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Navigating Special Education Law

Total Credits: 3.25 CLE, 1.0 Ethics

Average Rating:
Hope N Kirsch |  Lori B Kirsch-Goodwin |  Heather Pierson |  Jessica Sanchez |  Lori A Bird |  Hon. Tammy Eigenheer
Original Program Date:
Sep 24, 2021


Attorneys on both sides of the aisle along with an Administrative Law Judge will show you how to navigate the education system for a student with a disability, from suspecting a disability to developing an IEP, avenues for dispute resolution, heading for hearing, the latest case law presented in a Year in Review, and all intertwined with an hour of ethics.
Hope Kirsch, Esq., Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch PLLC* 
Hon. Tammy Eigenheer, Administrative Law Judge, Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings
Lori Bird, Esq., General Counsel, Scottsdale Unified School District
Lori Kirsch-Goodwin, Esq., Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch PLLC 
Heather Pierson, Esq.,Udall Shumway
Jessica Sanchez, Esq.Udall Shumway


* Also presenting as a Panelist



Hope N Kirsch Related seminars and products

Attorney / Partner

Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC

Hope Kirsch is a partner with the education law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, in Scottsdale, founded in 2006. She is a licensed special education teacher and 30 year attorney. Hope practices with her sister representing K-12 students throughout Arizona in school-related matters including advocacy, Due Process Complaints, appeals, 504s, OCR, Title IX, discipline and bullying. She also represents and advises higher education students in academic integrity matters, disability accommodations and discrimination, grade appeals and residency. Hope was a special education teacher and coordinator in the New York City public schools for 18 years where she worked with the most challenging populations and supervised and trained teachers in teaching strategies, curriculum development, drafting IEPs and behavior management techniques. She has a Bachelor’s degree in special education from Boston University (cum laude), a Master’s degree in special education from NYU, 30+ post-graduate credits in educational supervision and administration, and her law degree from Brooklyn Law School (Dean’s Merit Scholar). She began her law career as a judicial clerk in the Superior Court of New Jersey and then as an associate at a NY/NJ litigation and appellate firm. She moved to Arizona in 1999 and was an associate and then partner at Broening Oberg until 2006. Hope is admitted to the state and federal district courts in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. She is AV® Preeminent rated and serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Arizona.

Lori B Kirsch-Goodwin Related seminars and products

Lori Kirsch-Goodwin is a founding member of the law firm of Kirsch-Goodwin & Kirsch, PLLC, representing and advising special needs students and their families throughout Arizona in school related matters and disputes under the IDEA and 504. She graduated Syracuse University and the University of Bridgeport (Quinnipiac School of Law). She practiced in New York and New Jersey from 1987 until 1995 when she moved to Arizona where she has been practicing ever since. She is the parent of an adult on the spectrum and was a litigation/trial attorney. She began her practice in special education law as she navigated her son’s education through the public schools. Lori is regularly involved in eligibility and IEP meetings, MDRs, disciplinary due process hearings, OCR, IDEA Due Process, and DDD appeals. She is admitted to practice in the state and federal courts in New York, New Jersey, Arizona and the 9th Circuit, and is AV-rated. Lori prevailed in a case before the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals that involved appropriateness of a school’s selection of location of a school for a student on the spectrum. She is AV® Preeminent rated and serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Superior Court of Arizona.

