MEET our Team

Passionate and Experienced Advocates

Elisa Hyman, ESQ., PARTNER

Elisa represents parents and young people in IEP meetings, impartial hearings and appeals to the State Review Office.  Elisa also represents plaintiffs in civil litigation and class action lawsuits.  She has practiced special education law in New York since 1998. 

With more than twenty-five years of experience as a litigator,  Elisa has represented hundreds of parents in hearings and federal court to assist them in obtaining private school tuition, special education services, tutoring, compensatory education, Applied Behavior Analysis and accommodations.

Elisa has also served as lead and co-counsel on several federal class action suits involving special education, disability discrimination and other education rights to facilitate systemic change in the school system. She has also advised and trained thousands of parents and professionals in the area of special education law.

In 2007, Elisa founded the Special Education Law Group at Friedman & Moses, LLP and, since then, Elisa and her firm have served as Of Counsel to that firm.  Between 1998 and 2007,  Elisa spent eight years at Advocates for Children of New York (AFC), first as the organization's Deputy Director and then as the Executive Director.   Prior to starting her career in public interest law, Elisa was a lawyer in the litigation department of White & Case. 

Elisa has also authored several publications, is a CLE instructor and lecturer in the area of special education law and has consulted in the area of education policy.

Elisa has her J.D. from Duke Law School and a M.A. in Economics from Duke University.  Elisa is admitted in New York,  the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. 


Gloria Bruzzano, ESQ., Partner

Gloria Bruzzano handles all aspects of representation of parents of children with special needs, including initial intake, case strategy, participating in IEP meetings and representing families in impartial hearings, appeals to the State Review Officer and in federal court.  She also co-supervises the cases in the Special Education Practice Group. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman,Gloria was the Supervising Attorney of the Special Education Practice Group at Friedman & Moses.

Gloria has over nine years of experience in the field of special education law and has been dedicated to working in the field of public interest law since 2002.  Before joining F&M, Gloria was an associate at the Law Firm of Neal Rosenberg.  Before starting her career in private practice, Gloria was an attorney and supervising attorney for the New York City Department of Education (“DOE”), in the special education unit, providing legal services and trainings on special education and litigating fair hearings on behalf of the city to best assist children.   After three years of litigation for the DOE, Gloria then served as a Compliance Officer, and Director of Compliance, for special education compliance across the five boroughs. 

Gloria has her J.D. from Pace University Law School and is admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, the Southern District of New York, the Eastern District of New York and Federal Courts of New Jersey.


 

Aeri Pang, ESQ., OF COUNSEL

Aeri represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearingsand federal court.  She is available to accompany parents to  IEP meetings, consultations and workshops. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Anishah was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, LLP, where she practiced special education law. 

Aeri has varied and extensive experience advocating on behalf of students with special education needs. 

Aeri holds a B.A. in Cultural Anthropology from the University of Michigan and a J.D. from the Cornell Law School. She is admitted to practice in New York, the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York.

 

ANISHAH CUMBER, ESQ.,OF COUNSEL

Anishah represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearings and is available for IEP meetings, consultations and workshops. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Anishah was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, where she practiced special education law. 

Anishah has extensive experience practicing both family and special education law.  Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Anishah was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, where she represented children and families in special education matters.  Anishah is well-versed in transition issues for young adults with disabilities and previously worked for Resources for Children with Special Needs, Advocates for Children, and the Legal Aid Bureau of Maryland. Anishah is also a certified mediator and has used her skills as a volunteer mediator for the Muslim community.

Anishah obtained her B.A. from Amherst College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and and is admitted to practice in New York, the Southern District of New York and the Eastern District of New York. 


Erin O'Connor, ESQ., of counsel

Erin O’Connor represents parent at impartial hearings. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Jean was Of Counsel to Friedman and Moses, representing families of children with special needs.  

