STEVEN WYNER specializes in representing students with disabilities with respect to their educational needs and related civil rights litigation.

In 1988 Steven Wyner began advocating for the special education needs of his oldest son, involving him in extensive legal research and analysis of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act ("IDEA"), the California Education Code, and federal and state law regulations promulgated under such laws. In 1993 he opened his own law office, focusing on special education law. Since then he has represented hundreds of children and their families in connection with various special education issues in litigation before the California Special Education Hearing Office, the federal district court and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

Steven has been, and continues to be, involved in multiple high profile special education cases, including:

  • A published Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion holding that the California Special Education Hearing Office (SEHO) lacked jurisdiction to enforce its own prior order directing the parties to comply with the terms of a settlement agreement.
  • A published Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion holding that parents can enforce decisions and orders issued by SEHO by filing suit directly in federal court and without first exhausting administrative remedies before the California Department of Education.
  • A record $6.7 million dollar settlement in favor of a special education student and his family.
  • A published U.S. District Court Order holding a special education director personally liable for monetary damages based on a finding that the students civil rights were violated when the special education director failed to comply with the IDEA.
  • A published Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion affirming a U.S. District Court award of 4-years of compensatory education at a private school to be paid by the Atlanta Independent School System.
  • In addition, Steven is a recipient of the prestigious California Lawyer Attorney of the Year ("Clay") Award for extraordinary achievement in 2005 in the area of Civil Rights litigation. That year, Steven also received a Certificate of Recognition from the California State Assembly for outstanding commitment to providing quality legal services to the people of California. Steven served as a member of the Advisory Committee for the California Special Education Hearing Office and the Office of Administrative Hearings, Special Education Divison.

    From August 2001 through June 2005, Steven served as one of the 55 members of the Special Education Due Process Advisory Committee, formed by the Special Education Hearing Office, Institute for Administrative Justice, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law, which adjudicated all due process cases before the California Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) took over that responsibility in July 2005.

    During the 2008-2009, OAH organized a Special Education Advisory Committee, composed of eighteen individuals representing viewpoints of all stakeholders, selected by OAH, to meet, discuss and make recommendations concerning practices and procedures utilized by OAH in conducting special education due process hearings and mediations in California. Steven was reappointed for the 2009-2010 school year, after which he termed-out.

    In October 2011, Steven was honored as the Outstanding Education Attorney by the Learning Rights Law Center, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that all students are provided with equitable access to the public education system, at its 2011 Cause for Celebration Dinner.

    Steven graduated from King Hall School of Law, University of California, Davis in 1977, where he was Order of the Coif and an Editor on the Law Review. He received a Masters of Laws (in taxation) from New York University in 1981, where he was a Graduate Editor on the Tax Law Review. He clerked for the Honorable William P. Gray, U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, 1977-78.

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