Special Education and Disability Law in Connecticut

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Lawrence W. Berliner is the founder of the Law Office of Lawrence W. Berliner, LLC, a statewide Connecticut law firm with a concentration on special education and disability law. His law practice is located in Westport, CT and Guilford, CT. He was an attorney with the law firm of Klebanoff & Alfano, P.C., from 2000-2008, and became a Principal with the law firm from 2008-2011. He is a member of the Connecticut Bar Association and the Fairfield County Bar Association. He holds the distinction of being a James W. Cooper Fellow of the Connecticut Bar Foundation as well. For 30 years, he has dedicated his law career to the representation of children and adults with disabilities. He recently joined the advisory board of the Food Allergy Education Network (FAEN). Attorney Berliner practices law in the areas of special education law, disability law, and handles cases before various administrative law tribunals, and practices in the state and federal courts. 

Prior to joining Klebanoff & Alfano P.C., he was the General Counsel with the State of Connecticut Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities from 1983 to 2000 where he represented to the rights of people with disabilities in special education, fair housing, and state and federal law civil rights cases. He was involved in landmark State Supreme Court cases including Daly v. Delponte, and involving the rights people with disabilities to be free from discrimination and receive Equal Protection under the Connecticut Constitution and Oller v. Oller-Chiang establishing the rights of individuals with mental retardation to have their opinions respected in the selection of a legal guardian by the Probate Court. He had worked with the staff at Senator Weicker’s office in the 1980’s on the Handicapped Children’s Protection Act of 1986 and legislation that eventually became the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. He served on the Department of Education’s Task Force to implement the 1997 amendments to the IDEA. He was a member of the Connecticut Law Revision Commission. He has submitted comments on numerous proposed state and federal regulations and has periodically submitted testimony on proposed legislation to the Connecticut General Assembly.

The Connecticut Law Tribune recognized him as one of Connecticut’s outstanding attorneys for his legal advocacy on behalf of individuals with disabilities.  He is the recipient of the Quinnipiac University School of Law’s Alumni of the Year for Public Service Award for his work on behalf of Individuals with disabilities and in particular, he was recognized for his work on the case of Daly v. Delponte, Commissioner, Department of Motor Vehicles, a landmark Connecticut Supreme Court decision which established strict constitutional scrutiny for state action affecting people with disabilities under Connecticut’s Constitution.

He has served on the Connecticut Law Revision Commission Task Force on Probate Courts and the State Department of Education Task Force to implement the 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (I.D.E.A.), and recently presented testimony to the 2010 General Assembly’s Task Force on IEP Development. On September 22nd, 2010, he submitted extensive written comments on the Department of Education’s proposed revisions to the state special education regulations.

He has lectured extensively to special education schools, parent groups and special needs organizations on issues affecting families with children with disabilities, taught at Quinnipiac University School of Law, and has published numerous articles on special education matters and the Americans with Disabilities Act.

He is a graduate of the Quinnipiac University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor degree.