Heather Pierson Related seminars and products


Udall Shumway PLC

Heather Pierson is a partner at the law firm Udall Shumway PLC in Mesa, AZ.  She is a member of the firm’s School Law section, representing the firm’s education law clients throughout the State.  Ms. Pierson comes to Udall Shumway PLC uniquely qualified in the area of education law.  Prior to joining Udall Shumway, Ms. Pierson taught behavior disordered students.  During her teaching career, Ms. Pierson was involved in the development and implementation of Individualized Education Plans (“IEP”) and behavior plans and attended several trainings on special education and regular education interventions and strategies. While in law school, Ms. Pierson provided in-home ABA services for autistic children under the age of three and participated in the Whittier Law School Special Education Clinic, which provided special education advocacy services for children with developmental disabilities. Additionally, Ms. Pierson earned her Master’s Degree in Special Education in 2004.  Ms. Pierson primarily focuses her practice on special education and disability related matters. She routinely defends school districts and other public educational institutions in matters related to disability law matters, such as special education due process hearings, Office of Civil Rights (“OCR”) complaints, Section 504 due process hearings, mediation, and special education state complaints. She provides daily advice and assistance in matters related to special education, Section 504, the Americans with Disabilities Act, student discipline, personnel issues and student records. Ms. Pierson taught Contemporary Developments in Special Education Law through Northern Arizona University during the Spring of 2014. She has also given in-service workshops to district personnel on a wide range of special education and disability related topics and speaks at state-wide conferences.

Jessica Sanchez Related seminars and products


Udall Shumway PLC

Jessica Sanchez is a partner with the firm Udall Shumway PLC in Mesa, Arizona. She focuses her practice primarily in the area of education law, representing school districts and charter schools throughout the State. In addition to her time at Udall Shumway PLC, Ms. Sanchez has also served as in-house legal counsel for the Scottsdale Unified School District and the General Counsel for the three Tempe School Districts (Tempe Union High School District, Tempe Elementary School District and Kyrene Elementary School District). Ms. Sanchez has experience providing legal advice and representation on a broad range of matters including, but not limited to, special education, student discipline, employment matters, Open Meeting Law, public records, policy review, and governing board liability issues. Ms. Sanchez has conducted many in-service training programs and has presented a variety of seminars for the National Business Institute, MEDS-PDN, and the Arizona School Boards Association. Ms. Sanchez recently served as President of the Arizona State Bar Board of Governors.

Lori A Bird Related seminars and products

General Counsel

Udall Shumway PLC

Lori Bird is General Counsel for the Scottsdale Unified School District.  In that role, Ms. Bird advises and represents the District in employment law, student discipline, contracts, procurement, policy, open meeting and public records law.  Previously, she served as the Chief of Dispute Resolution for the Exceptional Student Services department of the Arizona Department of Education overseeing special education administrative complaints, mediation and due process proceedings.  Ms. Bird also ran her own law practice representing parents in special education matters as well as other disability related issues.  She holds undergraduate degrees in psychology and criminal justice and received her law degree from the New School of Law in 1994.  Before entering the education law arena, Ms. Bird practiced at a defense firm in the area of medical malpractice.  Ms. Bird’s varied experience includes working as a criminal staff attorney for the Arizona Court of Appeals, a capital case staff attorney, law clerk for the Federal District Court in Arizona, and as volunteer court appointed advisor with Community Legal Services.  Ms. Bird has frequently provided trainings and webinars on a variety of education related topics to parents, educators, advocates and attorneys. 

Hon. Tammy Eigenheer Related seminars and products

Assistant Presiding Administrative Law Judge

Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings

Hon. Tammy L. Eigenheer,  Assistant Presiding Administrative Law Judge at the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings, has been with OAH since 2012.  At OAH, Judge Eigenheer presides over a wide variety of cases including HOA matters, disputes between homeowners and licensed contractors, and disciplinary actions against professional licenses.Before joining OAH, Judge Eigenheer was a hearing officer with the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services for four years.  Judge Eigenheer also clerked for the Missouri Court of Appeals, Southern District, in Springfield, Missouri, and the 4th Judicial District in Omaha, Nebraska.  Judge Eigenheer received her Bachelor of Science from Missouri State University and her Juris Doctorate from University of Missouri – Columbia School of Law where she was on Law Review and in the Order of the Coif.



Overall:      4.8

Total Reviews: 4


Chang-Soon S

"good job all around. "

Lilia H

"Presenters were very knowledgeable and materials were easy to follow for someone who does not practice this area of law. "