Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Newly Published Articles

A bunch of articles new on Westlaw:

Kathy L. Cerminara, Musings on the Need to Convince Some People with Disabilities That End-of-Life Decision-Making Advocates Are Not Out to Get Them, 37 Loy. U. Chi. L.J. 343 (2006). I blogged about the SSRN posting of this article here.

Fedwa Malti-Douglas, Legal Cross-Dressing: Sexuality and the Americans with Disabilities Act, 15 Colum. J. Gender & L. 114 (2006).

Angela Onuwachi-Willig & Mario L. Barnes, By Any Other Name? On Being "Regarded As" Black, and Why Title VII Should Apply Even if Lakisha and Jamal are White,
2005 Wis. L. Rev. 1283. From the introduction:

Applying theories concerning the social construction of race, this Article borrows from the definition of disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and the courts' analyses of disability discrimination cases under the "regarded as" disabled provision of the ADA, which allows a plaintiff to bring a claim against an employer who regards the plaintiff as having an impairment that substantially limits a major life activity. Using the "regarded as" provision as a model, this Article proposes a new method for recognizing discrimination claims based on the use of proxies for race--even when those proxies have been used in a way that mistakenly identifies someone as belonging to a certain race. In other words, we recognize that it is not physical race but the presumptions of "disability," or rather the constructed social meanings of race, that trigger both conscious and unconscious forms of discrimination. This Article argues that to redress discrimination in the workplace, courts must recognize employment discrimination claims where one is, for example, "regarded as" black, with all of the socially ascribed negative stereotypes of the group.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Pub Inaccessibility in England

See this article, which begins:

Almost half of Britain's pubs are difficult or impossible to use by disabled people, a new report shows.

Disabled customers were unable to enter almost one in five of the pubs visited by auditors, UK disability charity Leonard Cheshire said.

Other venues could only provide access for disabled customers with the help of staff, it found.

Sounds a lot like my neighborhood.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

San Francisco Chronicle on "Extra-Special Education"

See this long article from today's Chronicle. Some excerpts:

At Woodside High in San Mateo County, college-prep classes awaited a 15-year-old boy with learning disabilities and anxiety.

He would blend in with other college-bound students, but also receive daily help from a special education expert. He would get a laptop computer, extra time for tests -- and an advocate to smooth any ripples with teachers. If an anxiety attack came on, he could step out of class.

But Woodside High wasn't what his parents had in mind.

Instead, they enrolled him in a $30,000-a-year prep school in Maine -- then sent the bill to their local public school district.

Similar stories are playing out up and down California as more parents of special education students seek extra-special education at public expense: private day schools, boarding schools, summer camps, aqua therapy, horseback therapy, travel costs, personal aides and more.

Dissatisfied with -- or unwilling to consider -- classes and therapies offered by public schools, growing numbers of parents have learned that demanding more can yield striking benefits, especially when they threaten to sue.

And an expensive legal battle is the last thing district administrators want. So they often give in.

Legal proceedings "are a huge time drain on your administration and your teachers," said Karen Mates, special education director for the Tampalpais Union High School District in Marin County. "You don't want to spend precious dollars on this, so districts will settle a case to avoid it."

The result: Expensive legal judgments and confidential settlements add hundreds of millions of dollars to already soaring special education costs across California, while taxpayers are kept in the dark about how the money is spent.

Meanwhile, California school districts shift more than a billion dollars a year out of their regular school budgets to pay for it all.

"This is not sustainable," said Paul Goldfinger, a California school finance expert. "Special education is a growing portion of budgets in many districts, squeezing out services for other pupils.

Yet to many parents whose children need help, nothing seems more justified than seeking the best.

* * *

Special ed serves nearly 700,000 students in California, and the program appears to be working for most of them. Yet complaints are rising, and fast.

Last year, 3,763 children with disabilities were the subject of formal complaints over educational services, triple what it was a decade ago. Parents open the vast majority of cases, and districts have a built-in financial incentive to settle them because it can cost up to $40,000 to go to a hearing. And then there's the possibility of an expensive judgment against the district.

So districts try not to let a case go that far. Last year, districts participated in 386 full hearings -- just 10 percent of cases opened.

The rest -- 90 percent -- were resolved through secret settlements.

