Jerry Zelin is a member of the firm’s Portsmouth, New Hampshire office. His law practice is devoted primarily to representing New Hampshire school districts in matters related to students. This includes (for example) special education, inter-district residency disputes, juvenile court cases, pupil discipline, compulsory attendance, civil rights, the federal Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), and limits on the state and federal governments’ authority to regulate school districts.
Jerry has successfully represented school districts since 1975 in a multitude of hearings before the New Hampshire Department of Education, in some of New Hampshire’s leading court cases involving student issues, and in investigations conducted by state and federal agencies. He helped write many of New Hampshire’s statutes and State Board of Education rules governing students and now serves on the National School Boards Association Council of School Attorneys committee that will advise Congress in rewriting the federal special education statute. He is on the panels of approved special education defense attorneys for Primex, the New Hampshire Local Government Center, Peerless Insurance Company, and the Liberty Mutual Insurance Group.
He is also a nationally recognized speaker and writer on special education law. His published works include The Constitutional Foundations of Special Education Law (monograph, LRP Publications, 1993), which is recommended reading in college and postgraduate courses on special education law; “Special Education and the Juvenile Justice System,” 34 N.H. Bar Journal 21 (March 1993); and two chapters in the treatise Special Education Law and Practice (LRP Publications, 2000).
The New Hampshire Council of School Attorneys awarded Jerry the 2011 Bradley F. Kidder Award for outstanding service to public education. In 2013, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Hampshire Association of Special Education Administrators in recognition of his successful representation of school districts in many cases over the years and his pro bono work on behalf of public schools.
He has the highest possible rating in Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, is in Marquis’ Who’s Who in American Law, is listed in New England Super Lawyers in the category of Education Law, and has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America in the specialty of Education Law. In addition, Best Lawyers has named Jerry the 2013 New Hampshire Lawyer of the Year in the Education Law category.
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