Law Offices of Alexis Casillas

Prominent Cases

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Below are some of Alexis's representative cases:

Student v. Ravenswood City School District: In her first hearing Alexis obtained one of the largest compensatory education awards ever issued by the Office of Administrative Hearings. This decision was upheld by the United States District Court for the Northern District. Because of her work on this case, Alexis was invited to present at the 2011 COPAA conference regarding the precedent she set regarding the statute of limitations in IDEA cases. Based on her experience from the Ravenswood case, she has since given numerous presentations on the systemic due process disparities students with limited financial means face in accessing the reimbursement remedies established by the Supreme Court's Burlington decision.

 

D.B. v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District: Alexis successfully persuaded a federal district court that the Office of Administrative Hearings had erred in ruling in favor of the school district in the administrative proceeding below. She won reimbursement for costs that D.B.'s family incurred in providing her with an appropriate program at a nonpublic school. After the District appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, she briefed and argued the appeal, in which a Ninth Circuit panel unanimously affirmed the district court's judgment. 

 

B.P. v. Downey Unified Sch. Dist.: Alexis brought an action against the Downey Unified School District alleging violations of Section 504 and the ADA.

 

Student v. Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District: Alexis first-chaired an Administrative Hearing and, after decision, also brought Section 504 and ADA claims case against SMMUSD alleging that the continuum of special education placement options available at Santa Monica High School was discriminatory because it denied students with disabilities the opportunity to achieve A-G credits necessary for college eligibility.

 

J.D. v. New York Dep't of Educ.: Alexis co-authored an amicus brief to the Second Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the deference due to hearing officer decisions.

 

Avila v. Spokane Sch. Dist.: Alexis co-authored an amicus brief to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals regarding the IDEA statute of limitations.

 

Sch. Dist. of Philadelphia v. Robert Kirsch, Karen Mishner, Parents of A.K.: Alexis assisted in drafting an amicus brief to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals regarding standard of review, the deference owed to hearing officers, and the appropriateness of the remedies ordered by the district court.

 

Endrew F. v. Douglas County Sch. Dist.: Alexis co-authored an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court regarding the amount of educational benefit school districts must provide to students with disabilities under the IDEA.  The United States Supreme Court ruled unanimously for the Petitioner Endrew F., holding that a school must offer an IEP reasonably calculated to enable a child to make progress appropriate in light of the child’s circumstances. 

 

Fry v. Napoleon Community Schs.: Alexis assisted in drafting an amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court addressing whether students seeking to assert claims under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act or the ADA claim against a public school have to exhaust IDEA administrative remedies before pursuing the non-IDEA claims in federal court. In a unanimous opinion, the Supreme Court agreed with the petitioner that exhaustion is unnecessary when the gravamen of the suit is something other than the denial of the IDEA's core guarantee of a "free and appropriate public education" and remanded the case for analysis.