Advancing the Educational Rights of students with disabilities

Rivers Law Office

SURISA E. RIVERS 

Phone: 323-312-5320 / Fax: 323-617-3190 

2910 W. Broadway, Suite 100B,

Los Angeles, CA 90041 
surisa@riverslawoffice.org 


  • Practicing Law since 2003    

  • More than 7 years devoted to disability rights and special education law

  • Strong Litigation Experience    

  • Passionate Advocacy ​

LEGAL EXPERIENCE             

Surisa Rivers Law Office, Los Angeles, CA - February 2013 - present
My current practice focuses on representing students with disabilities in special education due process cases. 
 
Geffen Law Firm, Santa Monica, California - September 2012 to January 2013 
Litigated federal and state disability and employment discrimination cases on behalf of plaintiffs.   

Disability Rights Legal Center, Los Angeles, California - March 2010 to September 2012
Senior Staff Attorney 
Litigated individual and class action cases on behalf of persons with disabilities, including special education related cases. Law student/internship supervising attorney.   

Martin & Martin, LLP, Los Angeles, California - May 2008 – March 2010                                                                 
Litigation Attorney
Represented parents in special education matters. Litigated tort and employment discrimination matters. Represented government entities in various employment and tort matters, including a complex, medical billing fraud case against multiple parties.   

Litchfield Cavo LLP, Glendale, California - June 2007 – March 2008                                                                                                 
Litigation Attorney 
Handled insurance defense caseload on products liability, trade secrets, employment discrimination/harassment, and toxic tort matters. 

Legal Clinic for the Disabled, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - September 2004 – October 2006                            
Special Education Attorney 
Provided direct legal representation in over 50 special education cases, involving administrative due process hearings and appearances in family court.  Represented parent of student with intellectual disability in federal case, which successfully reversed a decision by a state special education appellate panel decision to remove the student from her regular education classroom.    

The Honorable Angelo DiCamillo                                                                     
New Jersey Superior Court, Family Division, Camden, New Jersey 
Law Clerk, September 2003 – August 2004 
Drafted motions and judicial opinions, assisted pro se litigants on family law matters, and prepared memoranda on various juvenile related issues. 

The Honorable Joseph E. Irenas U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Camden, NJ
Law Clerk, Summer 2002 
Drafted habeas corpus and Social Security benefits opinions. Conducted extensive research and wrote legal memoranda on federal civil procedural issues. 

Fair Share Housing Center, Cherry Hill, NJ - January 2001 – December 2001                                                                                              
Law Clerk 
Drafted memoranda on various issues relating to land use and fair housing law with a focus on civil rights. Provided research for Title VIII lawsuit and Mt. Laurel litigation.     

BAR / MEMBERSHIP 
California, Central District of California, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2007 to present)
Pennsylvania & Eastern District of Pennsylvania, New Jersey (2003 - 2010)


American Bar Association, member


EDUCATION 
Rutgers University School of Law, Camden, NJ                        
Juris Doctorate (May 2003)             
3.5 GPA, with honors           

Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA             
Bachelor of Arts in English             
3.6 GPA, graduated cum laude   

SEMINARS / PRESENTATIONS

Provided numerous seminars and presentations on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Special Education Law (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) to staff attorneys and law student interns for Disability Rights Legal Center.

COMMUNITY / VOLUNTEER

Theatre of Hearts, Youth First - Board of Directors (June 2008 – present) (An organization focused on reducing youth-on-youth violence through high quality arts education throughout Los Angeles County)

PUBLISHED LEGAL WRITING 
Los Angeles Lawyer, March 2008, Practice Tips: Protecting Trade Secrets in a Digital Workplace
A Legal Garden - my personal blog on Tumblr.com