Erin brings compassion, experience and aggressive advocacy to her family law and civil litigation cases. As an experienced litigator she provides clients the guidance they need. Erin obtained a bachelor's degree in Business Management with a minor in Aerospace Studies. After graduating from IU, Erin was commissioned an Air Force officer and was assigned to Tyndall AFB, Panama City, Florida. She has a Master's Degree of Public Administration from Troy State University. She attended law school at IUPUI in Indianapolis. As a veteran herself, Erin prides herself on being uniquely qualified to serve military members and their families in their specialized legal needs which can be significantly different than civilian matters. Erin is experienced at handling a wide-range of litigation matters to include domestic relations law, health care litigation and medical malpractice defense, long term and assisted living facility defense, commercial litigation, and products liability defense.
Catherine M. Michael is is licensed and practices throughout the state of Indiana, Texas, and Michigan. She represents students and their families in a variety of education and personal injury matters including Special Education Due Process, Section 504 matters, expulsion, disciplinary issues, personal injury of children including injury, sexual abuse, molestation, and rape cases both in and out of school environments, private school issues and discipline as well as other civil rights and disability claims experienced by students. She possesses extensive knowledge regarding special education due process, teacher and student discipline and dismissal matters, Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), personal injury of children in schools, and other civil rights matters.
Catherine Michael has been featured hundreds of times in both the national and local media. She is a frequent guest on syndicated radio and television shows for her education law expertise. Her nearly two decade career in education has focused on ensuring that the needs of children in schools are met. She has represented school shooting victims, children abused in school, and hundreds of special needs children who families needed a voice.
Sonja D. Kerr is a skilled special education attorney with over thirty years of practice at all levels, due process, federal and state courts, and the appellate courts. Ms. Kerr has litigated individual cases as well as class actions.
Ms. Kerr has had the pleasure of representing students with a wide variety of disabilities, including autism, language-impairments, Tourette's Syndrome, hearing impairment/deafness, learning disabilities/dyslexia, blind/visually impaired, ADHD/ADD, and children with emotional disturbance and children with a variety of physical disabilities.
Ms. Kerr has brought various cases against the state educational agency. In Indiana, she successfully represented parents in due process hearings and also challenged the state's due process system in federal court. H.H. v. Indiana Board of Special Education Appeals, (Indiana 2008); M.O. v. Duneland (Indiana 2009). Ms. Kerr obtained a federal court order sanctioning the attorney general of Nebraska for claiming that the state was immune from suit under the IDEA. Edwards v. Fremont (Nebraska 1994). And in Mississippi, Ms. Kerr sued to keep the state in a case involving the denial of a free appropriate public education to a child with dyslexia. Hill v. Laurel School District (Mississippi 1995).
Ms. Kerr was previously Director of Disability Rights for the prestigious Public Interest Law Center of Philadelphia from 2009-2016. While there, Ms. Kerr brought various class actions to protect the rights of children.
Ms. Kerr is admitted to practice in Indiana, Texas, Alaska and Pennsylvania, and is non-practicing in Minnesota. She is also admitted to various federal and circuit courts and the United States Supreme Court.
Carla Leader is an attorney with the Ohio Education Law Division of Connell Michael Kerr. She brings nearly 20 years of experience focused in representation and protection of children's legal and civil rights. She works with clients throughout the State of Ohio in special education due process, Section 504, student expulsion, Section 1983, ADA, and other federal and education law matters.
Carla graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with a BA in Psychology and Women's Studies. She completed law school at American University Washington College of Law. After law school she clerked for Judge Ronna Lee Beck in D.C. Superior Court between 2000-2001 and then worked for the Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia prosecuting child abuse and neglect cases. She then worked with Legal Aid and ran her own law firm for many years. Her focus on representation of children is not only a profession but a personal calling. She has been featured in the media multiple times for her work. She has a podcast Parental Guidance with Catherine Michael that focuses on educational needs and law.
Michelle McGuire is an attorney with the Education Law Division with more than 15 years of experience focused in education law. She is licensed in Ohio and works to ensure representation of families in Ohio in special education due process, Section 504, student expulsion, Section 1983, federal litigation and other education law matters. She earned her law degree from Cleveland State Marshall College of Law and her undergraduate from Bowling Green State University. After being licensed to practice law in 2003, she was admitted to the Ohio Northern District Court. Her office is located in Olmsted Falls, Ohio and she works with CMK to represent clients throughout the State of Ohio.
Steve Elmlinger brings more than 20 years of family law paralegal experience to our team. He works closely with all of our attorneys to help us provide the level of attention and detail that our clients have come to expect. Mr. Elmlinger also works within the education law division to assist parents with advocacy.
Sarah Chapman brings a decade of paralegal experience to our firm. She works with both the family law and education divisions. Ms. Chapman is a graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington with Bachelor's Degree of Applied Health Science in Human Development and Family Studies with minors in Public Health, Psychology, and Sociology.
Pat has an A.S. and a B.A. in Paralegal Studies from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College, where she graduated magna cum laude. She is an Indiana Registered Paralegal and an affiliate member of the Indiana Bar and the American Bar Associations. A well-known Parent Advocate with over 40 years of experience in education advocacy for special needs families, Ms. Howey is indispensable to our education law team. Ms. Howey works with our attorneys in Indiana, Texas, and Michigan to review documents, spot issues, draft due process complaints, prepare for hearings, and assist at hearings. Her duties also include assisting with federal court cases.
Lori Elmlinger brings a diverse background of education advocacy. She works in the Education Law Division and assists on legislative and government issues that face families of children with special needs. She works with the education law team on a number of educational matters - including assisting in Due Process Ms. Elmlinger attended Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis.