Arla D. Cahill is a Partner in the Firm’s Litigation, Education Law (Chair) and Special Needs (Co-Chair) Practice Groups. Recognized by New Jersey Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in Business Litigation (2006-2009) and as a Super Lawyer in 2022*, Arla has represented clients in diverse industries in all aspects of complex commercial litigation and business counseling. Arla’s business law practice includes employment, contracts, banking, shareholder disputes, enforcement of noncompete agreements, and estate and trust litigation. Arla also has more than fifteen years’ experience successfully representing private lenders and banks in complex, multimillion-dollar commercial foreclosures.

In addition to her recognition in and out of the courtroom handling complex litigation cases, Arla has a passion for helping families and Chairs the Firm’s Education Law Practice and Co-Chairs its Special Needs Practice. As a seasoned litigator for over 24 years and a former school board attorney and charter school board member, Arla has gained unique insight into the public education system. She understands the challenges facing parents in the areas of Special Education, Harassment, Intimidation & Bullying (HIB), student discipline, residency disputes, and religious exemption, among other education issues. Arla’s special needs practice also includes guardianship proceedings.

Arla’s representation of public-school employees includes contract disputes, professional discipline, discrimination and harassment, family leave issues, and negotiating buy outs and resignations. Arla also represents vendors in their negotiation, bidding and litigation of public contracts with school districts.

Arla is active in the community and regularly participates in events to educate the public on anti-bullying and special needs topics. She serves as a Trustee and Executive Committee Member of Employment Horizons, Inc. and Employment Horizons Enterprises, LLC, Vice Chair of the District VB Ethics Committee, and is a member of the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates (COPAA) and Autism New Jersey. Arla also served as a pro bono attorney for the Battered Women Legal Advocacy Project in Morris County. Arla is a Master level member of the Worrall F. Mountain Inn of Court, which focuses on trial advocacy, and served on its Executive Board. Arla regularly lectures before professional organizations on various areas of law, including commercial damages, ethics, education law and public contracts.


*No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey or the American Bar Association. A description of the standard or methodology used by Super Lawyers can be found here.

  • New Jersey State Bar Association, Business Law Section
  • Essex & Morris County Bar Associations
  • Employment Horizons, Board of Trustees
  • Morris County Chamber of Commerce, Women In Business Committee
  • Academy of Special Needs Planners
  • Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates
  • SPAN Parent Advocacy Network

  • June 11, 2020 Basic Rights in Special Education: What Every Parent Should Know, Family Partners of Morris and Sussex Counties
  • November 4, 2020 Texas School Law Update 2021, National Business Institute
  • November 20, 2020 School Law: Handling Mental Health Issues, National Business Institute
  • December 10, 2020 New Jersey School Law Update 2021, National Business Institute
  • December 20, 2020 New Jersey Education Law in the Age of COVID-19, Worrall F. Mountain American Inn of Court
  • 2020 Media Interviews:
  • June 17, 2020 NJ Anti-Hazing Bill In Honor of Late New Jersey Teen Demands Student/University Accountability, Kimberly Kravitz, reporting, NJNN
  • June 29, 2020 Anti-Hazing Law Passes NJ Senate, Jersey Matters with Larry Mendte, NJNN

  • State of New Jersey
  • State of New York
  • Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
  • U.S. District Court, District of New Jersey
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit
  • U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States

  • University of Pittsburgh School of Law, J.D., 1996
  • Honors:
  • Research Assistant to Professor Pamela Samuelson (Intellectual Property)
  • Legal Research Teaching Assistant
  • Appellate Moot Court Board
  • Duquesne University, M.S., 1993
  • Honors:
  • Research and Teaching Assistant
  • Published Juried Thesis Research
  • Montclair State University, B.S., cum laude, 1991

Mandelbaum Barrett Achieves $1.9 Million Settlement in National Overtime Class Action Against Major Telecommunications Company

October 26, 2020

Mandelbaum Barrett, PC announces that, after six years of litigation in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, it settled a nationwide overtime collective and a New York Rule 23 class action brought against a major telecommunications company.

Arla Cahill Receives Great Result for Client in a Case Involving a Corporate Officer Being Held Personally Liable for Past Company's Debts

March 5, 2019

On March 5, 2019, Mandelbaum Barrett Member Arla D. Cahill successfully defeated a plaintiff's motion for summary judgment and prevailed on a cross-motion for summary judgment that dismissed a complaint for $125,000 entirely and with prejudice in favor of the firm's client. The complaint sought to hold the client, a corporate officer, personally liable for the alleged debt of a defunct New Jersey corporation based on an unsigned credit agreement containing a joint and several liability provision that plaintiff sought to enforce under Utah law. The court rejected plaintiff's argument that use of a corporate credit card constituted an agreement by the officer to be personally liable for the company's charges. The court also found no evidence that the proffered credit agreement was the original agreement issued for the company's account or any other evidence justifying personal liability. Applying New Jersey law, the court found that, unlike Utah law, unsigned personal guarantees and unilateral, inconspicuous "bill stuffer" amendments to material terms of credit agreements are unenforceable. Because this was the second time this plaintiff filed suit against the corporate officer, the court also found that the suit was barred by New Jersey's entire controversy doctrine.

