Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler
Staci J. Greenwald, Esq. • Jayne M. Wesler, Esq. • Lenore Boyarin, Esq. • Alex M. Hilsen, Esq., LL.M. • Andrew I. Meltzer, Esq. • Mariann Crincoli, Esq
Specialty: Special Education/Special Needs Law
Founded more than 40 years ago, Sussan, Greenwald & Wesler is one of the leading special education law firms in New Jersey. The firm’s attorneys have taken a hands-on, whole child approach to help thousands of families receive access to appropriate educational opportunities and set new legal precedents in the state.
ADDRESSING EACH CHILD’S UNIQUE NEEDS
Each of the firm’s attorneys boasts a wealth of experience in the law. SGW’s attorneys bring unique expertise, having previous experience working in schools and developing and implementing programs for children, as well as being parents of children with unique needs. “While working in the education field, we all realized there was a group of kids whose needs were not being appropriately addressed…and felt that becoming attorneys was the way to change the system,” Greenwald says.
In 1975, personal circumstances involving founder Theodore Sussan’s autistic son compelled him to gain an understanding of the special education rights of school-aged children. Today, the firm also offers financial services for families with special needs. An attorney with a background in finance and an LL.M. in estate planning, Hilsen offers his financial expertise to guide clients in estate issues including special needs trusts, wills, guardianship and general estate planning.
A TEAM APPROACH
The firm employs a team approach when addressing issues regarding children with special needs, allowing parents greater access to attorneys when they encounter difficulties dealing with school districts or during emergencies. The attorneys maintain amicable relationships with a vast majority of the state’s school districts.
“Our goal isn’t to litigate, but to get the services each child requires as quickly as possible and with the least amount of [parental] expenditure,” Greenwald says. “We’re constantly communicating to come up with the best plan and approach for each individual child. When you hire our firm, you become a member of our family.”
“Lenore is very experienced. We also appreciated her direct style which moved the legal process forward expeditiously, and she is also extremely responsive.” – U.A., Ridgewood
“Lenore told us what the district did not. She filled in the blanks and helped us to make informed decisions regarding our child.” T.F., Essex Fells
“My son was given an HIB and Mariann was able to get the finding reversed on appeal. Her detailed, nuanced and expert knowledge of the HIB legislation was the reason for the reversal. Other lawyers told us that while they believed my son was innocent of the charge, they felt that it was too difficult to get an HIB reversed and refused to take our case. Mariann designed our appeal strategy and expertly executed it. My family couldn’t be more satisfied with her work. She is a super lawyer!” – J.L., Newtown
“Mariann helped us get both of our children with special needs into out-of-district schools. We could never have done it without her help.” – E.H., Fair Lawn
“I have a 19-year-old non-verbal autistic son who I moved to NJ from California. To tell you that his case was one of the most difficult out there is an understatement-simply ask his California representation. One of the reasons why NJ became the viable choice for our family was Staci-her expertise is unparalleled, her tenacity matched our families then went beyond. I’ve never experienced an attorney so invested. To top all of this, her positive never-give-up attitude kept us going. I’m here to tell you that we were in a dog-fight for over 10 years, 3 of them seemed so bleak that we were facing the worst version of options out there for parents and for our son. But every time we hit a dead-end, Staci would find some miraculous way around it-I’m seriously describing super-hero versions of ways around the impossible. Most recently we had what would be deemed as a miracle result of our boy. He had started out looking at life in the worst version lock-down psychiatric facility with no options, and he is now in full-support, completely held and respected residential home, beyond all the nay-sayers, and no’s that we had faced for years-I can easily say that this was done because of Staci. I would tell you she’s magic, but I’d be robbing her of the bow she deserves for all the sleepless hours of coming up with another way to solve the impossible, and then doing it! She’s brilliant. Anyone who has the luck of even a consult with her should count their blessings and hold onto every ounce of her years of honed advice and natural intuition.” – K.M., Jersey City
“Staci is the best for special needs, hands down. Responsive, no nonsense, understanding and truly cares. Every family I have referred her to thanks me.” – D.B., Caldwell
“Staci represented us against our school and defeated them soundly to provide our son with the out-of-district placement and services he needed. Because of her he is now on his way to college next year. Probably the best special needs attorney in New Jersey.” – S.S., Colts Neck
“We had a very complex guardianship case for our young adult son. Alex Hilsen was incredibly knowledgeable, thorough, responsive and compassionate. His extensive experience was evident throughout. He kept us on track and deftly navigated all sorts of obstacles thrown our way. He practices with kindness and a good sense of humor. We highly recommend Alex” – K.M., Princeton Junction
“There is no way that we would have gotten our daughter the out-of-district school placement she needed for her psychiatric issues without Andrew’s expertise and guidance. Beyond his extraordinary ability to argue and negotiate our legal case, he was so helpful and kind in working with me as a mom to stay as calm and focused as possible during the hardest time of our lives. He is clearly incredibly dedicated to students with special needs. He always kept me updated on our case, but he used our funds wisely, knowing that this type of financial strain is hard on families.” – J.H., Jersey City
“Mr. Meltzer helped us achieve the desired outcome for which we hired his firm. He was able to get our district to agree to an out-of-district placement that was appropriate for our daughter. With our initial interactions with the district, we knew this would be very difficult for us to achieve without competent representation. Andrew was also very patient with us giving us a complete understanding of our rights and appropriate education laws. He explained this to us simply and clearly without going into unnecessary details. He seemed to have an excellent relationship with the attorney for the districts and worked well with him.” – K.R., Hamilton
“Jayne is a highly-skilled attorney in an area of law that seems to be practiced by few attorneys. Jayne’s competence in special education law becomes obvious during the first meeting. Moreover, her attention and support of clients goes well beyond the professional relationship. She brings a much appreciated human touch to a subject matter that is unjustly complicated and utterly frustrating.”-R.R., Clifton
“Jayne is the ultimate professional…knows the law and understands the nuances of a school system. It’s helpful that she was a teacher in her past experience. She’s kind, mild-mannered, patient, conscientious, compassionate, thorough, assertive and diligent…just to name a few.” -L.R., Clifton
“The education system for special needs kids is difficult to navigate and complex at best. Jayne knows how important a child’s education is and made sure our child got what he needed and deserved. She guided us and made it happen.” -K.B., West Long Branch
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