Editor’s Note: This is the third and final article profiling CTLA Case of the Year Award nominees. The winner will be announced at the CTLA dinner on May 10 and covered in the May 14 issue of Law Week.
In a case such as Shiva Rai v. St. Vrain Valley School District, which involved repeated abuse by a bus aide of a student with autism, attorneys could easily go after the low-hanging fruit — in this case, the aide’s behavior and the failure of the bus’s driver to report the abuse.
One of Denver’s most prominent civil rights law firms is again in the running for Case of the Year from the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association, and they chose not to take the low-hanging fruit.
They instead focused on systemic problems in the school district that allowed the abuse to occur. Attorneys from Rathod Mohamedbhai, who received the award last year, have been nominated again, this time for a settlement with the St. Vrain Valley School District.
Last summer, the firm’s attorneys reached a $3.85 million settlement between student Shiva Rai’s family and the St. Vrain Valley School District. The district also established discrimination training for its employees and agreed to establish qualifications for employees working with students with disabilities.