Draft and execute will

DW is a 70-year-old female veteran seeking assistance in drafting her will. DW has cancer and is extremely sick, and would like to settle her affiars as soon as possible, and donate what she has to charity. DW has little assets and has no debts. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Spanish speaking client. Negotiation with district regarding spec. ed. services and comp. ed.

AM is a 3-yr-old who received services for speech and language through Early Intervention. When she turned 3 last fall, AM was not appropriately referred for an initial evaluation to determine eligibility for speech and language services, resulting in termination of these services. In April 2017, she had surgery for her ears and a tonsillectomy. AM’s mother, AP, believes that her daughter’s speech is regressing and she still requires speech and language services. AP is seeking an IEP providing AM with special education services consisting of speech and language therapy, and compensatory services for the period of time AM failed to receive speech and language therapy.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Full representation, prepare and file petition and appear at 341 hearing

CM is a 63-year-old woman seeking assistance with a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. CM is currently unemployed receiving $1600 monthly in social security and retirement benefits. She has approximately $18,000 in debt, of which roughly $10,000 is dischargeable credit card debt, $1,000 is medical bills, and $7,000 is from auto loans. CM owns a home but is behind on her mortgage payments and is pursuing a deed in lieu of foreclosure.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org





Bergen county - special education

Negotiation with district regarding evaluations, IEP, and comp. ed.

MP is an 8-yr-old 3rd-grader who has been diagnosed with depression, oppositional defiant disorder, and ADHD.  Her grandfather, DP, adopted her in 2015 as she was previously placed with foster parents who neglected her (her mother is incarcerated).  Since September 2016, MP has been in and out of school due to her oppositional and noncompliant behaviors in school, such as hiding, refusing to speak for three months, and running out of the building.  In the fall, the district transferred MP to a new school, which she refused to attend.  She is currently attending the old school in the morning and receiving home instruction in the afternoon.  However, at a recent IEP meeting, the district proposed transferring her back to the new school.  DP requested that his granddaughter be transferred to an out-of-district therapeutic school, but the district said there was not enough money in the budget.  MP is currently not going to school.  DP is seeking an attorney to advocate for independent evaluations, development of an appropriate IEP including a BIP, compensatory behavioral services, and, if appropriate, an out-of-district placement at a therapeutic school.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Negotiation with contractor or representation in lawsuit

CL and her husband hired a contractor through a state grant program to repair and elevate their Sandy-damaged home. They signed an agreement in June 2016, but it did not include an end date or time period for completion of the work. CL paid the contractor almost $23k for the first phase of work, but he failed to complete most of it. Of the work he did complete, much of it was done incorrectly, and will cost CL between $50k and $70k to fix. CL sent the contractor two certified letters, one in February and one in April, putting him on notice of the work that was done improperly and requesting that he fix it, but he never responded. CL, her husband, and their 3 young children are displaced and desperate to return home, as the children are sharing a bedroom and the entire family is sharing a bathroom. CL is seeking an attorney who could negotiate with the contractor or, if necessary, file a lawsuit seeking a refund of the $23k payment as well as the cost to repair the work that was done improperly.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district regarding evaluations, comp. ed, and placement

LM is a 6-yr-old Kindergartener who is classified for special education under the category of Emotionally Disturbed and placed in a Behavioral Disabilities Program.  In May 2017, the school district suspended LM for “being aggressive,” without a manifestation determination hearing, and in violation of a recently-enacted state law placing limits on discipline for students in second grade or younger, pending a psychiatric clearance.  The psychiatrist recommended that LM be placed on temporary home instruction until an out-of-district placement could be found for her.  The district has excluded LM until the end of the academy year (including ESY services), but did not begin providing home instruction until June 7th.  As a result, LM’s mother, AB, has had to miss work and, after almost losing her job, hire a full-time babysitter in order to remain employed.  AB requested an out-of-district placement, as per the psychiatrist’s recommendation, but the district denied her request.  AB is seeking an attorney to advocate for independent evaluations including an FBA, compensatory educational and behavioral services for the lack of home instruction and lack of appropriate behavioral services, and a therapeutic out-of-district placement.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Representation at mediation to advocate for revised IEP with vocational training