"They really don't want parents out saying, 'Oh, if you just sue this district, you'll get whatever I got,' '' said Elizabeth Estes, an attorney with Miller, Brown, & Dannis, which represents districts.

* * *

In recent years, private education at public expense has become a sought-after benefit for children with a wide range of disabilities. The practice of "unilateral placement" -- enrolling a child in a private school, then billing a district for tuition -- is gaining ground, say educators.

In California, private enrollment for students with disabilities has risen nearly five times faster than the overall increase in special ed students, state records show.

Since 1993, the number of students in public special ed programs rose 27 percent, to 681,969 from 539,073. But special ed students placed in private schools at public expense rose nearly five times faster -- 128 percent, to 15,926 from 6,994.

As costs soar, many educators paint a picture of a system financially out of control and increasingly unfair to students whose families can't afford lawyers to win them extra-special education at public expense.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

Service Dog Discrimination in Michigan

And an actual misdemeanor prosecution. See this article. Some excerpts:

A disabled man who requires the assistance of a certified service dog called police after he was blocked from picking up his pain medication at a Rite Aid drug store because of the animal.

David A. Feldman, 48, of Southfield, who was paralyzed from the chest down in a 1999 car accident and uses a power chair, says he was told by the store manager that no dogs were allowed because there is food in the store.

But, under Michigan law and the Americans with Disabilities Act, a person with a disability who uses a certified service dog cannot be denied access to a place of public accommodation unless it puts someone else in an immediate life-and-death situation, said Michael Sapp, Paws With a Cause spokesman.

* * *

The manager, a 31-year-old Southfield man, faces charges for refusing an accommodation to a person with a disability led by a service animal, said Deborah Carley, chief deputy Oakland County prosecutor. The misdemeanor charge is punishable by up to 90 days behind bars and a $500 fine.

A Rite Aid spokeswoman said their policy is to be in full compliance with the ADA.

Interesting Article on Making Your Home Accessible

It's not so law-related, but it's interesting, it's in today's Washington Post, and you can find it here.

Friday, February 17, 2006

Handicapped Parking Controversy in Raleigh

See this story, which begins:

A Raleigh city committee is leaning toward raising public awareness in response to local business owners' allegations that some motorists are abusing handicapped parking privileges in downtown.

The Downtown Raleigh Alliance is lobbying for changes to the state law that allows cars with disabled parking placards to park in 15- and 30-minute parking zones for as long as they want."

We certainly want to do what we can to make things good for everybody," said James Benton, chairman of the Mayor's Committee for Persons with Disabilities.

As a result of a WRAL investigation, Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker asked the committee to look into business owners' complaints and by the end of March come up with a solution that is fair for all motorists.

Accessibility in Northern Ireland

See this article. An excerpt:

The Disability Discrimination (Northern Ireland) Order 2006 will now enhance the civil rights of people with more disabilities, according to Equality Minister Jeff Rooker.

Suffers of cancer, HIV and multiple sclerosis (MS) who are not yet showing signs of their illness will be protected by the order for the first time.

The new ruling will also provide extra protection for disabled people in other areas such as public transport, private clubs, when renting premises and in discriminatory job advertisements.

Mr Rooker believes the changes mark major progress in disability legislation.

"This ensures that more disabled people than ever before will be protected from discrimination," he said.

"People with mental ill health will no longer have to prove their condition is `clinically well-recognised` and disabled people living in rented premises will find it easier to have their homes adapted to meet their needs.

"It also means that people with disabilities will enjoy modes of transport which will become increasingly accessible."

The legislation, which was welcomed by Bob Collins, Chief Commissioner of the Equality Commission, also require all trains to be fully accessible by 2020 (buses and coaches are already required to be fully accessible by 2022).

ADA Backlash in Connecticut

See this article, which begins:

It seems as if downtown business owner Shawn Magliano just can't catch a break.

A few months after he opened City Perk on upper Main Street last summer, Magliano had to move his coffee shop down the street where he could attract enough business to stay afloat.

In his new location across from the Norwich Courthouse, Magliano does more business, but now is running into red tape from state building codes and federal Americans with Disabilities Act regulations. And unless Magliano can make the City Perk bathroom handicapped accessible or get an exemption from having a public bathroom in the next 60 days, city building officials will have to shut him down.

