Robert Crabtree, Massachusetts Special Education Reporter Commentator

Robert K. Crabtree Robert K. Crabtree is one of the most respected authorities in Massachusetts special education law. He founded the law firm of Kotin, Crabtree & Strong with Lawrence Kotin in January 1981. Mr. Crabtree graduated from Bowdoin College in 1967, Andover Newton Theological School in 1971, and the Northeastern University School of Law in 1976. As Research Director for the Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee on Education, Mr. Crabtree was a principal draftsman of the Massachusetts special education law and played a vital role in its final passage and implementation. Mr. Crabtree specializes in the areas of special education and disability law and regularly represents parents of children with disabilities at all levels of the special-education due-process system. Prior to founding Kotin, Crabtree & Strong, LLP, he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Walter J. Skinner of the United States District Court for Massachusetts and worked in the litigation department of Herrick & Smith, a large Boston law firm, now closed.
Mr. Crabtree is the author of numerous articles concerning special education law and advocacy and has spoken and taught widely on related subjects. In 2005, Mr. Crabtree was a co-recipient, with Mr. Kotin, of the Martha Ziegler Founder's Award, given by the Massachusetts-based advocacy organization, the Federation for Children with Special Needs, recognizing their part in the origins of the Massachusetts Special Education Law and their "decades of dedication to student with disabilities and their families." With his partner Eileen Hagerty, he is the co-author of a detailed chapter about "Advocating on Behalf of Students and Parents," published in Special Education Law in Massachusetts. (MCLE, 4th edition,2012.) Other writings by Mr. Crabtree may be found through and on his law firm's website at and at the KCS special education law blog at
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