Disability Law

Back in September 2011, we mentioned to our readers via Morning Docket that Ronald Kratz II, a 680-pound man, had allegedly been fired because he was too fat. At that point, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission had stepped in to sue on this gentleman’s behalf, because apparently his employer perceived his size as a disability.

Now, almost one year later, we’ve got an update on the status of Kratz’s lawsuit. His settlement check is almost as large as he was at the time he was terminated….

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Folks go out there and say, ‘I’m mad at the plaintiffs,’ and ‘I see the same names,’ and ‘Let’s go bash the plaintiffs’ attorneys.’ I don’t mind that, but the law has been there, don’t kid yourself.

Martin J. Coleman, defending the barrage of Americans with Disabilities Act suits that he and other plaintiffs’ attorneys have filed in New York City.

(Coleman also had more choice words for his detractors. Check them out, as well as the other side of the ADA suit debate, after the jump.)

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Just blaze... until July.

* Say sayonara to the Buffett Rule. Senate Republicans were successful in blocking the 30% tax on millionaires proposed by Democrats. And thank God, because that trickle down thing is totally working for us right now. [Wall Street Journal]

* Rich lawyers keep getting richer because they keep increasing their fees. That being said, where the hell are the bonuses? Come on now, SullCrom, are you seriously going to make us all wait until June? That’s really not very nice. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Well, that was quick: one minute men abound in the George Zimmerman circus. Mark O’Mara filed a motion to get Judge Recksiedler off the case, and the media filed a motion to get access to sealed records. [CNN]

* A federal judge presiding over the John Edwards campaign finance trial dismissed 47 potential jurors. Dude gets around, because apparently he had slept with all of them. Nah, he wishes, though. [Bloomberg]

* As a law school, it sure is easy to claim that just under 100% of the class of 2010 was employed nine months after graduation, especially when you were the one employing them. [National Law Journal]

* Seems like the New York Times has finally caught on to the ADA troll trend. Lawyers are recruiting clients to file suits against noncompliant businesses, but at least the disabled reap the rewards. [New York Times]

* Prospective welfare recipients in Georgia have a few more months to blaze before they’ll have to pass a drug test to receive benefits. Smoke two joints before you prepare for all the incoming lawsuits. [Washington Post]

Keith Olbermann

* Professor Eugene Volokh wonders if Justice Sonia Sotomayor is truly the first disabled justice. [Volokh Conspiracy]

* Speaking of SCOTUS, should President Obama turn it into a campaign issue? First Amendment lawyer Marvin Ammori thinks so. [The Atlantic]

* We recently mentioned Keith Olbermann’s lawsuit against his former employer, Current TV. Now Current is turning the tables with a countersuit. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Threatening federal financial regulators: not a wise idea. Trader Vincent McCrudden learned that the hard way. [Dealbreaker]

* “Get High, Get Mauled By Bear, Get Workers’ Compensation?” [Legal Juice]

Yul Kwon: coming to a television near you.

* Adventures in trademark law — starring model, socialite, and reality TV star Olivia Palermo. [Fashionista]

* When is the best time to submit articles to law reviews? Professor Shima Baradaran is collecting data. [PrawfsBlawg]

* One of ATL’s favorite celebrities — Yale Law School grad Yul Kwon, the first Asian-American winner of Survivor (as well as a former Second Circuit clerk and McKinsey consultant) — is returning to television, hosting a new show.

What’s the show about? Find out, after the jump.

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You realize your kids won't even learn how to do this.

Given the tough job market, law students are doing everything they can to get a leg up on the competition. Whether that means showing up with freshly baked cookies before the interviews, or pumping out handwritten thank you notes after they meet people, students are going to the mattresses.

I’m serious about the cookies and notes. I had a person ask me if she should bring cookies to her interview (to which I said, “I think they’ll be more eager to receive their blow jobs…. you realize I’m joking, right? Do not bring cookies or blow people in interviews.”) For thank you notes, even some career service professionals suggest handing them out. Because nothing says “I’m desperate to have one more second of your attention before you throw this away” like a thank you card.

But why should a law student hand-write his own handwritten thank you card? This is American legal education in 2012, baby. Surely, there is a law student out there who is just desperate enough to write another law student’s thank you cards. At least that’s what one student at a top law school was hoping….