Protest on Utah Waiting List for Community Services

See this interesting article. An excerpt:

Under current law, the Division of Services for People with Disabilities serves the critically needy first. When a family finally qualifies for help, a marriage has typically dissolved or a caregiver has died and the only option left is institutionalization, which costs an average of $73,600 a year.

Providing smaller supports up front, such as job coaches, would be cheaper, said rally organizer Andrew Riggle. He said 80 percent of those on the list could hold a job or live more independently with the right help.
And see this article about a similar protest in Kentucky.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

New Article on Interacting With Others as a Major Life Activity

New on Westlaw: Patrick A. Hartman, "Interacting with Others" as a Major Life Activity Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, 2 Seton Hall Circuit Rev. 139 (2005). From the introduction:

On any given day, almost all people come in contact with at least one or two other people, though most of us usually come in contact with many more. This contact occurs in employment settings, social settings, educational settings, and public settings, such as the street or grocery store. This contact that we have with other people can be characterized as "interacting with others" and is part of the inherent nature of humans as social beings.

Interacting with others can involve many abilities, including speaking, seeing, hearing, listening, understanding, walking, communicating, and others. These are all abilities that most people can perform to some extent, and that most people take for granted. Although some people may be better at these abilities than other people, one's skill or desire (as opposed to capability) in performing any of these abilities does not affect the fact that it is being performed or, in the context of contact with others, the fact that the person is interacting with others.

Most of the abilities listed above are considered "major life activities" under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nonetheless, there is no judicial consensus on whether "interacting with others" itself is a major life activity. Three circuits -- the First, Ninth, and Second -- have addressed the issue of whether interacting with others is a major life activity. The First Circuit has said that it is not, while the Ninth and Second Circuits have said that it is.

This article argues that interacting with others is a major life activity.

Disabled, and Shut Out at the Gym

See this article by that title in the New York Times.

Connecticut Deinstitutionalization Suit

See this article, which begins:

More than 200 Connecticut psychiatric patients are forced to live in nursing homes, often in locked wards, when other locations would better suit them and be less costly, advocates for the mentally ill said in a lawsuit filed Monday.

The federal lawsuit, brought by the state's Office of Protection and Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities and the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, accuses Connecticut of violating the Americans with Disabilities Act and other federal laws.

Although the lawsuit focuses on patients at three Connecticut nursing facilities, OPA Executive Director James McGaughey said the implications extend far beyond those individuals and places.

"Institutionalizing people when they want to live in the community, and it is possible for them to live in the community with the proper supports, is a violation of their civil rights," he said.

Despite Disability Law, Service Dogs Still Being Turned Away

See this article by that title.

Echazabal Redux?

See this article:

A man who lost his sight in 1999 is suing DaimlerChrysler, accusing it of discrimination for letting him go from his job at a foundry after he went blind.

Lee Martin Sr.'s federal lawsuit seeks lost wages for his termination in 2002 after an eye inflammation condition that first appeared in 1980 finally claimed his vision.

The case goes to a federal jury next week. U.S. District Judge Sarah Evans Barker had rejected both sides' request for summary judgment, ruling that a jury should decide the case.

* * *

Company spokesman Michael Palese said the company sympathizes with Martin, but believes that it ''acted appropriately under the circumstances of this case.''

''A foundry is a very, very dangerous environment even for a perfectly enabled person,'' he said. ''You've got molten metal rivers running through the middle of it. It isn't Disney World.''

Martin's attorney, Scott LaBarre, said his client had met with DaimlerChrysler officials in December 2004 to demonstrate that he could perform work as a filter operator and demonstrated that he could safely navigate the equipment.

LaBarre said Martin had ''the real hang of it within a few minutes.'' He said Martin gave DaimlerChrysler every chance to understand his capabilities.

''Whether they had legitimate safety concerns or not, they just stopped listening,'' he said.

Target Web Accessibility Suit

See this article, which begins:

A blind UC Berkeley student has filed a class-action lawsuit against Target Corp., saying the retailer is committing civil-rights violations because its Web site is inaccessible to those who cannot see.

The lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Alameda County Superior Court, said the upscale discounter's on-line business,, denies blind Californians equal access to goods and services available to those who can see.

"Target thus excludes the blind from full and equal participation in the growing Internet economy that is increasingly a fundamental part of daily life," said the suit, which seeks to be certified as a class action and alleges violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act and various state statutes.

A message left this morning to Target's corporate office in Minneapolis wasn't immediately returned.

Advocates for the blind said the lawsuit is a shot across the bow for retailers, newspapers and others who have Web sites the blind cannot use. They chose Target because of its popularity and because of a large number of complaints by blind patrons.

"What I hope is that Target and other online merchants will realize how important it is to reach 1.3 million people in this nation and the growing baby-boomer population who will also be losing vision," said plaintiff Bruce Sexton Jr., 24, a blind third-year student at UC Berkeley.

Los Angeles Courthouse Access Settlement

Eve Hill from the Disability Rights Legal Center sent along a press release about a recent settlement of courthouse access litigation in LA. Here's the first couple of paragraphs:

The Disability Rights Legal Center, (formerly Western Law Center for Disability Rights), announced today that U.S. District Court Judge Dickran M. Tevrizian approved a landmark settlement on Tuesday, January 31st in Miles v. County of Los Angeles, Case No. CV 02-03932 DT (JTLx). The Settlement requires Los Angeles County and the Los Angeles Superior Court to make substantial changes to improve the accessibility of the 51 Los Angeles Superior court courthouses.

The approval of the settlement represents a major victory for people with disabilities. Over three and a half years ago, plaintiffs Deborah Miles, Betty Wilson, and David Geffen filed a lawsuit on behalf of all people with mobility and manual dexterity impairments, asserting that Los Angeles’ superior courthouses are wholly inaccessible to people with disabilities, in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”) and California law.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Thornburgh Lectures at Pitt

Peter Blanck's 2005 Thornburgh Family Lecture on Disability Law and Policy, Americans with Disabilities and Their Civil Rights: Past, Present, and Future, 66 U. Pitt. L. Rev. 687 (2005), was just published. And Judy Heumann's 2006 Thornburgh Family Lecture, Including the Voices of Disabled People in the International Development Agenda, is being delivered tomorrow.

Yours Truly Enters the Fight Club

The Legal Affairs Debate Club, by its proper name. I'm discussing the future of the ADA with Ruth O'Brien all week. You can catch the debate here.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Noncompliance with Accessible Building Requirements in Ireland

See this article, which begins:

The massive non-compliance with disabled access regulations is a sad reflection of society, it was claimed tonight.

A new study has found that only 4% of new housing developments under construction in Dublin were accessible to people with disabilities while outside Dublin, and only 25% of one-off houses in rural areas were compliant with building regulations.

The People with Disabilities in Ireland group said owners, designers and builders were paying lip-service to the requirements for disabled access.

“It’s a big problem and with all the building that’s going on, it’s a sad reflection that there isn’t some consideration for those who find it difficult to get about,” said its chief executive Michael Ringrose.

Under Part M of the building regulations, all new houses built since 2001 are supposed to be accessible to disabled people.

But the National Disability Authority study found that none of the local authorities were obliged to carry out compliance inspections and that the regulations themselves were inadequate for the needs of disabled people.

What the Alito Confirmation Means for Disability Law

Congratulations to Samuel Alito for being confirmed to the Supreme Court. None of us can really know what the Alito confirmation will mean for disability rights law. Claudia Center's analysis of then-Judge Alito's disability rights decisions on the Third Circuit suggests a person who is not reflexively against disability rights but who leans against them in the close cases. But it's hard to extrapolate from a judge's conduct on a lower court to project that judge's conduct on the Supreme Court. Justice Alito now has a degree of freedom that he did not have when he was a judge on the Third Circuit. The question is how he will use it.

