Zatopa & Stephens : Individuals
Zatopa & Siegel, Attorneys at Law

As the vast majority of our individual clients are parents or other representatives of special needs children or disabled adults, these cases almost always involve obtaining public services or benefits for the individual child or adult. Depending upon the severity of these difficulties and the financial resources available to the family, our firm has several options to assist you securing appropriate services or interventions from public school districts and other public agencies.

Initial Screening
We can be contacted initially either by a phone call to one of our attorneys, or by using our e-mail questionnaire (see Details About Your Case). In either case, our initial contact is at no charge to you.

Formal Case Review
In some cases, the initial screening does not provide us with sufficient information to determine whether we are able to obtain the result sought by the prospective client. In those cases, we can do a formal case review for a fixed and moderate fee.

Included in the case review are:

  • Review of the client’s records, including past evaluation reports, special education documents, juvenile court records, school progress reports and relevant correspondence
  • Communication with other professionals involved with the child, including therapists, psychiatrists, tutors, and pediatricians
  • Review of the law relevant to the case
  • Face-to-face or phone interview

At the end of the consultation, we will:
  • Make a referral to obtain an independent assessment, as necessary
  • Accept the case with specific recommendations for ongoing representation (see "Ongoing Representation" below)
  • Decline the case, with some closing advice

Ongoing Representation
In most of our cases, we establish an ongoing relationship with our clients to obtain the special education services they seek for their children. Fees for our ongoing clients are based on an hourly rate for legal services provided, which may include:

  • Developing an overall case strategy, including retention of outside experts where necessary and recommendations regarding specific action and prospects for settlement as opposed to litigation
  • All communications with the public agencies necessary to pursue obtaining the services or result sought by our client
  • Attending IEP meetings, mediations, administrative hearings, and court procedures as necessary

We will discuss our fee structure and a range of estimated costs with you before you send us a retainer.


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