Following the law wherever it leads in Maryland: “Prince George’s County filed a legal case against a Laurel couple in their 90s over a wheelchair ramp in their own home. To avoid legal trouble, the elderly couple’s son tore down the ramp, trapping the woman in her own home. The county permitting department said the family had no permit to build a wheelchair ramp in front of their own home.” [WJLA]
More, this time from Michigan, on how guardianship in the wrong hands can turn into a “completely legal, utterly grotesque system for undermining the rights of the elderly,” cutting out kids and legitimate heirs. Last fall the New Yorker ran a chilling investigative piece by Rachel Aviv exposing guardianship abuses in Nevada. [Gretchen Rachel Hammond, Tablet; coverage last October of the Rachel Aziz piece]
- Judge denies motion to dismiss Title IX suit against Laura Kipnis [Maddie Burakoff, Daily Northwestern, KC Johnson thread on Twitter] First Circuit appeal considers whether persons unconnected with a university can initiate Title IX complaints against it [District of Rhode Island decision in Doe v. Brown via Nicholas Wolfinger thread on Twitter]
- “Do we really need to tell you how a rent control regulatory takings claim fared in the Ninth Circuit? We didn’t think so.” [Robert Thomas, Inverse Condemnation, on Colony Cove Properties, LLC v. City of Carson]
- Judge boots 30-year-old who refused to move out of parents’ house [Douglass Dowty, Syracuse Post-Standard] More: Lowering the Bar.
- As the Supreme Court narrows the gate for Alien Tort claims, here come the inevitable proposals to widen it again by statute, as by FCPA-izing ATS [Pierre-Hugues Verdier and Paul Stephan, Lawfare]
- “Theatre Must Provide Captioning For All Live Performances Says Federal Judge” [Minh Vu, Seyfarth Shaw; Fabulous Fox Theatre in St. Louis]
- Still relevant, alas: what I wrote on the ADA and golf competition 20 years ago [Reason “From the Archives”]
- Popehat’s Patrick tells the story of how, representing a bank, he resisted a serial litigant rather than pay her off [Twitter thread]
- News of suits motivated by attorneys’ fees may be slow to reach Harvard [“Bill of Health”, dismissing “idea of opportunistic lawsuits to enforce the ADA” as “somewhat farfetched” since federal law does not grant damages]
- Tim Sandefur on the Indian Child Welfare Act [Cato Regulation magazine, earlier]
- $3.5 million gift from leading trial lawyer Elizabeth Cabraser launches new Berkeley Center for Consumer Law and Economic Justice [Berkeley Law School]
- “The South African government will soon discover the extremely complex technical headache of expropriating land without compensation.” [Johann Kirsten and Wandile Sihlobo, Quartz]
- Speak not of trolls: “Lawyer who filed 500-plus copyright cases in federal court calls $10K sanction ‘judicial error'” [ABA Journal]
A disabled attorney known for filing dozens of suits against animal control authorities, and for frequent courtroom clashes with judges as well as a wide range of other adversaries, is the subject of a Des Moines Register profile. “In recent weeks, McCleary launched a multi-pronged effort to block the publication of this article.” He has sought accommodations for courtroom conduct under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Despite the run-ins, his “license to practice law is spotless, with no record of any public disciplinary action taken by the Iowa Supreme Court.” [Clark Kauffman, Des Moines Register; Insurance Journal (public records request indicates insurers for city of Des Moines paid him $2.1 million following claim of head injuries from falling garbage can)]
Congress still needs to step in to quash web accessibility suits. Pulling back rulemaking at the Department of Justice does not stop any of the private suits, nor does it curtail the wide-open scope of liability under the perceived precedent of the Winn-Dixie case [Minh Vu, Seyfarth Shaw]
- “Can Fido Come to Work? EEOC Files Suit to Require Emotional Support Dog on Truck Route” [James M. Paul, Ogletree Deakins] “Someone brought a $@&@?! therapy duck into Iowa Law School.” [Prof. @andygrewal, with picture]
- EEOC sues Dollar General, alleges medical exams and questions violate ADA, GINA [Courtney Bru, McAfee & Taft]
- “My only surprise is that these kind of [ADA vs. NFL] suits don’t happen more often.” [William Goren, Understanding the ADA on Erin Henderson v. New York Jets LLC]
- When Addressing a Workers’ Comp Claim, Don’t Forget FMLA (and ADA)… [Janette Frisch on Zuber v. Boscov’s, Third Circuit]
- “Lucky Employer Skates on ADA Liability: Complaints about Noisy Workplace Not Enough to Put Employer on Notice of Need for ADA Accommodation” [Marti Cardi and Gail Cohen,
- “The ADA: Four issues to watch in 2018” [Robin Shea, Constangy]
From reader Matt S., on a phenomenon people have been musing about for years:
No, if you think about it, it’s fairly easy to understand that one..
They have to have the braille on walk up ATM and it’s just easier to have one set of buttons on a given ATM model that can be installed anywhere, than to manufacture two different sets of controls for any one model, one for walk up installations and one for drive through installations.
Once you have to have braille on some ATMs, basic economics says that it will be more cost efficient to have it on all ATMs.
It’s part of a lively reader discussion of accessibility rules.
Reversing a trial court, the Third Circuit has ruled that a deaf/blind man can sue Cinemark under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) demanding that it provide a “tactile interpreter” so that he could experience the movie Gone Girl. Each interpreter — two would be required because of the movie’s feature length — would narrate the film in American Sign Language (ASL) while McGann placed his hand in contact with theirs to read the signs. The appellate judges rejected the argument that because of the need for subjective stylistic judgments about how to describe the movie’s action, on-the-fly translation would “fundamentally alter the nature of the good, service, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation being offered,” an exception recognized by the law to its accommodation requirement. It sent the case back for further proceedings on whether the theater could plead “undue hardship,” a narrow defense that is often unavailable to large businesses which (it is argued) can cover even very high costs of accommodation by using revenues earned from other patrons [McGann v. Cinemark]
“That weekend, she called her parents several times. She also called two hospitals to see if they had been in an accident. She called their landlord, too, and he agreed to visit the house. He reported that there were no signs of them. She told her husband, ‘I think someone kidnapped my parents.'”
Of all the scams and outrages in the legal system that I’ve written about, few get me as angry as does guardianship abuse. Rachel Aviv’s New Yorker report from Nevada shines a light into some dark places of elder law and of the human heart. Earlier here and here (2009 Brooklyn), here (Connecticut), here (North Carolina), here, etc. (Bronx).