What is case law?
“Case law” refers to the collection of court rulings interpreting a particular statute. Federal laws like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADA) can’t address every aspect of special education disputes that may arise between a district and the parent of a child with a disability. That’s where the courts come in. Federal judges decide how the statutory requirements should apply in a particular case, and other judges look to that decision when deciding cases that have similar facts. This collection of case law helps predict how a court would resolve a similar dispute. “Case law” does not mean state due process decisions or Letters of Finding from the Office of Civil Rights.