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November 18, 2009

FINDING THE BOTTOM LINE: RIGHTS OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

State Bar Association Presents Important Continuing Legal Education Programs on Compliance Issues and Disability Discrimination in Employment, Public Accommodation, Housing and Other Areas

The New York State Bar Association will host an important series of Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs next month that will provide a road map for attorneys as they advise clients on a host of disability, discrimination and compliance issues. The program, titled "Finding the Bottom Line: Rights of People with Disabilities in New York State," will review and analyze current federal, state and local disability laws and will examine how they relate to potential discrimination actions in the areas of employment, public and private sector public accommodations and housing.  The programs will be presented in Rochester on December 1st; New York City on December 4th; and Albany on December 9th.

Presented by the State Bar's Committee on Continuing Legal Education and co-sponsored by the Committee on Issues Affecting People with Disabilities, the Labor and Employment Law Section, and that section's Equal Employment Opportunity Law Committee and its Individual Rights and Responsibilities Committee, the CLE program will offer 6.5 credit hours of professional practice and/or practice management. 

Among the topics to be covered are "Who Is Protected," "What Is a Covered Entity and What Are Its Obligations" and "Housing Requirements" as related to the federal Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Fair Housing Act, as well as New York State and local laws. Program attendees also will learn about remediation options, including mediation, administrative and court litigation and differences in the availability of compensatory and punitive damages, among other remedies and strategies.

"The significant changes in the law made by last year's amendments to the ADA, as well as the newly proposed regulations and evolving case law, make it critical for attorneys representing employees, employers and others to keep up to date on the ADA, FMLA, New York State Human Rights Law and New York City Human Rights Law," said Nancy Halleck, chair of the Committee on Issues Affecting People with Disabilities.  "This CLE provides an excellent opportunity for attorneys to catch up on all of these changes and get a refresher course on existing laws.  The faculty we have assembled comprises experts in disability, employment and housing law with experience in litigation and compliance.  Participants will leave this workshop with a clear understanding of the changes in the law, and how it all fits together around the state.  I urge all attorneys practicing disability and employment law to attend."

In a related event, as part of the United Nation's celebration of International Day of Persons with Disabilities, New York City regional program co-chair Mark H. Leeds, Esq. has been invited to present copies of this CLE course program book to United Nations officials on December 3rd.

Ms. Akiko Ito, Chief of the United Nations Secretariat for the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities, said, "As we celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, the United Nations appreciates the contribution of the New York State Bar Association's continuing legal education program, 'Finding the Bottom Line - Rights of People with Disabilities in New York State,' to efforts that recognize and promote the rights of persons with disabilities. We look forward to working further with the New York State Bar Association in this cause."

A complete listing of participants for each of the three local area panels is provided below.

Tuesday, December 1st - Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside; 120 Main Street East; Rochester

Melinda R. Saran, Esq., (Local Chair), University at Buffalo Law School, Buffalo * Mairead E. Connor, Esq., Law Offices of Mairead E. Connor, PLLC, Syracuse * Matthew J. Fusco, Esq., Chamberlain D'Amanda, Rochester * Michael Hanley, Esq., Empire Justice Center, Rochester * Amy L. Hemenway, Esq., Harter, Secrest & Emery LLP, Buffalo * Michael Mulé, Esq., Empire Justice Center, Rochester * Sharon P. Stiller, Boylan, Brown, Code, Vigdor and Wilson, Rochester.

Friday, December 4th - New York Hilton and Towers; 1335 Ave of the Americas; NYC

Mark H. Leeds, Esq., (Local Chair), Riverdale * Dennis R. Boyd, Esq., Dennis R. Boyd Legal Advocacy and Consulting Services, New York City * Patricia A. Cody, Esq., Wormser Kiely Galef & Jacobs LLP, New York City * John P. Herrion, Esq., New York State Division of Human Rights, Bronx * Alan M. Koral, Esq., Vedder Price, P.C., New York City * Rachel J. Minter, Esq., Law Office of Rachel J. Minter, New York City* Jason R. Mischel, Esq., New York City Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities * Donald L. Sapir, Esq., Sapir & Frumkin, White Plains * Jo Anne Simon, Esq., Jo Anne Simon, PC, Brooklyn.

Wednesday, December 9th - Crowne Plaza Albany; State & Lodge Streets; Albany

Simeon Goldman, Esq., (Local Chair), Disability Advocates Inc, Albany * Beth A. Bourassa, Esq., Whiteman, Osterman & Hanna LLP, Albany * Ronald G. Dunn, Esq., Gleason Dunn Walsh & O'Shea, Albany * John P. Herrion, Esq., New York State Division of Human Rights, Bronx * Gregory K. Jones, Esq., New York State Commission on Quality of Care and Office of Advocacy for Persons with Disabilities, Albany * Alan M. Koral, Esq., Vedder Price, P.C., New York City * Tara L. Moffett, Esq., Girvin & Ferlazzo, Albany * Cliff Zucker, Esq., Disability Advocates Inc., Albany.

For further information on this CLE program series or to register to attend, please visit the following Web sites:

Rochester • Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Radisson Hotel Rochester Riverside
www.nysba.org/disabilityroc

New York City • Friday, December 4, 2009
The New York Hilton
www.nysba.org/disabilitynyc

Albany • Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Crowne Plaza Albany Hotel
www.nysba.org/disabilityalb

Founded in 1876, the 76,000-member New York State Bar Association is the official statewide organization of lawyers in New York and the largest voluntary state bar association in the nation.  The State Bar's programs and activities have continuously served the public and improved the justice system for more than 130 years.

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