California State Bar Gets Discrimination Case Taken Off Calendar

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Lawsuit alleging that the State Bar is guilty of violating Sean Rutledge’s rights under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act has been taken off calendar. Judge to rule based on briefs submitted.

No one disputes that people in wheelchairs need ramps and elevators to gain access to city, state and federal buildings

Sean Rutledge’s case against the State Bar has been taken off calendar at the request of the State Bar. In layman’s terms, this means that it will not be put before a jury, rather that a judge will rule based on the briefs submitted by both parties.

In this classic case of David v. Goliath, Rutledge continues to fight for his rights against the institution that is the California State Bar. However, as an individual attorney – even with his own legal representation – he’s out-manned by the California State Bar’s legal department. With this action, the Bar prevents Rutledge’s case from being heard by a jury of his peers.

His complaint, which was filed on July 27, 2009 in the United States District Court Central District against Tim Byer, Chief Counsel for the California State Bar, and the California State Bar, alleges violations of Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (case number CV09- 5475 PSG (RCx)).

“No one disputes that people in wheelchairs need ramps and elevators to gain access to city, state and federal buildings,” said Rutledge. “Or that blind persons need Braille on the elevator buttons. But what about the epileptic who is told they cannot hike in a state park? Or in my case, a diabetic who is denied the rescheduling of a court date that is in conflict with a critical medical appointment? It’s outrageous that an institution like the State Bar, who was created by and for attorneys, thinks itself above the law.”

ADA’s Title II was created to ensure that every citizen has fair and equitable access so that they can participate fully in society. According to the ADA, protected disabilities may include, but are not limited to, orthopedic, visual, speech, and hearing impairments; cerebral palsy, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, diabetes, mental retardation, emotional illness, specific learning disabilities, HIV disease (whether symptomatic or asymptomatic), and tuberculosis.

The lawsuit alleges that Byer and the State Bar allegedly violated Sean Rutledge’s Civil Rights under these acts by refusing to provide Rutledge accommodations necessary for of his Type-1 diabetes. An accommodation would have allowed him to attend a pre-filing, private conference, to defend himself against the filing of charges against him.

Rutledge seeks an injunction ordering the Defendants to comply with the statutes. Actual, compensatory and statutory damages for violations of the civil rights under state and federal law as well as punitive damages under federal law are also being sought.

For further information call Corvi Urling at (800) 680-5717.

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