Jessika is a Partner at Machado Law Group who provides representation to school districts across all subject areas throughout the state of New Jersey. In this role, Jessika routinely interprets statutory, regulatory, and constitutional matters as they apply to school districts, employees, and students. She reviews and drafts school board policies. She negotiates collective bargaining agreements and assists in administrative compliance with established agreements. She consults on all aspects of personnel and labor relations, including: hiring, discipline and discharge of employees; grievances and arbitration; contracting, bidding and procurement; and special education and student discipline matters. Jessika has successfully represented clients in mediations, administrative hearings, and in state and federal courts, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. She has experience litigating cases related to the Individual with Disabilities Education Act, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Americans with Disabilities Act, student disciplinary actions, Office of Civil Rights (OCR) and Department of Education complaints, and a wide variety of personnel related matters.
Jessika routinely conducts seminars and in-service workshops to boards of education, school administration and staff, and at school law and bar association forums. Past presentations include the Legal One four-part Special Education Law Series, which she developed for the organization, Board Members’ Roles and Responsibilities, the Basics of Special Education for Board Members, Student Records and Confidentiality, Reducing the Costs of Special Education Litigation, Procedural Safeguards, Hot Topics in Special Education, Section 504: A Road Map to Compliance, I&RS: Effective Usage and Best Practices, Special Education for Administrators, Nursing Services In The School Setting, Legal and Effective IEPs, and HIB & Discipline Rights, Responsibilities & Best Practices. Jessika is also regularly authors feature articles for Special Education Connections. In June of 2018, Jessika is honored to be participating as a speaker on special education law at an international conference on education, in Athens, Greece.
Jessika served as counsel to low-income children in the Special Education Clinic while attending law school at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. She is a member of the New Jersey Bar Association, the American Bar Association and is admitted to practice in New Jersey and in the federal court, including the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.