Justice Alito replaces Justice O'Connor, who was no great friend of disability rights. Justice O'Connor did cast two important and decisive pro-disability-rights votes: reading the ADA as requiring some deinstitutionalization in Olmstead v. L.C., and upholding the ADA as applied to courthouse-access in Tennessee v. Lane. But she also wrote the opinions in Sutton and that significantly narrowed the ADA's definition of disability -- the Toyota opinion particularly contains very troubling language about the need to make sure that only a narrow group of people are protected by the ADA. Justice O'Connor dissented in Bragdon v. Abbott, the decision that held that a dentist might be required to treat a patient with HIV. And Justice O'Connor was the one who, in a speech to corporate attorneys, expressed exasperation at having to decide so many ADA cases. And in cases involving disputes between workers and businesses, Justice O'Connor could be counted on to side with the businesses most of the time.

Justice O'Connor was a swing vote, who could sometimes be convinced to join with Justices Stevens, Souter, Ginsburg, and Breyer to support disability rights, but it was always an uphill battle. Justice Alito's Third-Circuit record on civil rights and congressional power cases suggests (though we obviously can't know yet) that it will be an even more uphill battle with him. That's not to say that he'll always rule against ADA plaintiffs -- sometimes we can win cases unanimously, if narrowly -- but it is to say that the swing vote on ADA issues (as elsewhere) is now likely to be Justice Kennedy.

On issues of what the ADA requires in the private sector, that's probably not a change from the pre-Alito Court. As Bragdon shows, Justice Kennedy was probably more sympathetic to disability rights interests in that context than was Justice O'Connor. But on issues of federal power, particularly where disability rights plaintiffs sue states or state officials, that's a problem for disability rights advocates. In the Olmstead case, Justice O'Connor supported a stronger pro-integration rule than did Justice Kennedy. And in the congressional power cases, civil rights plaintiffs convinced Justice O'Connor to come over to their side in Nevada v. Hibbs (involving the Family and Medical Leave Act) and Lane (involving the ADA, as applied to courthouse access); the only time Justice Kennedy has ruled for a civil rights plaintiff in a contested congressional power case was U.S. v. Georgia this Term, in which all nine of the justices ruled (narrowly) for the plaintiff.

I don't usually do long, discursive posts, but I thought this analysis might be useful to people. Please feel free to disagree or add your own thoughts in comments.

ADA Watch on Alito Confirmation

See this press release. An excerpt:

Today the U.S. Senate voted 58-42 to confirm Samuel Alito to a lifetime seat on the Supreme Court. Facing widespread opposition - including that of mainstream disability organizations representing millions of Americans - Alito received the second highest number of votes against a confirmed Supreme Court nominee in the nation's history.

Polls have indicated the general public's concern about a judicial nominee that would weaken the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is second only to "choice" issues. Despite this, very little attention was paid by the media and others to the potential impact of Alito's record on the rights of people with disabilities.

In recent years, numerous Supreme Court cases impacting federal protections for people with disabilities have been split 5-4 decisions. Core legal rights of people with disabilities - and all Americans - are now in jeopardy as Justice Alito joins a majority that has routinely ruled to undermine Congressional efforts to provide "justice for all."

During Alito's confirmation hearing, specific concerns regarding the authority of Congress to protect citizens with the ADA and other laws were voiced mainly by Republicans such as Senators Specter and DeWine. Ironically, these senators then voted for confirmation despite evidence that Alito would only further weaken these vital protections.
ADA Watch opposed Justice Alito's confirmation. The AAPD, by contrast, supported Justice Alito's confirmation. See this post on Edge-Centric for a sense of the intra-disability-community politics of the issue.

Disability Chief [in Britain] Slams Government

See this dispatch by that title, which begins:

The chairman of the Disability Rights Commission has attacked the government for sidelining disabled people.

During a speech in central London, Bert Massie said the problem lay in "a lazy fatalism and a low expectations culture" over those with disabilities.

He said targets for reducing poverty and increasing the number of people in work risked being missed.

Mr Massie told the BBC housing policies failed disabled people, while teaching with phonics excluded deaf children.

