EBCALA Training 2011 Track 1


8:30-8:45 am Introduction to EBCALA Legal Training
Bob Krakow, Esq.
8:45-9:30 Family Law and Autism
Lisa Colin, Esq.
9:30-10:15 Insurance Law and Autism
Jodi Bouer, Esq.
10:15-10:30 Morning Break
10:30-11:15 Special Education and Autism: Advanced Cases Studies
Tim Adams, Esq. and Jennifer Keefe, Esq.
11:15-12:15 pm MORNING KEYNOTE:
Human Rights and Autism: Authors of Vaccine Epidemic
Jim Turner, Esq., Louise Habakus, MA, Kim Mack Rosenberg, Esq. and Mary Holland, Esq.
12:15-1:00 Lunch
1:00-2:00 AFTERNOON KEYNOTE:
Protecting our Children from Criminal Prosecution Resulting from Manifestations of ASD
John Elder Robison
2:00-2:45 Autism, Federal and State Case Law Update
Jennifer Keefe, Esq.
2:45-3:30 The Supreme Court, Federal Preemption and the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act
Collyn Peddie, Esq.
3:30-3:45 Afternoon Break
3:45-4:30 Criminal Law, Law Enforcement and Autism
Rick Ellis, EdD and Louis Conte
4:30-6:00 The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Justice Project Update
Mary Holland, Esq., Louis Conte and Robert Krakow, Esq.

Topic Descriptions

Introduction

Bob Krakow, Esq. is an experienced and accomplished trial lawyer and is the principal in his own firm that he created in 1989. He specializes in representing people exposed to environmental toxins and vaccine injury. He represented many individuals in the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. Bob is a co-founder of EBCALA and is also a founding board member of A-CHAMP, now known as the Autism Action Network, and is a past chairman of the board of Lifespire, Inc., a not-for-profit that supports more than 6,000 developmentally disabled adults and children.

Bob will summarize the mission of EBCALA to address the immediate and ongoing legal and advocacy needs of the autism community and will explain how, since its inception, EBCALA has taken the lead in these areas: (1) Legal Education: EBCALA has convened three conferences in Illinois & New York, granting CLE credit, to lawyers on autism-related law; (2) Legal Advocacy: EBCALA has filed three amicus briefs in autism-related cases on behalf of the broader autism community in the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (EBCALA filed the first ever amicus brief for a case that originated in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, which has existed over 20 years); (3) Public Advocacy: EBCALA has advanced many advocacy efforts for the autism community and fair media coverage of the Omnibus Autism Proceeding. Board members Mary Holland and Louis Conte appeared on CBS and Fox News in 2010 and 2011 to discuss autism. Several board members wrote articles for the Autism File magazine and the Age of Autism blog about critical issues facing the autism community; & (4) The VICP Justice Project: EBCALA has spearheaded a Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Justice Project with Pace Law School, a study of federally compensated vaccine injury claims.

Family Law and Autism

Lisa Colin, Esq. Lisa, a partner in Martin & Colin PC located in White Plains, New York, sits on the Board of EBCALA and the Board of Directors for the Westchester Law Guardian Association. She is a co-founding member of Autism Action New York and an active member of Autism Action Network. She organized an EBCALA CLE event at Pace Law School , NY and has played a pivotal role in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Justice Project. Along with her husband and business partner, she was a former radio host at a local New York station.

Lisa will train attendees how to maneuver the constant legal hurdles and pitfalls that result from certain parenting decisions. Parenting a child with autism is challenging enough without spouses, ex-spouses, school districts, child protective services and the courts questioning a parents’ decisions. When is it legal for parenting decisions to be challenged? What can the parent do in the legal system if child protective services knocks at the door? This presentation will explore issues parents and counsel should be prepared to address in their practice and everyday lives.

Insurance Law and Autism

Jodi Bouer, Esq. is the principal in her own practice that focuses on helping ASD individuals and their providers obtain insurance coverage for therapies. She has extensive insurance law experience as former counsel at an insurance company and at major law firms. She has taught insurance law at Seton Hall Law School . She helps clients understand how insurers assess coverage obligations and how to present their claims most effectively with their policies. Her firm helps clients prepare and submit claims and appeals, negotiate settlements, and obtain court orders requiring insurers to honor their coverage obligations.

Jodi will train counsel and parents in strategies and methods to work with insurance carriers to obtain coverage for autism claims in New Jersey and elsewhere. Approximately 75% of Jodi’s clients are seeking coverage for treatments for ASD . She will talk about how to present claims and how to respond to insurer queries in order to improve the chance that claims will be properly processed and paid. Jodi will explain the appeal process and when it is effective to use legal counsel with insurers.

