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Quote of the Day - I was never ruined but twice - once when I lost a lawsuit, once when I won one. - Voltaire
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Professor Beats Team Of Lawyers, Bar Association

Maybe he should take the bar.  Adjunct Professor Brian Woods of Cuyahoga Community College was upset that his son was not receiving care in school.  Brian argued that his autistic son Daniel deserved more but wasn't getting it.  So Brian sued, and the school hired a team of lawyers.  Brian won, and won big.  In addition to numerous concessions, he also won $160,000 for his son.  Brian, however, is not a lawyer.

When the Cleveland Bar Association found out about it, they sued Brian, too.  For the unauthorized practice of law.  While you might think the suit was a vendetta, the Bar thought it was taking a preemptive strike.  The Bar took the position that Brian was helping other parents who couldn't afford or obtain legal help. 

The US Supreme Court is about to hear a case involving a similar issue where parents sued on behalf of their son, also autistic.  The decision is pending, but a stay in that case prevented dismissal because the parents didn't have a lawyer for their son.  Pressure from the Plain Dealer and the yet-unresolved case forced the Bar to back down, and back down a bit apologetically

The federal courts are split on the representation issue, thus the intervention by the Supremes.  Parents argue that they can't afford to pay attorneys fees and costs to secure their children's rights.  Bar associations argue that laws prevent nonlawyers from representing others, which would preclude parents from representing their children.

Tell that to Brian Woods. 

Printer friendly page Permalink Email to a friend Posted by J. Craig Williams on Sunday, May 07, 2006 at 22:58 Comments Closed (0) |
 
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