David M. Richards, Attorney at Law


David M. Richards received his undergraduate degree from Texas Tech University in 1985, graduating cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. While at Texas Tech, he received the Allen Scholarship from Pi Sigma Alpha for excellence in political science. Dave received his Doctorate of Jurisprudence from the University of Texas at Austin in 1989. During law school, he was a member of the Legal Research Board (1987-88) and a Notes and Comments Editor on the Texas International Law Journal (1988-89). He was admitted to the State Bar of Texas in 1989.

Dave is the managing partner in the Austin law firm Richards Lindsay & Martín, L.L.P. The firm is devoted entirely to the defense of school districts and special education cooperatives. He focuses his school district practice on the areas of §504 and special education. He was the editor and a contributing author to The Texas Principal’s Handbook,and co-author of School Risk Managementand Public Officials Risk Management.His presentations and materials have also been referenced numerous times in LRP’s Section 504 Compliance Advisor, The Special Educator, and Your School & the Law.

He is General Counsel for the Council of Educators for Students with Disabilities (CESD), and a frequent speaker on disability law topics at schools, as well as regional, state, and national conferences throughout the country. Evaluations routinely report that Dave is both very informative and far too funny to be a lawyer.


The following are a few examples of the hundreds of days of training provided by Mr. Richards in the last few years:



Border Conference, El Paso, Texas, February 15, 2019 (IDEA Procedural Safeguards as a Starting Place to Build Relationships with Parents).

Kentucky KEDC, Ashland, Kentucky, February 7, 2019 (Section 504-IDEA Comparison/Contrast, What is Specially Designed Instruction?, Section 504 Overview).

Second Annual Carolinas Compliance Conference, Concord, North Carolina, January 28-29, 2019 (Section 504 Overview, What's Next? Disability Law after Graduation, Substantial Limitation, and When IDEA Students Look to Section 504 for Additional Services).



Hawaii DOE, trainings on 4 islands from November 26 - December 7, 2018 (Variety of Section 504 topics including physical impairments, Section 504 as a civil rights law, and in depth analysis of substantial limitation).

Rio Rancho ISD, Rio Rancho, New Mexico, October 1, 2018 (Topics included discipline for 504 students, interaction with doctors and medical data, OCR's 2016 ADHD Resource Guide, and other general updates).

Boise City Schools, Boise, Idaho, September 27, 2018 (Section 504 overview, impact of disability and medication on military service, and other related issues).

Idaho Federal Program Director's Meeting, Idaho Department of Education, Nampa, Idaho, September 26, 2019 (Section 504 discipline and creating the 504 Plan).

WAVE Conference, Wyoming Department of Education, Laramie, Wyoming, July 30 - August 1, 2019 (504 Overview and Select Advanced Disability Law Issues).

Colorado Early Colleges, Ft. Collins, Colorado, May 29, 2018 (Section 504 overview, dual enrollment, and other related issues).

TCASE Legal Digest, Arlington & San Marcos, Texas, April 26 & May 2, 2018 (Serving Students with Dyslexia).

MD Anderson Pediatric Grand Rounds, Houston, Texas, April 16, 2018 (What schools need doctors to know about Section 504).



North Carolina School Counselor Conference, Greensboro, North Carolina, November 7-9, 2017 (Pre-conference Overview of Section 504, breakouts on Discipline of Section 504 students and creating the Section 504 plan).

Tri-State Regional Special Education Law Conference (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas), Omaha, Nebraska, November 2-3, 2017 (Section 504 Overview, Modern IDEA LRE Issues, Section 504 Puzzling Child Find & Eligibility Issues).

Education Service Center Region X, Richardson, Texas, October 23, 2017 (Section 504 Overview for Public Charter Schools).

Bering Strait Alaska Schools, Unalakleet, Alaska, September 10-11, 2017 (Section 504 advanced issues, nondiscrimination, medical marijuana, allergies and food intolerance, extracurricular activities, difficult child find issues).

Killeen ISD, Killeen, Texas, July 25, 2017 (Section 504 Overview).

Los Angeles Unified Schools, Los Angeles, California, March 29, 2017 (504 Process and Working with Parents, Section 504 discipline, creating the Section 504 Plan).

ARMEA, Little Rock, Arkansas, March 2-3, 2017 (When ADA and Section 504 Choices Interfere with Special Education FAPE).

LRP School Attorney's Conference, Savannah, Georgia, January 29 - February 1, 2017 (ADA & Section 504 Emerging Issues).



Windham ISD, Huntsville, Texas, September 6, 2016 (Section 504 for students in juvenile justice facilities).

North Plains Law Conference on Students with Disabilities, Bismark, North Dakota, October 4-5, 2016 (General session: At the Border Between 504/ADA and Special Education; and breakout on Section 504 Advanced Issues).

Adams 14 Schools, Commerce City, Colorado, November 16, 2016 (Section 504 Overview).

16th Annual Transition Conference, Arizona DOE, Scottsdale, Arizona, August 31, 2016 (The IDEA Student's Rights to Equally Effective Communication Under the ADA, Post-Secondary Transition under IDEA and Section 504).

LRP Special Education Summit, Providence, Rhode Island, June 20-22, 2016 (The Intersection of Section 504 and Special Education- a discussion of ADA's Effective Communication regulations, school choice and related access rights that can intersect with IDEA FAPE).

Colorado Special Education Legal Conference, Colorado DOE, Denver, Colorado, April 21, 2016 (General session on Section 504, breakout on Modern IDEA LRE Issues).

Scottish Rite West Texas, Lubbock, Texas, February 12, 2016 (Section 504, IDEA and the Texas Dyslexia Law).

Colton Unified School District, Colton, California, January 25-26, 2016 (Section 504 Overview and related process issues).

Palmetto School Counselor Association Conference, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, January 20-21, 2016 (Pre-conference Section 504 Overview, breakouts on health plans, creating the Section 504 plan).


2015 Tri-State Regional Special Education Law Conference (Nebraska, Iowa, Kansas), Omaha, Nebraska, November 5--6, 2015 (Fixing the Special Education Mistake, Advanced Section 504 Issues, ADA Effective Communication).

University of Washington’s Pacific Northwest Conference on Special Education, Portland, Oregon, October 4-6, 2015 (Pre-Conference session on Section 504 Overview, General Session on Year in Review, and breakout on Fixing the Special Education Mistake).

Florida Department of Education, Administrator’s Management Meeting, St. Petersburg, Florida, September 17, 2015 (Section 504 Legal Update).

Wyoming DOE Leadership Symposium, Lander, Wyoming, June 25-26, 2015 (Presented sessions on Homebound, ADA Effective Communication, and participated in two legal panels).·

Florida CASE, Deerfield Beach, Florida, June 8, 2015 (Presented a Section 504 Legal Update, You Be the Judge and participated on a legal panel).

Utah Institute on Special Education Law, Utah Office of Education, Ogden, Utah, August 6-7, 2012 (General Session on IDEA & 504 Differences and Similarities, together with four Breakout sessions on Section 504 eligibility issues after the ADAAA, Section 504 & IDEA Discipline, Section 504 advanced issues, IDEA procedural safeguards, and a legal panel).

Texas Association of School Boards’ Special Education Roundtable, Austin, Texas, July 12, 2012 (Discipline under IDEA and legal panel of the role of school attorney and current disability law issues).