Susan
Winkelman

PARTNER

A former teacher, Susan Winkelman represents school districts, focusing on representing districts in special education matters.

Partner Susan Winkelman’s practice focuses on representing public school districts in special education matters.  She provides general counsel and advice regarding compliance with state and federal special education laws, assists school districts with preparing for and participating in IEP team meetings, and represents school districts in all stages of litigation, including dispute resolution.  Susan has successfully litigated on behalf of school districts in special education due process hearings, as well as subsequent federal district court appeals, and routinely assists school districts with responding to Citizen Complaints filed with OSPI.  She previously practiced in California for seven years, representing school districts in special education and other education law disputes, prior to moving to Washington.  This experience has proven particularly helpful for Washington school districts in understanding and addressing their obligation to provide “comparable” services for out-of-state students.   Susan also provides general counsel and advice to school districts in the areas of student discipline, nondiscrimination, records requests, and policy review and development.

Prior to becoming an attorney, Susan was a first grade teacher for the Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto, California. Outside of work, Susan enjoys running, snowboarding, and spending time with her friends, family, and two very large Great Pyrenees.

Bar Admissions:
  • Washington
  • California
  • Supreme Court of the State of Washington
  • Supreme Court of the State of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California
Education:
  • Stanford University, B.A.
  • University of San Diego School of Law, J.D. (Dean’s Scholarship; CALI Excellence for the Future Awards in: Employment Discrimination, Scientific Evidence; Best Oral Advocate Award)
Speaking:
  • Special Education Virtual Town Hall, Panelist
  • Special Education Law 101: Ten Things Every HR Professional Needs to Know, Washington Schools Personnel Association
  • OCR Complaints and Title IX Compliance, Washington Schools Personnel Association
  • IEP Team Meetings and Avoiding Common Pitfalls, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District
  • Restraint, Seclusion, and Behavioral Interventions for Students with Disabilities, Fallbrook Union Elementary School District
  • Investigating and Responding to Employee Sexual Harassment and Discrimination Complaints, Chula Vista Elementary School District
  • Sexual Harassment Training, Carlsbad Unified School District
Publications:
  • “Ninth Circuit Holds that School District may Prohibit Teacher from Displaying Religious Banners in the Classroom,” Newsflash, September, 2011
  • “New ADA Regulations Broaden the Scope of Qualifying Disabilities,” Newsflash, June, 2011
  • “Damages May be Awarded if School District Violates Section 504 with Deliberate Indifference,” Newsflash, September, 2010
  • “Not Completing Behavioral Emergency Reports After Use of Physical Restraint Can be Costly,” Newsflash, May, 2010
  • “Ninth Circuit Rules that Alleged Child Find Violation is a Proper Subject of a Due Process Hearing,” Newsflash, March, 2010
Professional Organizations:
  • Washington Council of School Attorneys
  • National School Board Association’s Council of School Attorneys