February 4, 1998
The Disability Law Forum Committee met in the offices of the Colorado Bar Association. Present were Claire Williamson, James Dean, Joe de Raismes, Ellen Buckley, Kevin Williams, and Seth Benezra.
I. Committee Meeting minutes.
There were no minutes of the December meeting to review and/or adopt.
II. Presentation by Seth Benezra, Esq.
Seth Benezra, an attorney with Roman, Benezra & Culver, gave an interesting presentation regarding his experience as counsel for the plaintif f in Carr v. Morgan School District. This case involved a jury trial under Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Mr. Benezra provided Committee members with copies of the jury instructions that were used in the case. The plaintiff won on all counts.
III. Review of Proposed Legislation.
The Committee reviewed a number of bills, and took the following action:
1. Senate Bill 98-066 Concerning Service of Persons with Disabilities as Jurors in Court Cases.
Committee members discussed their concern over whether the bill as written is consistent with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. In order to provide as much consistency as possible with the requirements of those laws, the Committee recommended that the bill be supported with the following amendments. The Committee recommended substituting the term "reasonable accommodations" for "alternative techniques" and adding language that makes it clear that it is the court's obligation to make available the accommodation, in a manner consistent with federal and state law. The Chair agreed to discuss these recommendations with the CBA Director of Legislative Relations.
2. House Bill 98-1161 Concerning the Protection of Persons from Restraint.
Committee members had a number of questions about this bill.
The Committee decided to monitor the bill and the Chair agreed to send a copy of the entire bill out to all committee members with the next Reminder Notice, so that members would have more time to study the bill.
Other bills were discussed briefly and will be placed on the next meeting's agenda.
IV. Discussion of 1998 Bar Convention Program.
The Chair announced that a two-hour timeslot had been requested by the Committee for the Colorado Bar Association Convention in September. The Convention will be held in Keystone, on September 10-13, 1998. Final program information is due to the Bar Association by April 27, 1998. The Committee discussed some options for the program, specifically around the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Committee will need to determine the topic of its program and identify potential speakers at the next meeting.
V. Participation in the Bar Mart.
The Chair announced that the CBA convention Committee was again requesting our participation in the Bar Mart as part of the CBA Convention. The Committee did chair a table at last year's convention. The Bar Mart will be held on Friday, September 1lth, from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The Committee decided not to participate this year, given the location and time of the Bar Mart.
VI. New officers.
The Chair mentioned that it is not too soon to begin thinking about nominations for new Committee officers for next year.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 1:40 p.m.
M. Claire Williamson