Council of Educators for Students with Disabilities, Inc.

David M. Richards, J.D., Attorney at Law

David M. Richards received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University in 1985, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While at Texas Tech, he received the Allen Scholarship from Pi Sigma Alpha for excellence in political science. Dave received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. During law school, he was a member of the Legal Research Board (1987-88) and a Notes and Comments Editor on the Texas International Law Journal (1988-89). He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1989, and is admitted to practice in all of the federal district courts of Texas, and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans.

Dave is the managing partner in the Austin law firm Richards Lindsay & Martín, L.L.P. The firm is devoted entirely to the defense of school districts and special education cooperatives. He focuses his school district practice on the areas of  §504 and special education. He has published numerous articles in the Texas School Law News and Apex Insurance’s The Report Card, was the editor and a contributing author to The Texas Principal’s Handbook, and co-author of School Risk Management and Public Officials Risk Management. His presentations and materials have also been referenced numerous times in LRP’s Section 504 Compliance Advisor, The Special Educator, and Your School & the Law. He is General Counsel for the Council of Educators for Students with Disabilities (CESD), and a frequent speaker on disability law topics at schools, as well as regional, state, and national conferences throughout the country. A few of his recent presentations are referenced below. Evaluations routinely report that Dave is both very informative and far too funny to be a lawyer.

Selected Publications:

“2006 IDEA Final Part B Regulations; What You Need to Know,” (113-page pamphlet co-written with Jose Martin, published by LRP in 2006.

“The IDEA Amendments: What You Need to Know.” (62-page pamphlet co-written with Jose Martin, published by LRP in 2005).

“The Dos and Don’ts of Section 504: Step-by-Step Training to Ensure Compliance,” (27-minute videotape produced by LRP Publications in 2004).

“The Top Section 504 Errors: Expert Guidance to Avoid 25 Common Compliance Mistakes,”  (50-page pamphlet published by LRP in 2003, updated in 2010).

“Settlement Agreements and Special Education: The Essentials for Successful Dispute Resolution,” (61-page pamphlet published by LRP in 2002).

Selected Presentations:

Mr. Richards presents on a variety of topics to varied audiences throughout the United States. A few presentations are listed here as examples.

     •     Utah Institute on Special Education Law, Utah Office of Education, Ogden, Utah, August 6-7, 2012 (General Session on IDEA & 504 Differences and Similarities, together with four Breakout sessions on Section 504 eligibility issues after the ADAAA, Section 504 & IDEA Discipline, Section 504 advanced issues, IDEA procedural safeguards, and a legal panel).

     •     Texas Association of School Boards’ Special Education Roundtable, Austin, Texas, July 12, 2012 (Discipline under IDEA and legal panel of the role of school attorney and current disability law issues).

• Wyoming DOE Leadership Symposium, Lander, Wyoming, June 27-28, 2012 (LRE with emphasis on access to grade-level curriculum, Section 504 Q&A, two legal panels on IDEA and discipline).

• Iowa DOE “Pursuing the Promise” 1st Annual Statewide Special Education Conference, Des Moines, Iowa, June 11-12, 2012 (General session on IDEA’s curricular LRE requirement and tips to ensure maximum exposure to grade level curriculum, two breakout sessions on Section 504 eligibility after the ADAAA, and disability harassment).

• Texas ESC Region IV Section 504 Academy, Houston, Texas, June 5, 2012 (Addressed Section 504 after the ADAAA, impact on RTI, health plans, medication, and physical impairment issues).

• LRP Audio Conference, May 16, 2012 (Addressing physical impairment and medical needs under Section 504 for a national listening audience).

     •     33th National Institute on Legal Issues of Educating Students with Disabilities, San Antonio, Texas, May 7-9, 2012 (Section 504 After the ADAAA, Section 504 Q&A for beginners, and a legal panel on Section 504 issues for a national audience of regular and special educators).

• Hawaii Department of Education Section 504 Mini-Conferences, November-December, 2011, Big Island, Maui, Kauai, Oahu, Hawaii (8 full-day and one ½ day presentation on Section 504, special education and early intervention for regular and special educators).

• 2011 Tri-State Regional Special Education Law Conference (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas), Omaha, Nebraska, November 3, 2011 (Section 504 & IDEA Obligations with respect to extracurricular and nonacademic activities, and public school duties with respect to disability harassment).

• North Carolina DOE, 61st Conference on Exceptional Children, October 31, 2011 (General Session on “Special Education Goes to the Movies: Lessons from the Silver Screen,” and breakout on curricular LRE and maximum exposure to grade level curriculum under IDEA).

• University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Conference on Special Education, Portland, Oregon, October 26-28, 2011 (Pre-Conference session on IDEA’s requirement for maximum appropriate exposure to grade-level curriculum, breakout session on Section 504 Plans and the importance of evaluation data to support services, and a general session on Fixing the Special Education Mistake).

• Alabama CASE, October 10, 2011 (Section 504 and IDEA discipline, and disability harassment).

• LRP Audio Conference, October 6, 2011 (Addressing the duties of public schools with respect to disability harassment under Section 504 ADA Title II for a national listening audience).

• Florida Department of Education, Administrator’s Management Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, September 12-14, 2011 (Section 504 eligibility issues after the ADAAA, and fixing the special education mistake through compensatory services and restoring the school’s relationships with parents).

©2009, 2018 Richards Lindsay & Martin, L.L.P. All Rights Reserved. This site contains information about the law, not legal advice. For questions involving a particular set of facts, please consult a licensed attorney. Attorneys in the firm are not certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization. No designation has been made by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization for a Certificate of Special Competence in education law or special education law.

The Council of Educators for Students with Disabilities, Inc.  (CESD)

13091 Pond Springs Road, Suite 300,  Austin, Texas  78729

Phone: 512.219.5043    Facsimile (512) 918-3013    

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