Practicing Lawyer.Sara Granda and Stephanie Enyart both obtained the California Bar Examination. I say “earned” because, in addition to graduating from law school and meeting the other requirements of California examiners, both women with disabling disabilities. This made them the recipients of the Congress of the Americans With Disabilities Act [ADA].
Granda, left in parallel of the neck to a car accident. Enyart suffers from Stargard’s disease, a deterioration of the central vision system. When the state bar refused to sit on the exam, Granda sued and took her to the California Supreme Court. Enyart sued the National Bar Examiner Committee for its refusal to pass the bar exam using an adaptive technology specifically designed for the visually impaired. Both women drew national attention in the media and protests.
Lawyers practicing “hidden” disabilities at the ADA in a set of obstacles different from those at the forefront of progress. Hidden disabilities include learning disabilities, psychological disorders and other rare disorders. There are reported cases where the opposing lawyer can take advantage of the hidden disability of a lawyer to obtain an undue advantage in litigation. One of these techniques is to file an ethical complaint unfounded in law or in fact. The other charges often raised in these false cases are that the disabled lawyer is engaged in “acts of moral turpitude” or “disrespect towards the court”.
Since state bars are “public entities” within the meaning of the ADA, constant discriminatory disruptions may result in violations or Title II of the ADA. Other violations may occur if the disabled lawyer is denied full participation in disciplinary proceedings or other benefits based on his or her disability.
Other discriminatory acts that may violate Title II occur when lawyers suspended or removed from the bar attempt to resettle. In addition to the provisions of the ADA, the safeguards provided by the US Constitution and federal civil rights laws apply to the recovery process. Thus, new violations could be found by the refusal of state officials to provide documents or to impose unfair and discriminatory limits on the reintegration process.
The most common remedy against lawyers with hidden disabilities is to file a complaint with the United States Department of Justice. ADA is enforced by the Civil Rights Division of the agency. Local lawyers in the United States may receive, investigate and refer ADA complaints. Upon receipt of an ADA Title II complaint, the Department of Justice will attempt to resolve the issue informally with the “public entity”. If this is not accomplished, it is important that the remedies apply.
Whatever the facts or the legal theories, it is always advisable for the lawyer to seek the advice of a competent and qualified lawyer, experienced in disability rights law.
Note: This article is only for educational purposes.