Failure to Properly Identify a Student’s Primary Disablities has Legal Significance Even if a “FAPE” Has Been Provided 06-2010

The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals recently held that when a parent of a special education student prevails on an eligibility category determination, this changes the legal relationship between the parties and entitles the parent to “prevailing party” status under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) and the right to recover attorney’s fees notwithstanding the school district’s provision of a Free Appropriate Public Education (“FAPE”).