Brett Gorman offers his clients a different kind of approach to resolving school law matters. As an experienced trial attorney who specializes in representing public school districts, Brett has sat across the table from almost every adversary of a public school district in this State. He has handled hundreds of complaints and due process petitions filed in multiple Courts against public school districts. Through his years of experience, he understands the mindset and tactics of almost every lawyer opposing school districts today. Brett also has a deep understanding of not only the individual disabilities that public school districts are required to program for but also the underlying legal requirements of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Section 504, and all other applicable laws. This experience and strategic thinking allows Brett to succeed through collaboration, creativity, and familiarity with all personalities involved in programming for a disabled student. However, when negotiations fail, Brett has extensive experience and success as a trial attorney for public school districts. For a full list of his victories in multiple courts regarding many different laws implicating public school districts, please see his "Experience" section below.
Brett focuses his practice on representing public school boards of education in all areas affecting their operations, including special education, civil litigation, labor and employment and negotiations. Over his career, he has built a strong reputation appearing on behalf of school districts before the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, District Court of New Jersey, New Jersey Superior Court - Appellate Division, and the Office of Administrative Law and has considerable experience in counseling school districts.
In addition to his credentials, Brett also serves as the President Elect for the Burlington County Bar Association, and will serve as President next year. He also acts as the Chairman of the Burlington County Mock Trial Program where he coordinates almost a dozen schools, attorney volunteers, the State Bar Foundation, and the Courts in organizing Burlington County’s High School Mock Trial Competition. Brett also serves on the Board of Trustees for 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.
- Burlington County Bar Association
- President-elect (2021)
- Current 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
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.
- March 2014
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.
News & Speaking Engagements
- January 22, 2020
- Special Education from All SidesDecember 10, 2019 | 2:00 p.m. to 3:45 p.m.Burlington County Bar Association
- October 3, 2019
- "Practical Considerations for Effective School Safety Plans - Funding SecurityJune 7, 2019 | 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 a.m.New Jersey School Boards Association
- Discipline and Special Education Students: How to Discipline a Student with an IEPMay 13, 2019 | 9:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.New Jersey School Boards Association
- Brett E.J. Gorman Presenting at NBI Special Education Law SeminarDecember 8, 2015National Business Institute
- September 10, 2015
- Civil & Administrative Remedies for Bullying and HarassmentApril 2015
- Conflicts of Interest Can Be ToxicMay 2014
- Dyslexia and the LawMarch 2014
- January 20, 2014Camden County Bar Association
- Do’s and Don’ts of Administrative LawDecember 2013
- Mistakes Young Lawyers Make: A View from the Top DownDecember 2013
- Private Practice and the Young LawyerDecember 2012
- Parker McCay Blog, March 24, 2017
- Parker McCay Blog, August 23, 2016
- Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Frederick J. Schuck, J.S.C. in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Civil Division
- 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)
- New Jersey
- U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
- U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
- U.S. Supreme Court