A Brief Biography
Mark Kamleiter, together with his wife, Diane Cardin-Kamleiter, a professional accountant, established Special Education Law and Advocacy, a special education law firm. Mark represents children with disabilities in due process and in Federal Court, advocating for their appropriate education in public school systems. Diane serves the firm as CFO (her biography is found under her name).
Mark Kamleiter is a graduate of Old Dominion University in Virginia with a Bachelor of Science degree in Secondary Education and twenty-eight hours of Masters level History study. He graduated from the College of William and Mary (Marshall-Wythe School of Law-1978) in Virginia, with a Doctor of Jurisprudence. He has completed course work at the University of South Florida, earning certification in Special Education, Varying Exceptionalities. He is also Board Certified in Education Law.
Mark has taught regular education (History, Geography, Government) in middle school and high school and for several years taught a course in Law and Politics at the University of South Florida. He taught in the Pinellas County School System for five years, working with children with developmental delays and autism, and serving as a behavior specialist.
Having practiced law in both Virginia and Florida, Mark, along with Diane, established this law firm in St. Petersburg, Florida in 1993 and today it has grown into the law firm known as Special Education Law and Advocacy. As its name implies, the firm is focused upon the representation of children with disabilities relative to issues in public education. Today, the firm has grown to include three attorneys, three professional advocates, a professional accountant, a paralegal, a law clerk, and a file clerk.
As a long-time advocate for the rights of children with disabilities, Mark serves on the board of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates, Inc. (COPAA). Here in Florida, Mark helped to found, and still provides some leadership in the Florida Association of Special Education Attorneys. A frequent state and national speaker and presenter on issues related to the education of children with disabilities, Mark represents children with disabilities in school meetings, formal complaints, due process and in Federal Court, where he advocates for their appropriate education in public school systems.
Outside of his legal practice, Mark is active in the community. Locally, he worked to promote the passage of the St. Petersburg Human Rights Ordinance amendment, which extended discrimination protections to gays and lesbians. Prior to the invasion of Iraq, Mark and Diane were very involved in the peace movement. He won an important "freedom of speech" case in Federal Court, defending a peace activist, who was arrested outside the gates of the Bay Pines VA Medical Center for expressing his desire for peace and opposition to the war against Iraq. His belief in non-violence has led Mark to serve with CASA (Community Action Stops Abuse, Inc.), a major Pinellas County non-profit corporation, providing spousal abuse shelter, transitional housing, education and counseling, among other services. He is a past-president of CASA and now serves on their governance committee. Mark serves on the board of the Pinellas Chapter of the ACLU, as well as on the local ACLU legal panel.