Newsroom Article

Sweet Stevens Attorneys Present at National CASE Conference

News Release

Posted on in Events

New Britain, PA – Seven attorneys from Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams LLP will present at the national Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) Conference, considered the premier professional learning event for administrators of special education. “Building Bridges – From Vision to Practice” will be held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, November 8-10, 2023.

CASE, an international nonprofit professional organization with over 5,300 members, provides leadership to advance the field of special education through instruction, policy, and advocacy. The Sweet Stevens team, joined by executives from local school districts, will bring a comprehensive learning experience to attendees of the conference at these sessions:

  • Partners Christina M. Stephanos and Jane M. Williams, along with A.J. Kise, who is Director of Special and Alternative Education for the Nazareth Area School District, will present “Surprise: Your presence is requested at the Due Process Hearing regarding Student X,” on Thursday, November 9, from 12:45-1:45 p.m. Stephanos, a former special education teacher, regularly consults with districts on the development and implementation of IEPs and Section 504 agreements, and defends districts in attorney attended meetings and due process hearings. Williams has served as a hearing officer and advisor to school boards and is among the most experienced attorneys currently representing school entities in special education.
  • Stephanos will also join Senior Associate Andrea Lynne Cola and Associate Suzanne Pontious with The School District of Springfield Township Director of Student Services Meghan Dennis to present “Facets of Executive Functioning and its Impact on FAPE,” on Wednesday, November 8, from 10-11 a.m. Cola focuses her practice on matters involving civil rights, special education, and student services, and brings previous experience as an attorney for the School District of Philadelphia. Pontious is a seasoned litigator who previously served as deputy city solicitor for the City of Philadelphia Law Department’s Child Welfare Unit.
  • Associates Maria B. Desautelle and Rose E. McHugh will present “Violent Student Behavior – What Must a District Do?” on Thursday, November 9, from 10-11 a.m. Desautelle has an extensive background working for government entities, including as mediator and complaint investigator with the New Jersey Department of Education – Office of Special Education. McHugh practices in special education and student services, and, prior to joining the firm, served as interim chief of the Juvenile Division of the Bucks County District Attorney’s Office.
  • Special Counsel Andrew E. Faust will present “The Courts Tread where Congress Fears to Go,” on Friday, November 10, from 10-11 a.m. He has represented school districts and intermediate units at every level of the federal and state judicial and administrative systems.

For more information on the CASE conference, visit

Sweet, Stevens, Katz & Williams, LLP was formed in 1995 by nine experienced education lawyers who created the first private law practice in Pennsylvania dedicated entirely to Education Law. Since then, the firm has grown to 21 attorneys who represent over 290 school and municipal entities as Solicitors or as Special Counsel in more than 50 counties throughout Pennsylvania.