Fall 2009-#4. Focus on Disability Law.

Author:Reviewed by David McLean, Esq.

Vermont Bar Journal


Fall 2009-#4.

Focus on Disability Law

THE VERMONT BAR JOURNALVolume 35, No. 3Fall 2009Focus on Disability LawTwo Helpful Books Lay Out the DetailsReviewed by David McLean, Esq.These two books, related by their topics, are also a study in contrasts. Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act\s a very short volume given the topic and the breadth of information included. The author achieves his stated goals of educating attorneys who have little familiarity with the Act while also communicating a preventive approach to ADA issues. The fact that Mr. Goren is an attorney with a disability lends depth and meaning to his analysis.

The book first familiarizes the reader with essential terms and concepts involved in any ADA discussion. Beginning with an explanation that the ADA is not intended as an affirmative action measure, but rather to bring people with disabilities to the same "starting line" as others, Mr. Goren discusses such terms as "substantially limits", "major life activity", as well as the legal effect of mitigating measures. The terms are defined through a discussion of the facts and reasoning in key judicial decisions addressing ADA issues. However, the emphasis on precedent presents one unfortunate weakness of the book: it was published just two years before the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008. Therefore, the precedents discussed in the book may no longer accurately depict the current status of the law.

Chapters two through six present easily accessible discussions of concepts- such as "essential functions of the job," "reasonable accommodations," and "undue hardship"-that apply to Title I ADA issues (that is, those in the employment context). Chapters seven through nine discuss Title II issues (that is, those pertinent to the public sector). However, the remainder of the book discusses topics that seem incongruous to the purpose of the book: the ADA's impact on sports and "hot areas" in ADA law. But overall the content provides easy access to an array of issues for an attorney on either side of the "v" in an ADA dispute.

In contrast. Mental Disability Law, Evidence and Testimony is a very dense book packed with information and advice on litigating disputes over mental disabilities. From the small font to the thin paper used in publication, the...

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