Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Good E.D. Wis. Bar Licensing Opinion

New on Westlaw: Brewer v. Wisconsin Bd. of Bar Examiners, 2006 WL 3469598 (E.D.Wis., Nov. 28, 2006). The case was brought by a person who had applied for membership in the Wisconsin Bar. Because she received SSDI due to a psychiatric disability, the Board of Bar Examiners ordered her "to undergo a psychological evaluation at her own expense as a precondition to taking action on her application." The applicant sued under the ADA, and the Bar moved for summary judgment. After rejecting the Bar's position that the ADA does not apply (the Bar contended that the ADA does not apply to state programs that are intended to protect the public), the court went on to reject the Bar's argument that there was no discrimination. The Bar had noted that it requires people without ADA "disabilities" to undergo psychological evaluations sometimes, but the court responded that the plaintiff's disability was clearly the reason the Bar demanded that she undergo such an evaluation. The court recognized that a psychological evaluation might be necessary in some cases, but it concluded that the defendants had not presented sufficient evidence to obtain summary judgment on that ground. Accordingly, the court denied the motion for summary judgment and set the case for a trial.


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