Good C.D. Cal. Vexatious Litigant Opinion

In Wilson v. Pier I Imports (US), Inc., 2006 WL 213823 (E.D.Cal., Jan. 27, 2006), Judge Lawrence Karlton rejected a defendant's motion to have an ADA public accommodations plaintiff declared a vexatious litigant. The case was brought by an individual with severe degenerative joint disease, who had previously brought 85 other cases challenging the lack of accessibility of different businesses; his lawyer had previously brought over a thousand such cases. Judge Karlton properly concluded that these large numbers did not make the plaintiff's or the attorney's conduct vexatious. Here's the crucial analysis:

In the case at bar, Wilson has tendered sufficient evidence which convinces the court that he has visited defendants' premises with his wife, and purchased various items. He avers that each of his visits to the store entailed a struggle to overcome accessible elements with the entrance door (hardware, threshold, pressure, sweep periods), curb ramp, parking, and signage. Wilson Dec. at 11; Dep. at 131:9-13; Pl.'s SUF 10. Plaintiff has testified that he was injured in attempting to enter the door of defendants' premises. Wilson Dec. at 12; Dep. at 144:19-145:19; Pl.'s SUF 11. In the absence of a showing of duplicity, this should put an end to defendants' contention. It is, however, not the end of the story.

Relative to the other suits, plaintiff has filed a declaration which details 43 different suits which he initiated. He is able to provide the dates on which he visited the various premises, the barriers he faced, as well as his interactions with the various defendants he undertook in order to assist them in complying with the ADA. Wilson Dec. at 4-26. Plaintiff explains that in every suit filed by him, he writes a letter or contacts the facility by phone to inform them of non-compliance. Id. at 2. Plaintiff attaches correspondences with numerous defendants where the parties discuss architectural barriers which he faced and which demonstrate failure to comply with the ADA (see, e.g., Ex. F to Wilson Dec., letter from defendant to plaintiff responding to plaintiff's concerns about "level landing of Case C ramps"). In cases where entities removed architectural barriers, plaintiff claims he did not file suit. Id. at 3.

From all that appears, the number of lawsuits plaintiff has filed does not reflect that he is a vexatious litigant; rather, it appears to reflect the failure of the defendants to comply with the law. Accordingly, the court cannot find that plaintiff has filed frivolous ADA lawsuits.

* * *

Defendants argue that Hubbard's conduct is "egregious and vexatious," in part because he files "boilerplate violations of the ADA and state law." Mot. at 6. Indeed, it appears that earlier instance of Hubbard's complaints are virtually identical. It is unclear to this court, however, why uniform instances of misconduct do not justify uniform pleadings. In any event, perhaps spurred on by challenges such as the instant one, and judges unsympathetic to his claims, it appears that counsel has recently begun to attach pictures and other documents which seek to particularize the pleadings and more clearly define the barriers which are the subject of the suit.

Hubbard concedes that 99.8% of his suits settle before going to trial. Defendants argue that this indicates that Hubbard has filed lawsuits without good faith in prosecuting them. Although Judge Rafeedie concluded that a high settlement rate is evidence of a lack of belief in the merits, I cannot agree. A settlement rate no more indicates a plaintiff's lack of confidence than it does a defendant's. A high settlement rate is a fact of modern litigation. Moreover, plaintiff's counsels avers that he has taken four ADA cases to trial in the last two years, and that he prevailed in two of those actions. Opp'n at 12.

Based on the evidence presented, defendants have not shown that Hubbard is a vexatious litigant. Indeed, they have left the court with the distinct fear that the motion is frivolous. Rather than pursuing that issue, thus permitting the tail to wag the dog, however, the court will proceed to the other motions pending in the case.
This seems to me exactly right. If plaintiffs or their counsel have violated ethical rules, they should be punished in due course. But there's nothing unethical about filing lots of suits when lots of people have violated your legal rights. And the sad fact is that noncompliance with the ADA is widespread. Judge Karlton is to be commended for not letting questions about the number of suits the plaintiff has filed get in the way of the real issue -- whether the defendants are violating the law.

Psychology, Public Policy, and Law Symposium on Mental Health Courts

The December 2005 issue of Psychology, Public Policy, and Law is now available, and it has an interesting symposium on mental health courts. From a disability rights perspective, the most interesting pieces are the opening debate between Susan Stefan and Bruce Winick, and Tammy Seltzer's piece arguing that mental health courts are a bad idea.

Disability Law Events on Workplaceprof Blog

The folks at the Workplaceprof Blog have posted about two disability law related events: a lecture by Judy Heumann, to be presented at the University of Pittsburgh, on disability and international development; and a conference at Ohio State, featuring an all-star lineup, on disability, narrative, and the law. Follow the links if you're interested.