Gregory Smith fights for the rights of students. As a former teacher in public and private schools in Connecticut, no one knows better what schools can and cannot do. Parents turn to Mr. Smith to guide them through the maze of education law. They rely on his counsel to decide what steps to take. He speaks for them to superintendents. He represents them in hearings before boards of education. When he has to, he initiates litigation on their behalf in Connecticut’s state and federal courts.
Big Help. Attorney Greg Smith was a big help with getting my child’s… education needs met. He entered the case late in the game when I lost faith in my prior attorney, dedicated himself to getting up to speed very quickly, and was very well organized and prepared as an advocate. Victoria, 2015
Students do not lose their rights when they go to school. State and federal law still protects them. The Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act guarantees services to students with special needs. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color or national origin. Title IX of the Education Amendments Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of sex. The Americans with Disabilities Act and section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act outlaw discrimination on the basis of disability. The Fourteenth Amendment guarantees due process in expulsion and discipline. The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable search and seizure of students and their property. And Connecticut’s tort laws provide compensation for injuries from bullying, negligence and harm intentionally done by teachers and other students.
Public officials are supposed to respect the civil rights guaranteed by our state and federal constitutions. Teachers and administrators can violate these laws just as easily as any other official can. When that happens, Mr. Smith protects his clients from further injury, forces public recognition and change and, in many cases, wins compensation for emotional or physical injury.
Mr. Smith pursues each client’s case wherever needed. Public agencies convene administrative review boards. The Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities holds hearings and issues orders. Most often, of course, Mr. Smith turns for justice for his clients to Connecticut’s state and federal courts.
At times clients need to resolve charges in criminal or juvenile court. Gregory Smith has served for several years as Assigned Counsel (Special Public Defender) in the Danbury, Waterbury and Stamford courts.