Special Education

Special education law has literally exploded over the past fifteen years.  To match the demand, SLS employs three full-time special education attorneys who represent districts in mediations, due process hearings and state complaints, appear at difficult IEPs, and counsel clients on a host of day-to-day issues in special education, including eligibility determination, assessments, manifestation determinations in discipline proceedings, Section 504 issues and other matters.

Attorney Darren J. Bogié joined Schools Legal Service from private practice in Sacramento focusing on civil litigation. A graduate of California State University, Chico and the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, Darren focuses on labor and employment matters, and has expertise in special education law as well. A Kern County native, Darren is a former Deputy County Counsel, Assistant United States Attorney, and JAG Corps Trial Defense Counsel. He is a member of the California State Bar, the California Council of School Attorneys and the Kern County Bar Association.

Attorney Stephanie Virrey Gutcher came to SLS from private practice in Bakersfield and prior to that in Sacramento, emphasizing both civil and criminal law. A graduate of the University of California, Davis and the University of the Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law, Stephanie practices in the area of special education where her trial and negotiation skills serve our clients well. She is a member of the California Council of School Attorneys and the Kern County Bar Association and is conversant in Spanish.

The newest addition to the SLS special education practice group is Attorney Christina J. Oleson who came to SLS from the Fresno County Public Defender’s Office and was previously in private practice. She is a graduate of California State University, San Marcos, where she majored in business administration with a minor in Spanish. She obtained her law degree from the Thomas Jefferson School of Law in San Diego. She has extensive trial and hearing experience, which will serve our clients well. She is a member of the California Council of School Attorneys and the Kern County Bar Association.