Anti-Serial-ADA-Litigation Editorial in Sacramento Bee
UPDATE: Rick Hasen notes that the Bee's entire series can be found here.
The benefits of the 16-year-old Americans With Disabilities Act are indisputable. The landmark civil rights law has transformed the landscape. Today, people in wheelchairs, the blind, the hard of hearing, those with mental illnesses, the frail and the elderly can maneuver through public transit, schools, parks, restaurants, shops and offices with an ease that was unthinkable before ADA
But as Bee reporters Margie Lundstrom and Sam Stanton document in their recent series, "Price of Access," gaining that access often has been unnecessarily and expensively litigious. Opportunistic lawyers have used the law to wring money from unsuspecting businesses whose owners were unaware of, or confused about, ADA's reach and their obligation under it. To make matters worse, conflicting building codes and federal and state regulations have left some businesses with no effective way to comply, leaving them sitting ducks for these lawyers. Unfortunately, neither judges nor the state bar has done enough to rein in the most ethically questionable practitioners in this area of the law.