Prior to practicing special education law, Erin clerked for a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of New York for eight years, researching and writing on a wide array of issues.  In addition to her special education work, Erin currently sits on the board of two non-profit organizations.  Erin has her J.D. from Brooklyn Law School, a Master of Science in Social Work from Columbia University (1998), and graduated magna cum laude from American University in Washington, D.C. in 1996.  

Erin is admitted to the bars of New York and the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York.


Jean Lucasey, ESQ.,of counsel 

Jean Lucasey represents parents in impartial hearings.   Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Jean was Of Counsel to Friedman and Moses, representing families of children with special needs.  

Jean has also been certified by the New York State Education Department as an Impartial Hearing Officer for Special Education matters since August 2010. In that capacity, she has presided over hundreds of due process hearings, deciding disputes between families and their school districts.  Jean served as judicial clerk and then as an associate judge in the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Court in Connecticut until 2004, after which she was reappointed to the bench in Mashantucket in April 2015, where she continues to serve.  Starting in 2006, Jean worked as an education advocate and attorney for a non-profit agency that helped children in public schools.  Before earning her J.D., Jean worked as a journalist and was a professor at Iona College.

Jean has her J.D. from the University of Connecticut School of Law and an M.A. in journalism from the University of Missouri and is admitted to practice in New York.   


Lauren Druyan, ESQ., associate

At the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, P.C., Lauren represents parents of children with special needs in impartial hearings and is available for IEP meetings, consultations and workshops.  Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Lauren was Of Counsel to Friedman and Moses, representing families of children with special needs.  

Lauren began practicing special education law as an attorney for the New York City Department of Education's ("DOE") Special Education Unit.  As an attorney representing the DOE in special education matters, Lauren litigated numerous hearings, handled the negotiation and execution of settlements, and provided legal guidance and support to DOE staff. 

Lauren is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and the University of Pennsylvania and is admitted in New York, New Jersey and the SDNY. 


Ayodele rashid, esq., OF COUNSEL

Ayodele Rashid represents parents in IEP meetings and impartial hearings. Prior to joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Ayodele was Of Counsel to Friedman & Moses, LLP where she practiced special education law. 

Throughout the course of her career, Ayodele has focused on advocating for individuals who have traditionally lacked access to legal services and who have been subject to discrimination and unequal treatment due to race, poverty, or involvement with the criminal justice system.

Ayodele began to practice education law when she joined the Special Education Unit ("SEU") at the New York City Department of Education.  At the SEU, Ayodele handled impartial hearings concerning the implementation of appropriate individualized educational programs and school placement.  After the conclusion of her tenure at the SEU, Ayodele continued to work with students and children by joining Alternative Schools & Program at District 79, where she worked with several programs to ensure compliance and the provision of services to incarcerated students, parenting youth, students receiving drug treatment services and over –age and under-credited students.  

Ayodele has also worked for the Administration for Children's Services where, on behalf of the city of New York, she prosecuted cases for children at risk of abuse or neglect.  

Ayodele's career in public service began in law school.  As a law student, she worked with the Center for Law and Social Justice and the Capital Defender and Federal Habeas Clinic.

Ayodele is a graduate of Brooklyn Law School and is admitted in New York.


NAHAL BATMANghelidj, esq. OF COUNSEL

Coming soon!


Alicia Abelli, esq.,  OF COUNSEL

Coming soon! 


miriam nunberg, esq., of counsel

Coming soon!


kim susser, esq., of counsel 

Coming soon!


nicolas Apter-vidler, paralegal

Coming soon!


John Rodriguez, law clerk

John Rodriguez is a graduate of Columbia University and Hofstra Law School. Before joining the Law Office of Elisa Hyman, Esq., and previously Friedman and Moses LLP, he spent a year negotiating attorney fees for the Community Legal Assistance Corporation and Hofstra Law School in a complex, nine-year housing rights case involving over 100 billers. He also has experience with technology, business, and intellectual property law. He currently serves as the firm's Law Clerk negotiating fee cases for clients under the supervision of our attorneys, drafting court documents, and performing legal research. 


julie wallin, office manager