A team of Husch Blackwell attorneys and the legal and legislative team from the Council of the Great City Schools (CGCS) today won the 2017 August Steinhilber Award for “Best Brief” from the Education Law Association (ELA).
The Husch Blackwell team and the Council of the Great City Schools wrote and filed an amicus curiae brief in the Supreme Court of the United States in the case of Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. The brief was submitted on behalf of Husch Blackwell client CGCS in support of the Respondent School District. The Council is a non-profit coalition of 69 of the largest urban public-school systems in the United States.
In a March 22, 2017 in a unanimous ruling, the Court clarified the legal standard that federal courts must apply in evaluating individualized education plans (IEPs) for students with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The ruling and discussion in the Court’s opinion significantly reflect the legal arguments set forth in the brief.
The brief-writing team was comprised of John W. Borkowski, Derek Teeter, Michael Raupp, Aleksandra O. Rushing, and Katie Jo Luningham, members of Husch Blackwell’s Education practice; and the CGCS team, Julie Wright Halbert, legislative counsel, Jeff Simering, Manish Naik and Sue Gamm. The criteria for ELA’s award included Quality of Writing (including logical structure of argument, paragraphs and sentences; conciseness and clarity; emphasis of key points; use of headings and quotations) and Quality of Analysis (including presentation of the theory of the case and its limits; presentation of the doctrinal context; focus on points relevant to the Court; use of precedent; inclusion of relevant authority; discussion of relevance to education generally).
The team received the award today during ceremonies at the ELA’s Annual Conference in San Diego.