Special Education and Autism: Advanced Cases Studies

Tim Adams, Esq. has served as an adjunct professor and Associate Director of the Special Education Advocacy Clinic, Pepperdine University School of Law. He is actively involved in educating parents on special ed law, including Autism One (2005-2011), the National Autism Association (2005, 2007-2010), the National Epilepsy Foundation Annual Conference (2001) and Talk About Curing Autism (TACA). He has trained Orange County Superior Court Judges regarding special education law. He is Adams & Associates’ principal.

Jennifer Keefe, Esq. is a trial lawyer for a major national law firm and has been nominated by her peers six years in a row as one of Texas ’ Rising Stars in Texas Monthly Magazine. She attended Vanderbilt University and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. She assists clients in a wide range of business litigation. Jennifer has received several awards for her pro bono work and serves on the Board of EBCALA. She also leads a parent support group in Dallas named Warrior Parents of Dallas.

Tim and Jennifer will discuss advanced special education cases for the experienced practitioner. Specifically, they will address whether there is recourse if your special needs child is injured at school from a wrongful restraint or seclusion. State and federal laws do not fully protect parents in this area. Tim will also discuss some high profile autism cases he has handled and how practitioners can learn from his experience to best advocate for their clients.

MORNING KEYNOTE: Human Rights and Autism: Authors of Vaccine Epidemic

Jim Turner, Esq. represents businesses, individuals and consumer groups in a wide variety of regulatory matters concerning food, drug, health, environmental and product-safety matters. He has appeared before every major consumer regulatory agency, including the FDA, EPA, FTC, and NIH. Jim has served as special counsel to the Senate Select Committee on Food, Nutrition, and Health and to the Senate Gov’t Operations Subcommittee on Gov’t Research. He has also been a policy consultant to major corporations in the food & pharmaceutical industries. In 1996, Jim was the lead attorney on a successful petition to the FDA to reclassify acupuncture needles from Class III to Class II medical devices, permitting their legal importation and distribution.

Kim Mack Rosenberg, Esq. is a litigator at a major New York City-based law firm, where her practice focuses on products liability, class actions, insurance coverage and general civil litigation. In 2009 she was recognized by the Legal Aid Society for her pro bono service. In addition to being a on the board of EBCALA and the Center for Personal Rights, Kim is the President of the National Autism Association NY Metro Chapter. She is also a contributing editor of Vaccine Epidemic.

Mary Holland, Esq. is a board member of the Elizabeth Birt Center for Autism Law and Advocacy and the Center for Personal Rights. She is a Research Scholar at NYU Law School and previously practiced at major international law firms and worked for an international human rights organization. She researches and writes on legal issues related to autism and to vaccination and is the Legal Editor for the Autism File magazine.

Co-editors and contributing authors to the recent book, Vaccine Epidemic: How Corporate Greed, Biased Science and Coercive Government Threaten Our Human Rights, Our Health and Our Children, will address its central premise, that vaccination choice is a fundamental human right. They focus on this legal premise’s implications for the autism community. Autism is inextricably linked to vaccination; peer-reviewed science has shown an association between autism and early vaccine exposures in certain individuals ( Goodman and Gallagher and other scientific studies cited in the book). As detailed in the book, Holland will discuss the big picture and vaccine injury compensation; Habakus will focus on the human right to health and advice to parents; Turner will examine the due process the U.S. Constitution requires for vaccination mandates; and Mack Rosenberg will review the charges of parental “medical neglect” and child removal for parents who refuse vaccination and pursue biomedical interventions unaccepted by orthodox medicine.

AFTERNOON KEYNOTE: Protecting our Children from Criminal Prosecution Resulting from Manifestations of ASD

John Elder Robison is the author of New York Times best-selling book Look Me in the Eye, My life with Asperger’s, published in 17 editions that are sold in over 60 countries. John’s next book, Be Different, goes on sale in March 2011. He is also the subject of a series on the Discovery Science Channel, "Ingenious Minds," airing February 24, 2011. John is a free range Aspergian male who grew up in the 1960s before the Asperger diagnosis came into common use. After dropping out of high school, John worked in the music business where he created sound effects and electronic devices, including the signature illuminated, smoking, and rocket firing guitars he built for KISS. Later John worked on some of the first video games and talking toys at Milton Bradley. After a 10-year career in electronics, John founded Robison Service , a specialty automobile company in Springfield, Massachusetts. Robison Service has grown to be one of the largest independent restoration and service specialists for high end cars. John serves as an adjunct faculty in the department of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Elms College. He also serves on boards for INSAR, the Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Mental Health and Autism Speaks. John is involved in TMS autism research at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and serves on the advisory board for Mass General Hospital ’s YouthCare program.