CF is a 16-yr-old 10th-grader who is eligible for special education and related services under the classification of Specific Learning Disability. Her current IEP does not contain appropriate transition services or vocational training for the 2017-18 school year. The IEP also fails to discuss CF’s abilities or list any short-term goals. CF’s mother, CR, is seeking a revised IEP to include full- or part-time vocational training for the 11th grade as well as detailed transition short-term goals, and re-evaluations.  CR is looking for an attorney to represent her in mediation.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Negotiation with district regarding classification and placement

NM is a 5-yr-old Kindergartener who has been diagnosed with ADHD and “destructive behavior,” but not yet deemed eligible for special education services.  NM’s mother, QS, lost her job in November at least in part because of repeated calls (2 to 3 times per week) to pick up her son.  Recently, the district told QS to keep her son home because Kindergarten is not mandatory; however, she continued to bring him to school.  Additionally, the school nurse has been attempting to get NM’s psychiatrist to provide him stronger drugs, with which QS does not agree.  In late April, QS was told that her son could not return until he had a psychiatric clearance.  Despite all of this, and despite QS’s request in March, the district has never evaluated NM.  QS is seeking a determination that her son is eligible for special education services and the development of an IEP with an appropriate placement and positive behavior interventions and supports.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



ocean county - divorce

Negotiation and litigation. Outstanding discovery. 

Parties have gone through ESP and economic mediation.  Parties have been unable to settle their issues.  Matter is scheduled for economic mediation on June 20th and a pre-trial conference is scheduled on June 26th. 

This case is before Judge Cunningham in Ocean County Family Court.  Economic mediation is scheduled on June 20th and a pre-trial conference is scheduled on June 26th.  WW is a disabled veteran and a victim of domestic violence.  Parties married in 1998 and she has two minor children with her husband, CW.  Over the course of their 18 year marriage, WW was physically abused by CW.  CW has exhibited violent behaviors in front of the children. CW left the marital home and moved to another state after an incident where he physically harmed one of their children.  Then in 2012, the marital home was almost destroyed by Hurricane Sandy.  Since the home was inhabitable, WW and her children had to live in temporary housing for several years.  The home had significant repairs and in some areas was completely rebuilt.  WW was able to secure grants and used her own funds to rebuild the marital home.  As construction was completed, WW and her children were able to move back into the marital home.  WW is seeking alimony, equitable distribution of marital debts and assets, and child support.  CW has been the primary wage earner for the family while WW stayed home to care for their children.  WW has not worked in the last 13 years and she is the children’s primary caretaker.  CW is currently represented by counsel.  WW needs representation in the entire divorce matter or in the alternative, representation at economic mediation only. 

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org


middlesex county - contractor dispute

Representation in Law Division trial against contractor. Trial – 10/23/17

MH, a senior citizen, hired a contractor to repair her Sandy-damaged home.  She paid him in full, but much of the work was never completed and the work that was has failed several inspections.  The approximate total of damages is $49,500.  MH made multiple written and verbal requests for the contractor to finish the work or correct what was done improperly, but he refused.  MH hired a new contractor to fix the mistakes and finish the remaining work.  She then filed a lawsuit against the original contractor in Chancery Court; the case was recently transferred to the Law Division.  A trial has been scheduled for October 2017.  MH is seeking representation in the lawsuit.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Representation in Discharge Status Upgrade application

AB joined the Army in 2010.  She served until 2013, when she was separated.  She received a general under honorable status based upon a pattern of misconduct.  AB believes that she was targeted by her commanding officers in retaliation for reporting certain activity in her unit, including her rape, and that several minor incidents were inflated in order to have her removed.  She is seeking assistance in filing an application for a discharge upgrade.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org



Review of military records and consultation

JT served in the Marines for nearly three years without incident.  While on guard one day, he witnessed a suicide.  After this event, JT began having mental health issues and ultimately self medicated with illegal drugs.  He tested positive during a routine drug test and was discharged OTH.  JT has been diagnosed with PTSD as a result of his experience.  He hopes to upgrade his discharge status to access VA benefits.

To review, email donuschak@vljnj.org