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Once again – as in past Memorial Day editions – I’m firing up the grill with hundred dollar bills in honor of the money wasted on lawyers, who are the only ones who really benefit from most ADA and FHA litigation. There are, however, some cases dealing addressing important substantive issues, and few in which Courts seem ready to turn the ADA and FHA into laws to help people instead of laws to make lawyers rich. Homeowners Associations and the FHA As a purely legal matter, HOA Boards and their managers should take note of McGrath v. Dunecrest Condominium Ass’n,…
Three cases in the last thirty days look at ADA standing and reach different conclusions about what the Constitution and the ADA require. For victims of serial litigation and for courts interested in the coherent application of the text of the ADA and similar statutes these are crucial cases.² Standing on air in the Seventh Circuit. In Laufer v. T & C Inn, LLC, 2021 WL 1759263, at *4 (C.D. Ill. May 4, 2021) the District Court adopted a view of standing that is very similar to that in the Ninth and other circuits. Under this standing theory a disabled…
I apologize for not having posted a new blog for several weeks, but I have been busy on other projects, including the video posted at Industry experts explain what digital accessibility awareness means to them for Usablenet’s celebration of Global Accessibility of Awareness Day. All the videos are worthwhile, but if you don’t have time to listen, my comments in a nutshell are simple. A business is aware of digital accessibility if it understands that those with disabilities can an do use digital resources like websites and mobile applications, that accessibility gives businesses access to and a competitive advantage in…
On October 7-8 I’ll be joining Jason Taylor of Usablenet and Jeremy Horlick of ADA Site Compliance at American University’s Digital Accessibility Legal Summit in a panel discussion of accessibility overlays, widgets and plug-ins titled “The Great Accessibility Overlays Battle.” You can find the complete program at www.accessibility.legal. As you know, the use of widgets and overlays has generated some controversy, with makers of this software claiming they can create an accessible website and every credible consultant claiming they cannot. You can read my blogs about his subject at Is there a silver bullet for ADA website accessibility? Sorry,
I had forgotten that this classic song was from Loggins & Messina until I looked it up after getting an old demand letter packaged by a new firm. I have blogged before about Legal Justice Advocates, a front for a group of attorneys who sent hundreds of demand letters making unsustainable claims about website accessibility under the Fair Housing Act.¹ Their business was taken over by the Portell Law Group² when the original members of LJA dropped out of sight and one of them was disbarred. Now another member of the group, Jerome Ramsaran, has created a new supposed disability…
On April 7 the Eleventh Circuit issued what is likely to be among the most important ADA decisions in the last twenty years. (6) In Gil v. Winn-Dixie Stores, Inc.,  2021 WL 1289906 (11th Cir. Apr. 7, 2021) the Eleventh Circuit not only rejected the idea that Title III of the ADA covers websites as public accommodations, it also adopted a very limited view of the circumstances in which websites would be required to be accessible even when associated with a physical place of business. The impact on regional businesses in the Eleventh Circuit will be immediate – almost all ADA…
If foolishness were limited to one day a year this blog would be well overdue, but a glance at the news – legal, political or other, shows that every day in April can be April fools day, so I make no apologies for the delay in getting this out. The difference between accommodation and modification under the ADA and FHA Any discussion of S.W. Fair Hous. Council v. WG Chandler Villas SH LLC, 2021 WL 1087200 (D. Ariz. Mar. 22, 2021) must begin with a vocabulary note. The thing called “modification” under the ADA is called “accommodation” under the FHA and…
I got an email yesterday from John Garra at Square One Architecture¹ with a short paper on an aspect of physical accessibility and Covid-19 that frankly had not occurred to me. The sneeze guards that have been put up at most sales counters may, and frequently do infringe on the space required for those with disabilities to access the counter. I think this is the first non-mask related Covid-19 item I’ve seen. Sales counters are a frequent source of ADA complaints and litigation, usually because they are not low enough, not wide enough, or cluttered with point-of-sale displays. Adding a…
Madeira was traditionally aged in barrels that crossed the equator twice, the heat and time fortifying and sweetening the wine. Like a cask of Madeira the sun will cross the equatorial plane of the earth in a few days, but you won’t have to wait for the next crossing in the fall for a quick hits blog.  Here’s the news. What if someday never comes? The classic Creedence Clearwater Revival song asks what will have if someday never comes. The Eighth Circuit had the same question in Smith v. Golden China of Red Wing, Inc., 987 F.3d 1205, 1209 (8th Cir.…
ICP v Lincoln Properties and its “progeny.” In the last days of the Trump administration HUD promulgated a new regulation concerning disparate impact claims under the Fair Housing Act whose intent was very clearly to make such claims difficult even to plead, let alone prove.¹ Its implementation remains stayed by a federal court, but in the Fifth Circuit that may not matter because earlier Fifth Circuit cases are even more restrictive. Prompted by the discussion in Treece v. Perrier Condo. Owners Assn., Inc., 2021 WL 533720 (E.D. La. Feb. 12, 2021) I decided to take a hard look at the…