Litigation Department Obtains $6.7 Million Award On Behalf Of Client

February 14, 2019

On February 14, 2019, Michael Saffer, Co-Chair of the Firm's Litigation Department and Arla D. Cahill, a Member of that Department, obtained an award of $6.7 million in a complex commercial arbitration proceeding before the American Arbitration Association in New York City in which they represented an anesthesiology group that asserted numerous claims against a surgery center. The Arbitrator, following 10 days of hearings with numerous witnesses and hundreds of trial exhibits created by our team, awarded the entire amount requested in the Demand for Arbitration.

Mandelbaum Barrett Elder Law and Special Needs Newsletter: February 2023 Issue

February 27, 2023

The Elder Law and Special Needs Departments at Mandelbaum Barrett are pleased to bring you our February newsletter in its new and improved format. Check out the Hot Topics and industry events our team has been busy with. As always, we would love to hear your feedback! Read the full newsletter here.

Elder Law and Special Needs Newsletter: January 2023 Issue

January 5, 2023

In the January issue of our Elder Law and Special Needs Newsletter, our attorneys share some of their recent articles on industry hot topics, such as “5 Reasons for Seniors to Celebrate in 2023.” We also highlight recent and upcoming events including our Elder Law Team (Richard Miller, Esq., Jason Marx, Esq., Shawna Kirchner Brown, Esq., Donald “Donny” […]

Supreme Court to Hear Case That Could Increase the Bite That Medicaid Takes Out of Settlements

October 11, 2021

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case disputing how much states can recoup from Medicaid recipients' settlements in personal injury cases. The decision has the potential to affect anyone who receives government assistance with their medical care following a disabling injury that results in a lawsuit.

The Perils and Pitfalls of Do-It-Yourself Special Needs Planning

October 7, 2021

Among the costs of caring for a dependent with special needs are the fees for professional advice. Some families are tempted to save on these costs by setting up a plan on their own.

Pandemic Payments Now Won't Affect SSI Benefits or Eligibility at All

September 22, 2021

Pandemic-related financial assistance will no longer affect an individual's eligibility for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or the benefit amount, the Social Security Administration (SSA) has announced. The assistance includes a long list of pandemic payments, ranging from COVID-19 relief checks to state unemployment assistance.

The Impact of COVID-19 on the Delivery of Public Education in New Jersey

March 18, 2020

March 18, 2020 By Arla D. Cahill On March 16, 2020, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy signed Executive Order No. 104, which, among other things, ordered the closure of every public, private and parochial school in the State as of March 18, 2020. Many parents may have questions about whether missed time from school due […]

Finding the Right Fit: What Parents of Special Needs Students Should Know When Applying for College

October 6, 2019

For many students who are classified in the public school as having an educational disability under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the difference between the educational supports provided in high school and college or other post-secondary learning environments can be significant. A major difference is that, in high school, a classified student has a […]

What Legal Protections Do Children Have Against Bullying in School?

September 16, 2019

Many parents naturally assume that their child is safely in the care and supervision of their school’s teachers and administrators. While schools may try their best to protect students from various physical safety issues that could occur on school premises, it is more difficult for school personnel to protect students from bullying. Bullying not only […]

Back to School Alert: Students' Rights Under NJ's Anti-Bullying Law

August 29, 2019

Arla D. Cahill has authored a special Back to School Alert discussing student's rights under NJ's Anti-Bullying Law. Click here to read more.

Disabled Students' Rights under Anti-Bullying Laws

January 8, 2018

January 8, 2018 By Arla D. Cahill A 2009 study by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Education, “Indicators of School Crime and Safety,” reported that 32% of students aged 12 through 18 were bullied in the previous school year. The study reported that 25% of the responding public schools indicated that bullying was a […]

Court Decides What Level of Educational Benefit Schools Must Deliver to Educationally Disabled Students

April 6, 2017

April 6, 2017 By Arla D. Cahill and Brian M. Block On March 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its highly anticipated decision in Endrew F. v. Douglas County School District. The case posed the following question: what is the level of educational benefit that school districts must confer on children with disabilities to […]

Disabled Students Can File ADA and Section 504 Discrimination Claims Without Administrative Exhaustion Under the IDEA

April 4, 2017

April 4, 2017 By Arla D. Cahill and Brian M. Block On February 22, 2017, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of a disabled student, Elena, and her family in Fry v. Napoleon Community Schools, by reversing and remanding the case back to the appellate court. Fry upheld a disabled student’s right to […]

