NH and MH: After the Due Process, a Section 504 damages action was eventually settled for $4,400,000.00 as compensation for the school's deliberate indifference toward 2 siblings with autism.


MD v. School: This case was settled at the Resolution Meeting a week or so after being filed. The claims were based upon flaws in the IEP development process. The private school program cost $81,000.00 per month and 'Stay-Put' was retained.


AA v. School: This was another case settled during the Resolution process within weeks of filing the case. Parents were given over $500,000.00 to use to pay for a private program when the school failed to make a public program available to him. 


Private Placement: This is a very typical remedy that families seek for violations of their rights. In the bus case, the student had won private school placement that was retained for 11 years.


The AdvocacyProject has filed or participated in 3 Class Actions 


Felix v. Cayetano, was a class action filed in 1994 against the Hawaii Department of Education alleging systematic denial of educational rights of children with disabilities under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. Keith Peck was a Plaintiffs' attorney on this case. In 2003 the State of Hawaii spent $284,037,140.00 on maintenance of services for disabled children based upon the consent Decree established by the class action.

Makin v. Chandler, Keith Peck was the original lead counsel on this case that sought to make the State of Hawaii provide adult, disabled residents, home, and community access to mental health-related services under the Olmstead Act.

W.G., et al, v. Kishimoto, The AdvocacyProject filed this class action on April 13, 2020, against the Hawaii Department of Education. This was the first of its kind legal action related to the COVID-19 pandemic of 2020. Plaintiffs alleged that the state’s Department of Education provided non-disabled students educational-related services but failed to provide students eligible for federal protection under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974 and students eligible under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act access to educational-related services. Plaintiffs sought an “equitable" means to determine the amount of compensatory education” for which students were entitled.  National Public Radio segment.

Select Cases

 Past success does not guarantee future results*. 


The AdvocacyProject has represented families in approximately 800 IDEA cases. Some seminal cases follow.




  • NH and MH: 24/7 Comp. Ed & 4.4 Million Damages action.

  • MD v. School: 81k monthly private placement (settlement).

  • AA v. School: 500k+ for multi-year placement (settlement).

  • Numerous Cases: Private placements. In one such case, after 11 years of transportation to a private school from Hana, Maui to Haiku, Maui (on the Hana Highway), and back, the bus company gave the bus to the family when the student graduated.

  • Numerous Case: Reimbursement for Tutoring.

  • Multiple Case: Funding for Out-of-State private placement.

  • Multiple Cases: Funding for private ABA clinical placement.

  • LR v. School: ABA services for DD students in public school.

  • Other Wins/Settlements



The AdvocacyProject has participated in approximately 15, 9th Circuit Court cases.

Natalie and Michelle H., et al v. Lemahieu, et al, 01-16582, 05-16236, 09-15754. ​The AdvocacyProject’s Keith Peck is cited as a lead counsel in this series of cases. This case began as an administrative hearing under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.  In 2003 a claim was filed alleging deliberate indifference by the state education agency against 2 siblings with autism. After 2 interlocutory appeals to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and 12 years of litigation, the case was settled providing Plaintiffs 4.4 million-dollars, 2 months before a scheduled jury trial. This case is widely credited with establishing a right to money damages under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1974, in the 9th Circuit federal court jurisdiction. 

Doug C. v. Department of Education, 720 F.3d 1038 (9th Cir. 2013). The AdvocacyProject’s Keith Peck was lead counsel for parents and their autistic child challenging the federal court’s determination that holding an IEP without the parents when the school did not want to reschedule the meeting and the annual deadline was approaching was not a significant denial of parental participation. Mr. Peck reversed this ruling and also made law defining the role of private providers as necessary participants in certain situations and clarifying when an IEP team denies a family their rights under the doctrine of ‘lost educational opportunity’. Over 45 federal courts have cited and relied upon this decision as support for their decisions in later cases.  

C.B. v. Department of Education, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43961, Civ. No. 11- 00576 SOM/RLP (2012). AdvocacyProject’s Keith Peck was lead counsel for parents of an autistic child who sought to require the Department to fund a private placement for the child under the “stay put” provision of the IDEA, which requires that placements not change during the pendency of a hearing or appeal. 

L.A.S. v. Department of Education, 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 21232 (2013). The AdvocacyProject’s Keith Peck was lead counsel and secured a reversal and remand of a hearing officer’s conclusion that a parent’s request for reimbursement of private placement tuition was time-barred, and for the hearing officer’s failure to address the issue the parent presented, relating to the Department’s offer of a FAPE on the condition that the student receives services in a public school. L.A.S. 

H. G., et al v. EDU-HI, et al, The AdvocacyProject’s Keith Peck was lead counsel through appeal to the 9th Circuit stage of this case. It started as an administrative hearing in 2009, was appealed to the United States District Court, was remanded back down to the administrative tribunal and then again to the District Court after which it was appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of appeals before being remanded and won at the District Court in May of 2018. The verdict resulted in a ruling that Hawaii’s Department of Education materially failed to implement a student with PDD-NOS Individualized Education Program and ordered a monetary award to the family of $441,622 plus $99,041 in interest.




The AdvocacyProject has filed or participated in approximately 100 USDC cases. 




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