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Brett E. J. Gorman

Overview

Brett Gorman is one of the most experienced and well respected school law attorneys in the State of New Jersey.  Brett has handled hundreds of complaints and due process petitions filed in multiple courts against public school districts.  Through these matters, he has regularly appeared before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, District Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Superior Court, and the Office of Administrative Law.  Brett has sat across the table or litigated against almost every adverse attorney of a public school district in this State and has also appeared before almost every judge in the Office of Administrative Law. Due to this extensive experience, Brett is recognized as a skilled litigator and expert on public school education throughout the State. His impressive reputation is well known to public school districts, other school law attorneys, and the judges he appears before. Brett routinely lectures and teaches Continuing Legal Education classes on School Law and  Special Education across the State of New Jersey. 

Consequently, Brett understands the mindset and tactics of almost every lawyer opposing school districts today.  As it relates to special education litigation, Brett has a deep understanding of not only the individual disabilities that public school districts are required to program for, and the operation of public schools, but also the underlying legal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504, and all other applicable laws.  This experience, credibility across the field, and strategic thinking allows Brett to succeed through collaboration and creativity to resolve special education matters for all parties involved.  However, when negotiations fail, Brett is a seasoned, skilled, and well respected trial attorney who has tried many matters on behalf of public school districts.  

In addition to his credentials, Brett currently serves as the President for the Burlington County Bar Association for the 2021-2022 year. Brett currently serves on the Burlington County Judicial and Prosecutorial Appointments Committee. He is the Chairman of the Burlington County Mock Trial Competition where he coordinates almost a dozen schools, many attorney volunteers, the State Bar Foundation, and the Courts. Brett also serves as the President of the Green Valley Tennis Club.    

Honors & Awards

  • In 2015, Brett received the prestigious Robert W. Criscuolo Award, presented annually by the Burlington County Bar Association to a young attorney committed to the legal profession and the community.
  • In 2021, Brett will be installed as the President of the Burlington County Bar Association. 

Professional Activities

  • Burlington County Bar Association
    • President (2021-2022)
    • President-elect (2020-2021)
    • Vice President (2020)
    • Secretary (2019 - 2020)
    • Coordinator of Burlington County Mock Trial Program (2013-Present)
    • Young Lawyer Trustee (2013-2015)
    • Board of Trustees (2015-2018)
  • Camden County Bar Association
  • Cape May County Bar Association
  • New Jersey State Bar Association

Experience

Experience

C.F. o/b/o G.F. v East Windsor Regional Board of Education, EDS 05541-19 (April 27, 2020)

Brett defended several years of educational programming for the district during a hearing that included the testimony of multiple district employees, representatives of a therapeutic out of district school, and outside evaluators presented by the parent.  After nearly ten hearing dates, Brett successfully articulated that the district’s program was appropriate and distinguished the district’s programming of a student with a cognitive impairment with the erroneous position of the out of district placement that the student required programming for a language based learning disability.  This hearing required extensive analysis of the student’s evaluations and a deep understanding of both the underlying disabilities and the applicable law due to the underlying disagreement between the parties.  Ultimately, the district prevailed on all issues and the due process petition was denied in its entirety. 

N.P. and A.P. o/b/o S.P. v. Princeton Reg. BOE, EDS 8581-17 (April 20, 2018).

After a multi-day hearing, Brett successfully defended a school district’s Individualized Education Program which placed the student in an in-district program.  The parents had unilaterally placed their child and sought reimbursement for that out of district placement which exceeded more than $100,000 per year. 

J.L., minor, individually and by her Parents K.L. and J.L. v. Harrison Twp. Bd. of Educ., No. 14-2666 (RMB/JS), 2016 WL 4430929, (D.N.J. Aug. 19, 2016), appeal dismissed sub nom. J.L. v. Harrison Twp. Bd. of Edu, No. 16-3863, 2017 WL 4844197 (3d Cir. Aug. 3, 2017).

In a novel case, Brett successfully argued before the District Court of New Jersey that the conduct of the parent’s attorney was so egregious that, pursuant to a rarely litigated provision of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, a reduction in attorney fees of more than $100,000 was necessary.  The Federal District Court also commended Mr. Gorman for his professionalism and restraint. 

D.V. by & through B.V. v. Pennsauken Sch. Dist., 247 F. Supp. 3d 464, 468 (D.N.J. 2017).

After representing the school district through discovery on a lengthy and contentious matter that involved multiple motions and applications before the District Court of New Jersey, Brett successfully obtained the dismissal of the entirety of the complaint that alleged a retaliation claims under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 1213 (“ADA”), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 29 U.S.C. § 794 (“Section 504”), 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (First Amendment claim), and New Jersey Law Against Discrimination (“NJLAD”), N.J.S.A. 10:5–1.  The Complaint also alleged sex discrimination under the NJLAD and a Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, 20 U.S.C. § 1681 (“Title IX”) discrimination claim as well as another bullying claim under the NJLAD.  After hearing arguments on this application, the District Court of New Jersey dismissed the complaint with prejudice. 

Alloway Twp. Bd. of Educ. v. C.Q. and R.Q. o/b/o C.Q., Alloway Twp. Bd. of Educ. v. C.Q., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33328 (D.N.J. Mar. 14, 2014).

In an appeal of a decision from the Office of Administrative Law, Brett successfully argued a Motion for Summary Judgment before the District Court of New Jersey that reversed the Office of Administrative Law’s finding that the School District did not provide a Free and Appropriate Public Education pursuant to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. 

E.M. o/b/o M.M s v. Sterling Reg’l High School Bd. of Educ., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 43236 (D.N.J. Mar. 31, 2014). 

Brett obtained, before the District Court of New Jersey, the dismissal of Plaintiff’s complaint, which included claims brought pursuant to 42 U.S.C. 1983, Title VI, and Title IX. 

M.S. and B.S., Individually and as Guardian ad litem of L.S., v. East Windsor Regional School District and A.G., Individually, and as Guardian ad litem of S.P. v. East Windsor Regional School District, Civil Action No.: 3:11-cv-04386 (D.N.J. Feb. 21, 2012).

Brett successfully brought and argued a Motion for Summary Judgment before the District Court of New Jersey that resulted in Dismissal of Plaintiff’s Entire Complaint under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

News

News & Speaking Engagements

Publications

Featured in "4 Considerations When Implementing Section 504 Plans for Students with Concussions," in Special Ed Connection, March 31, 2021. (Site credentials required)

Articles

Articles

Photo of Brett E. J. Gorman

Clerkships

  • Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Frederick J. Schuck, J.S.C. in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division

Education

  • Rutgers University School of Law (J.D., 2009)
    • Eagleton Institute of Politics Henry J. Raimondo Fellow (2008)
    • Member of the Trial Team that finished tenth in the country at the American Association for Justice’s National Competition
  • Rutgers University (B.A., History, 2006)

Admissions

  • New Jersey
  • Pennsylvania
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Supreme Court
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