Arla Cahill to present NBI online seminar titled “Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide”

March 1, 2023

Arla D. Cahill, Esq., Chair of Education Law and Co-Chair of Special Needs at Mandelbaum Barrett will be presenting a live online seminar for National Business Institute (NBI, Inc.) on May 16th, 2023 titled “Special Education Law: The Ultimate Guide.” Special education legal issues can be confusing for school personnel and attorneys alike. This hands-on […]

Arla Cahill, Esq. and Brent Pohlman, Esq. to present at the ACCSES NJ STAR Conference

September 12, 2022

Mandelbaum Barrett Special Needs Partner Arla D. Cahill, Esq. and Employment Law Partner Brent Pohlman, Esq. will be presenting at the upcoming ACCSES New Jersey Star Conference on September 21st, 2022. They will be giving a “Disability Law Primer” as an introduction to relevant state and federal laws pertinent to service providers of individuals with disabilities, including the Americans […]

Mandelbaum Barrett is pleased to announce that fourteen of our attorneys have been selected by their peers to the New Jersey Super Lawyers List* for 2022. 

March 17, 2022

Steven Adler, Michael Bevacqua, Andrew Bronsnick (**10th year as Super Lawyer and on the Top 100 list), Arla D. Cahill, David Carton, Damian Conforti, Doug Eilender, Raj Gadhok, Arthur Grossman, Barry Mandelbaum, Richard Miller, Michael Saffer, Robert C. Scrivo, Lynne Strober. In addition, the Firm is excited to announce that four of our attorneys were named to the Rising Stars list for 2022, which recognizes the top up-and-coming […]

14 Mandelbaum Barrett attorneys named to the 2022 Super Lawyers List as well as 4 named Rising Stars

March 17, 2022

Mandelbaum Barrett is pleased to announce that fourteen of our attorneys have been selected by their peers as New Jersey Super Lawyers* for 2022. Each year, no more than five percent of the lawyers in the state of New Jersey are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor. In addition, the Firm is excited to announce that four of our attorneys were named to the Rising Stars list for 2022, which recognizes the top up-and-coming attorneys age 40 or under or who are in practice for 10 years or less. Each year, no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in the state are selected by the research team at Super Lawyers to receive this honor.

Arla Cahill Featured In Special Education Webinar Presented By Family Partners of Morris and Sussex Counties

June 23, 2020

Arla Cahill Interviewed on Jersey Matters to Talk about Legal Remedies for School Bullying

November 25, 2019

Parents have legal remedies against bullying in schools on behalf of their children. Hear what Mandelbaum Barrett's Education Law Chair Arla Cahill has to say about New Jersey's Anti-Bullying Bill of Rights Act on a recent episode of Jersey Matters with Larry Mendte.

Arla D. Cahill Has Been Appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to Serve as Vice Chair of the District V-B Ethics Committee for Essex County

September 3, 2019

Congratulations to Arla D. Cahill, a partner in the firm's Litigation Department, who has been appointed by the New Jersey Supreme Court to serve as Vice Chair of the District V-B Ethics Committee for Essex County (DEC V-B). The appointment is effective September 1, 2019. As Vice Chair of the District V-B Committee, Arla will handle overseeing the disposition of hearings involving allegations of attorney misconduct. Additionally, she will be responsible for recruiting members and working to continually improve the efficiency of the attorney-monitored disciplinary system. Join us in congratulating Arla!

Arla D. Cahill Appointed to the Executive Committee of Employment Horizons, Inc

June 3, 2019

Congratulations to Arla D. Cahill, Co-Chair of the Firm's Special Needs Practice, who was appointed to the Executive Committee of Employment Horizons, Inc. Employment Horizons was founded in Morristown in 1957 by a group of forward-thinking parents who wanted to expand work and personal growth opportunities for their children with disabilities. Over the years, Employment Horizons has implemented innovative programs to meet the needs and choices of those they serve, both on-site as well as in the community. They provide job training and placement services to people with disabilities and other barriers to employment in the greater Morris County, NJ area. Arla has been active in the organization for a number of years and we know she will continue to do great things.

Mandelbaum Barrett's March 2019 Special Needs Newsletter

March 21, 2019

Mandelbaum Barrett's March Special Needs Newsletter is now available. In this issue you can read about what a special needs trust can pay for and kiddie tax changes. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact Practice Group Co-Chair's Richard Miller or Arla D. Cahill. Click here to read this month's issue.

Mandelbaum Barrett's February 2019 Special Needs Newsletter

February 20, 2019

Mandelbaum Barrett's February Special Needs Newsletter is now available. In this issue you can read about ABLE accounts, a difficult question parents of adult children with disabilities face, and more. If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact Practice Group Co-Chair's Richard Miller or Arla D. Cahill. Read more here.