There is a crisis in the mental health field regarding treatment of ASD teenagers and adults when manifestations of their disorder are misunderstood by law enforcement as criminal behavior. An example of what is becoming far too common for ASD individuals was highlighted in the New York Times best-selling novel, House Rules by Jodi Picoult , where an Asperger’s teenager is put on trial for a murder he did not commit. John has a personal, harrowing story that he will use to train the audience on how to work on preventing criminal prosecution from occurring. John’s own son has Asperger’s, and he has a number of special interests that he concentrates on really deeply, like most Asperger’s teenagers do. One of those interests is chemistry. When his son was 16, he became interested in explosives, and he put videos of his experiments on YouTube. As a result, John’s home was raided by the ATF and then his son was prosecuted by the local district attorney on a number of serious felony counts. That story – culminating in a week long federal jury trial and his victory – is the basis for his third book, Raising Cubby, due out in 2012. Raising Cubby speaks to every parent’s worst nightmare: that their child will get interested in something a bit out of the ordinary, run afoul of the law, and then be prosecuted by a morally bankrupt public official seeking to make a name for herself on the back of an innocent kid with autism; a kid who could not know any better and who did no harm. John is in the process of selling the movie rights to his book, Raising Cubby.

Autism, Federal and State Case Law Update

Jennifer Keefe, Esq. is a trial lawyer for a major national law firm and has been nominated by her peers six years in a row as one of Texas ’ Rising Stars in Texas Monthly Magazine. She attended Vanderbilt University and Southern Methodist University’s Dedman School of Law. She assists clients in a wide range of business litigation. Jennifer has received several awards for her pro bono work and serves on the Board of EBCALA. She also leads a parent support group in Dallas aptly named Warrior Parents of Dallas.

Jennifer will provide a full summary of published state and federal cases relating to autism from June 2010 through May 2011. The subject matters covered will include civil and criminal litigation and medical, educational and custodial issues involved in autism. She will discuss how to advocate most effectively for parents’ rights based on this new case law.

The Supreme Court, Federal Preemption and the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Compensation Act

Collyn Peddie, Esq. is the principal of her own firm in Houston , Texas , focusing on appeals and legal strategy in pharmaceutical, medical device, personal injury and commercial cases. Collyn handled the legal strategy and appeals in Bruesewitz v. Wyeth and worked with co-counsel on petitioners’ behalf in the United States Supreme Court. She is deeply familiar with pharmaceutical and medical device preemption issues, having represented both pharmaceutical companies and injured individuals, and testified about the Bruesewitz case and preemption of pharmaceutical claims before the Senate Judiciary Committee in September 2007.

We are waiting to hear from the U.S. Supreme Court whether petitioners who have exhausted their remedies in the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program may pursue claims for vaccine design defect in state and federal court. Collyn was a key part of the legal team that argued Bruesewitz v. Wyeth before the U.S. Supreme Court about the DPT vaccine in October 2010. That case has special importance for those pursuing thimerosal-induced autism claims based on a vaccine design defect theory. Collyn will discuss the decision and its implications, if the Court has handed it down, or if the decision remains pending, what the likely outcomes might be.

Criminal Law, Law Enforcement and Autism

Rick Ellis, EdD is a licensed clinical and forensic psychologist. He has presented nationally and internationally on the topics of forensic psychology, ethics, autism, ADHD and assessment. He frequently testifies in court as an expert in criminal and civil cases involving individuals on the autism spectrum. He is a steering committee member of EBCALA.

Louis Conte is the President of Autism Action New York and a board member of EBCALA, where he has served as the director of the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Justice Project. Louis has advocated extensively in Albany for autism health insurance reform, vaccination choice and improved educational services for people with autism. Lou has extensive experience in law enforcement, having worked in probation for more than twenty years.

Rick will address the critical role of experts in cases involving individuals on the autism spectrum. Rick will discuss the role of the psychological expert; Lou will talk about the role of a criminal investigator. Miscarriages of justice occur on a daily basis against ASD individuals and family members. It is only through education of those in law enforcement and the courts that these injustices can be stopped.

The Vaccine Injury Compensation Program Justice Project Update

Mary Holland, Lou Conte and Bob Krakow will discuss how the VICP Justice Project has evolved over time. They will review the Project history, thesis, methodology, and findings. They will discuss specific examples from their study and will address the implications of the study and the foreseeable next steps.