Wayne D. Steedman
Wayne D. Steedman is a senior partner with The Steedman Law Group, with over twenty-six years’ experience as a special education attorney. He began solo practice in 1991 and was a founding partner of the law firm Callegary & Steedman, where he practiced for over 18 years. Wayne’s practice is devoted primarily to the representation of children with disabilities, as well as adults seeking accommodations and supports in post-graduate education and examinations. Wayne has represented clients in administrative due process hearings, Maryland state courts, Federal District Court and the Third and Fourth Circuit Courts of Appeals. He is also admitted to practice before the United States Supreme Court.
Mr. Steedman earned his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. In addition to his law degree, Mr. Steedman holds a Master’s of Social Work from University of Maryland’s School of Social Work. Prior to practicing law, he was in charge of the clinical treatment program at the Forbush School at Sheppard Pratt Hospital, where he worked with children with emotional disabilities for more than twenty years. He served for approximately ten years as a Due Process Hearing Officer in special education cases. He has been engaged as a nationally-known speaker on numerous topics related to special education law through Wrightslaw, [www.wrightslaw.com], and offers both training for new attorneys and presentations for parents and advocates through COPAA, the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates [http://www.copaa.org] as well as through local schools and advocacy organizations. He is on the Boards of Directors for the Arc of Northern Chesapeake, [www.arcncr.org] which supports residential programming and employment opportunities for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and Vice-President of the Board of Family and Children’s Services of Central Maryland, [www.fcsmd.org] which provides trauma counseling, senior services, housing, case management and more advocacy for families throughout the central Maryland region. He is also the founder and facilitator of MDSEL, the Maryland Special Education Lawyers’ group, which facilitates mentoring and sharing of information and support among special education attorneys in the state.
In one of his earliest federal cases, Gerstmyer v. Howard County Public Schools, 850 F. Supp. 361 (D. Md. 1994), Mr. Steedman persuaded the U.S. District Court that the school district should reimburse parents for the costs of a Montessori School program, after their child was denied FAPE by the public school system. Thus, the Judge found that even a placement which was not a traditional special education school could be deemed appropriate for a student with disabilities. Although Mr. Steedman is able to collaborate with school systems to obtain the services and placement a child needs in most cases, he has also achieved numerous victories for parents seeking funding of appropriate educational placements for their children, through litigation including recent decisions in C.S. v. Baltimore City Public School System, (funding of a Utah Residential Program); J.F. v.Harford County Public Schools, (funding of placement at the Baltimore Lab School); P.B. v. Baltimore City Public School System, (funding of placement at the Delrey School) M.R. v. Carroll County Public Schools, (funding of placement at the Delrey School) as well as favorable negotiated settlements with several local school systems.