3d Circuit Denies Attorney-Parents Request for Fees in IDEA Case

The Third Circuit has ruled that attorney-parents cannot recover fees for legal services performed on behalf of their children in administrative hearings or judicial proceedings under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (“IDEA”) .  Although the IDEA contains a fee-shifting provision for parents who are “prevailing parties,” it does not apply to fees for parents representing their children in legal proceedings.  Previously, in Woodside v. School Dist. of Philadelphia Bd. of Educ., 248 F.3d 129 (3d Cir. 2001), the Third Circuit had held that parents serving as an attorney cannot recover fees for administrative proceedings under the IDEA.  The Pardini decision clarifies that the bar to fee recovery is equally applicable in judicial proceedings.

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