“Report: DOJ is investigating mental-health screening of bar applicants by Florida’s top court”

Lawyers wield an array of coercive powers against third parties, as well as looking after the entrusted interests of often unsophisticated parties and clients. And the goal of accommodating lawyers and aspiring lawyers who suffer from mental illness must be balanced against the “threat” their condition will sometimes pose to clients and the public — at least that’s what the president of the Florida Bar says. With language like that, it’s no surprise his bar appears to be on a collision course with the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) enforcement efforts of the U.S. Department of Justice. [ABA Journal]

More: Scott Greenfield wonders who’s looking out for clients’ interests.


  • DoJ is right to inquire. Florida cannot ignore the ADA. DoJ already forced Louisiana to come into compliance, and Florida will be next. If the Florida supreme court or bar thinks the ADA is bad policy, Congress is the proper forum to which to direct those concerns; until and unless Congress modifies the act, compliance is mandatory.

  • This ADA crap has gone too far.
    By the way, Mr. Masinter, an “inquiry” from the Federal government is very intimidating…they have virtually infinite resources..( the Fed can print as much money as it wants), and news media are generally friendly to them.
    Look, it is (or was) up to the individual states to determine what level of neurosis/insanity should be tolerated in an attorney.
    Lawyers have a grave responsibility, easily abused…check out “Practising law in Filene’s basement” (I’m pretty sure I have the correct title) on how much damage a lawyer with “issues” can do.

  • Mr. MattS: thanks for the correction…by the way, I practice law in New York, and up until a few years ago the courts were still cleaning up the mess left by the attorney (by the “mess”, I mean the very real damage done to the clients. Being deported must be an awful experience).

    • You’re welcome. I still have no idea what happened. The article is not available for free and as a non-lawyer, I am not willing to pay $30 to find out.

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