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Like most of you, I spend my free time trying to come up with a plot idea for Miss Congeniality 3. Indeed, Miss Congeniality and Miss Congeniality 2: Armed and Fabulous were just not enough. It is hard, however, to mess with perfection.

Having reached the limits of my creativity, I decided to look to actual events (and, of course, small law firm news) to serve as the inspiration for my movie plot. And I found just what I was looking for, thanks to a real-life Miss Congeniality and Mr. Social Security.

Intrigued? Check out photos of a certified hottie, after the break….

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A little while back, we asked how many of you had tried Adderall, the ADHD drug that some students use to get a boost around study time. A whopping 30% of you said you had tried the drug and 70% of you are lying.

It’s a figure that should make law school deans sit up and take notice. You know, if they weren’t busy figuring out how to charge the students more money for an education that isn’t getting more valuable in any way.

But now let’s ask the fun question. Is using Adderall that big of a deal?

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Sleeping Beauty: Not on the fast track to partnership.

I’m a big believer in forcing society to make reasonable accommodations for disabled people. It’s not too much to ask that disabled people be provided with handicapped accessible taxi cabs and buildings. And a special parking spot. Or whatever. If there’s a reasonable thing that society can do to make it a little bit easier to function with a disability, we should do it.

As long as we’re dealing with a real disability.

We used to live in a world where it was pretty easy to identify a disabled person. “Hello. Hello? Oh, you must be deaf.” “Hey, why are a you miserable cuss who keeps screaming ‘hoo ha’ at me? Oh, you must be blind.” “Why did you take out a hundred thousand dollar loan to go to a school that doesn’t help people get high-paying jobs? Oh, you must be retarded.” Man, those were the days.

Sadly, we now live in a world where it’s harder and harder to separate out the really disabled people from those who just can’t get their stuff together. To cope, I’ve developed my own little test: if I wouldn’t want the disability, it’s a real disability. If I’d gladly take the “disability” in exchange for a cash payout, it’s probably fake.

So let me ask you this: would you take a cash payout from your Biglaw firm if I afflict you with the dreaded “I’m really sleepy” disability? Yeah, this woman would too….

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Om nom nom.

Ah, the LSAT. For those of you who are still considering the practice of law, this test should be the first indication of the epic toolishness you will encounter when you enter the hallowed halls of a law school. This is usually where the bragging begins, folks. Your “friends” not only studied harder than you did (they didn’t), but they also got better scores than you did (they didn’t).

But worse than all of the bragging is the fact that some — but not all — people will get special accommodations for the LSAT (and law school exams, and the bar exam, and every other exam, ad infinitum). These special little snowflakes will get extra time and other perks to take the same exam that you’re taking.

The question is, who really deserves these special testing accommodations? Boobs or brains?

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I've seen a million faces, and I've rocked them all.

* If the Americans with Disabilities Act must protect the obese, could we at least have different levels of protection depending on whether or not your “disability” is self-inflicted? Like, if you get your legs shot off in war, that’s one thing, but if your legs crumble underneath your girth on your way to eat more food, that’s a different thing. Hooha. [Ohio Employer's Law Blog]

* Here’s a great question, from Professor Kenneth Anderson: Was a “Wanted: Dead or Alive” poster ever legal? Like constitutionally? I’m not sure, but I’m probably going to go home and play Red Dead Redemption tonight, for old times’ sake. [The Volokh Conspiracy]

* Winston Moseley, the killer of Kitty Genovese, is up for parole. I wasn’t going to say anything and let, you know, other people handle bringing you the news — but something about this story made me think I should speak up. [WSJ Law Blog]

* Getting an attorney job is as hard as it has ever been for law students. Here are some thoughts on how to focus your job-hunting energies. [Tips for Young Lawyers]

* In today’s edition of “Elie Derides Occupy Wall Street,” Elie meets a refrigerator that is quietly having more of an impact on one corporation than any of the protesters. Never underestimate the power of having a demand. [Twitter / @SHGrefrigerator]

* Musical Chairs: Elite boutique Zuckerman Spaeder expands in New York, by bringing in Paul Shechtman, counsel to celebs like Lil’ Kim. [Dealbook / New York Times]

* This is fun. I made the Root 100 again, which means I’m on a list with Jay-Z and John Legend, and I ranked higher than Will Smith. This is kind of like the Cooley Law rankings of black people. [The Root]

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