Claimed Lawyer ProfileQ&A
I have almost 10 years of criminal law experience as a former prosecutor of Allegheny County. I currently specialize in education law, including special education, juvenile delinquency, disability law, and criminal defense
- Education Law
- Juvenile Law
- Civil Rights
- Social Security Disability
- Estate Planning
- Criminal Law
- Free Consultation
I provide free initial telephone consultations
- Credit Cards Accepted
I accept the following forms of payment - cash, money order, credit cards (Visa and MasterCard only)
- Contingent Fees
I accept disability cases on a contingency basis getting 25% of the backpay owed
Jurisdictions Admitted to Practice
- 3rd Circuit
- English: Spoken, Written
- Hamline University School of Law
- J.D. (2007) | Law
- Activities: Symposium Editor, Hamline Journal of Public Law and Policy
- Fayetteville State University
- B.S. (2003) | Business Administration
- Honors: Cum Laude
- Pennsylvania State Bar # 306382
- - Current
- Activities: Member, Exceptional Children Committee
- Allegheny County Bar Association # 306382
- - Current
- Activities: Member, Homer S. Brown Division; Member, Women in Law Division, Member, Disability Law Committee
Websites & Blogs
10 Questions Answered
- Q. What are the consequences for a school that begins to promote a specific religion?
- A: It depends on the type of school. There can be significant consequences if this is a public school.
- Q. Can you tell a true story on a podcast, change names and locations and it be legal? Can a teacher do this?
- A: As an initial matter, libel consists of the written word, whereas slander is the spoken word. Whether its' libel or slander, they require the information to be false. The defense to a libel or slander lawsuit is the truth. To answer your other question, yes, you can tell stories of people by changing their names and locations without running the risk of legal issues, AS LONG AS the listeners would not be able to tell who you're talking about. Sometimes, other details in the story can still give away the person about whom you're speaking. Also, you can still tell the stories and not run a risk of a lawsuit if the person about whom you're talking has no damage to their reputation within the community.
- Q. Is the school right for reporting my daughter for truancy being 2 or 3 minutes late every other day with no absences?
- A: Generally, schools define "absence" as including not being physically present AND being late after a certain number of days. All schools are different, but many schools will use consistent tardies as being absent. If your child is consistently tardy (even by a few minutes), then, yes, the school can begin to count the tardies as absent.
- Q. Do I need to change my child’s school? Which school should he be enrolled in? Confusing situation.
- A: It depends. In theory, he should be enrolled in the school where you, as parent/guardian lives. Since your living situation is temporary, however, he could probably remain in the school district he's in. There are many circumstances that could affect the decision as to whether you're a resident of one county or another, other paying taxes. If the school found out about your living situation, they could request tuition (or tuition reimbursement). In such a case, you should contact a lawyer, such as myself, to provide more details of the situation. I was in Cambria County with a similar residency issue, and the magistrate ruled in my client's favor of not having to reimburse the school, but it all depends on the surrounding circumstances.
- Q. My ten year old son says his teacher is telling students to pray in between class periods. Does this violate a law and
- A: It depends on the context in which the information is given. If the teacher is telling students this as a suggestion or an option of something they can do, it more than likely would not violate any laws. If the teacher is requiring or mandating students to pray, then the teacher would probably in violation of the law. It's also unclear as to whether the students face repercussions for not praying. Again, if the teacher is telling students to pray, students don't pray, and there are no consequences, this would not violate the law. If students face consequences for not praying, this could violate the law. Lastly, this response applies to public schools, not private or religious schools.
- Q. My son's FERPA rights were violated. School lawyers wants to meet. Can I request to meet with just him and record it?
- A: In Pennsylvania they would have to consent to the recording. If the school is bringing their lawyer, you should have yours. Otherwise, after the meeting, do a follow up email with all the people in the meeting included in the email, confirming everything that was stated and agreed upon. This will help in the event of future litigation.
- Q. My son was sucker punched in the head, and avoided 3 more hits. It was in school. Is this assault?
- A: Yes, this would be assault. Assault is when someone either attempts to cause or actually causes bodily injury. Sometimes, a person can be charged with assault and then the prosecutor will reduce the charge down to harassment but to answer your question, yes, this would be an assault. As far as the second part of your statement about the burden, if you mean they said they couldn't meet their burden of proof, I would assume that means there were no witnesses. In such a case, it becomes a he-said, he-said situation. The prosecutor may not have wanted to get into who was telling the truth about what really happened and, as such, chose to file harassment charges.
- Q. This kid has been harrassing me everyday in school, I have cried i have left him alone I've done everything he wont stop
- A: In order to press charges, you need to call the police or go to the police station.
- Q. With this charge is it still possible to get granted a concealed carry permit??
- A: You would be prohibited from getting a conceal/carry permit. That charge has a grading that ranges from Misdemeanor 1 to a Felony 3, depending on the injuries. Based on federal law, if convicted, you would have committed an "unlawful act," since it's punishable by more than one year. Pennsylvania recognizes this "unlawful act" conviction as a prohibited offense that would prevent you from getting a conceal/carry permit.
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