Final approval!

Today was the final approval hearing in our long-running Taco Bell litigation.  I’m happy to report that the judge approved the settlement and our motion for attorneys’ fees.  It’s always fun to appear for a final approval hearing, and to be before the Court in a good and collaborative mood, rather than an adversarial mood.  Here’s the team that gathered for the hearing And here are the team members who got the memo: Our deepest thanks to all of our team members, friends, and family who have contributed to this outcome!...

Celebrating civil disobedience

As a law nerd and an introvert, I have not really pulled my weight in the civil rights protest department.  When activists make signs, and travel long distances, and put on rain ponchos or wool hats or sunscreen and block buses or shout at meetings full of bioethicists plotting their convenient demise, I can be found in my warm/cool, dry, shaded office, attempting to advance the cause with Westlaw research and legal briefs. So I’ve been following ADAPT’s protest in Little Rock from afar.  Tossed in a few bucks to help get the Colorado contingent to Arkansas, but otherwise just observing and law nerding as usual.  Which is why, for some reason, this interaction, as related by Michael Bailey, really struck me: Chief of Police: “why you making this fuss? Nobody ever changed nothing breaking the law.” Adapter: “The buses you’re taking us to jail on, are they accessible? ” Chief of Police: “yes, they have ramps.” Adapter: “we put those there. “ Yes, yes you did.  Congratulations, ADAPT, on a successful protest in Little Rock.  ADAPT’s website has many amazing photos, but this one poignantly shows the connection between direct action over the years. Thank you, ADAPT.  As for that progress in integration of people with disabilities?  You put that...

Celebrating the little victories

Of course you hear from us when we achieve a major milestone, like settling a 12-year-long class action.  Woo hoo!  ::snoopydance::  But I want to take a second to celebrate two recent small victories of a type I wish happened more often. In two recent cases — here meaning “examples,” not “federal court complaints” — we heard from an individual facing a situation where a reasonable accommodation was being refused.  A simple, logical, easy accommodation.  In both cases, we wrote letters, had rational, grown-up follow-up calls with rational, grown-up attorneys.  And in both cases the problem was solved. This is so refreshing!  Too often, our letters are met with silence or — my personal favorite — accusations that we are threatening the addressee by explaining the problem on (I guess this is the threat) letterhead that indicates the presence of lawyers.   Most of the discrimination we end up litigating could be solved easily by a company or opposing counsel willing to roll up his/her/its sleeves and brainstorm. So my hat is off to the two lawyers I just dealt with on these two very small matters.  You give me faith in your side of the profession....

We’re a 501(c)(3)! We’re a 501(c)(3)!

Guess what, everyone?  You get to donate to CREEC now!  We’re a real, live, bona fideee* non-profit!  The tax gnomes at the IRS finished their 16-month pondering process and sent us our 501(c)(3) letter late last month. If you’re all ready to donate, you can skip the rest of the post and donate here. Initial donations will be matched up to $100,000. Thanks! Also!  Save the date!  CREEC’s first event will be on Thursday, November 13.  (Time and location TBA.) Our new status as a 501(c)(3) means that in addition to wowing you with our litigation efforts, enlightening you with our educational materials, intriguing you with our investigations, and entertaining you with our blog, we can now ask you for money! Aren’t you thrilled?! While you take out your scientific notation calculator to figure out how to write a check with that many zeros,** let me take you on a quick tour of what we’ve accomplished and what we’re working on a year after we launched: In collaboration with the Colorado Association of the Deaf and the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition, we launched the Medical Communications Access Project to investigate the availability of effective communication in doctors’ offices, hospitals and other medical settings. We are in negotiations with three cities in Colorado and California — and investigating others — to ensure sufficient curb ramps so that people who use wheelchairs can get around the city. In collaboration with the Civil Rights Clinic at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, we filed a class action lawsuit challenging the lack of outdoor exercise provided to inmates at the Colorado State...
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