.al., the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. Ms. Vasudevan represented Swampscott Public Schools (the Defendant). The Parents alleged that Swampscott Public Schools failed to provide their child with a free appropriate public school education as required under the Individuals with Disabilities Act. Against the school district’s advice, the parents unilaterally placed their child at Landmark, and sought full reimbursement from the Swampscott Public Schools. Their request was first denied by the BSEA and then by the Massachusetts District Court, before bringing the matter to the First Circuit. Upon review of the background facts set forth in their hearing at the BSEA, along with the claims reported thereafter, the First Circuit affirmed the District Court’s grant of judgement to the defendants.
Ms. Vasudevan is an attorney in the firm’s Education Law and Special Education Law Groups, working in regular and special education issues. She represents school districts in all aspects of special education litigation, from administrative hearings at the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (BSEA) through all levels of judicial appeal. She represents school districts in matters of student discipline, civil rights issues, collective bargaining, public procurement, and employment issues. Ms. Vasudevan presents workshops to both client groups and at state conferences such as the Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education (MCLE). These workshops are on a variety of relevant education issues such as conducting investigations, evaluations, special education, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, state and federal student record regulations, bullying, and civil rights laws. Ms. Vasudevan received her Bachelor’s Degree from Stanford University, with a major in Public Policy and her Juris Doctor degree from Harvard Law School. Prior to law school, she taught high school mathematics for two years in San Jose, California, as part of Teach for America, and trained the incoming Teach for America Corps Members at Teach for America’s Summer Institute.
Attorney Felicia Vasudevan, a partner at Murphy, Hesse, Toomey & Lehane, LLP, received a favorable decision on behalf of her client, Marshfield Public Schools. The Plaintiff appealed the district court’s judgement that upheld a decision of the Massachusetts Bureau of Special Education Appeals (“BSEA”). However, as the notice was filed more than 30 days after entry, the First Circuit ultimately dismissed the appeal for being untimely. The Plaintiff also appealed the district court’s order, denying her motion to vacate. Read More
Following our Alert from March 16, 2023, Civility is Dead – The Supreme Court Rules Municipal Control of Public Speak Limited to Reasonable Time/Place/Manner Restrictions, which discussed the holding to the Supreme Judicial Court’s decision in Barron v. Kolenda and the Town of Southborough (SJC-13284), we promised to bring you more detailed guidance on developing a Public Speak policy for your public body or municipality. The Barron case involved a constitutional challenge to the Town of Southborough’s public comment policy, which attempted to impose a code of civility on members of the public who participated in public comment before public bodies. In Barron, the court interpreted the state constitution to mean that public bodies may request, but not require, that public commentators be respectful and courteous. Instead, a public body may set restrictions on reasonable time, place, and manner comments to ensure that the meeting retains an orderly and peaceable manner.