Category Archives: legal profession
Disability Resources Focus on Federal Tax
ABLE accounts are tax-advantaged accounts which are funded by family members to cover qualified expenses for the disabled individual.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021 – “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion”
As a disability rights lawyer who represented persons with disabilities for the past 25 years, I am often asked by persons with both visible and invisible disabilities about best practices in attempting to find a job and to keep a job. So, for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, I will share my top 10 points.
Mental Health Month – Breaking Down Barriers in the Legal Profession That Stigmatize Mental Illness
Mental health month is always a good time to remind the legal profession that we still have a profession that stigmatizes applicants and lawyers that have mental illness or past histories of substance use disorder and that has a practice of conditioning the ability to practice law on mandated treatment and conditions that may… Read More »
Florida Legislature Animal Bill Update and Positions
Since its inception in 2002, Disability Independence Group has been active in enhancing options for persons with disabilities to benefit from the assistance and companionship of animals. Our advocacy ranges from ensuring that service animals and emotional support animals are permitted in housing and employment to embedding therapy animals in social services agencies that… Read More »
National Suicide Awareness Month – For Bar Applicants and New Lawyers
This year has been a year of unprecedented stress for students in law school, graduates, and new lawyers. If you feel overwhelmed and would like help, but afraid of repercussions to your license or your career, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call me at (305) 669-2822. No judgment – just free advice from a disability rights lawyer with over 20 years of experience in assisting people to be treated fairly and without stigma.
Valuing and Devaluing the Disabled Human Life in Florida
The response to this outbreak is far from the empathetic “American Way,” but instead, we have lapsed into the Hobbesian ethic, where we deny essential testing to the most vulnerable, deny scarce life-saving equipment, rationalize the denial by claiming that the old and disabled would have died in any event. Then to place insult onto the injury, Florida may immunize those who deny care from total immunity. Even in the event we are overreacting to this pandemic, it still should be a clear signal that disability discrimination may be the only tenet that will be alive and well in our society.
Changes to Florida Statutes that Effect Civil Rights and Fair Housing in Florida
By: Matthew Dietz During the 2020 legislative session, there has been significant changes in statutes that prohibit discrimination in the State of Florida. These changes affect the way that civil rights claims are processed by the administrative agency that investigates such claims, the rights of claimants for they day in court, and it also… Read More »
Office Animals for Wellness
The question for all persons who focus on wellness is how to maintain mental, spiritual, and physical balance when being besieged by crisis (both real and perceived) from all sides. In this issue, I give my answer – Lucy. To quote my favorite industrialist, Willie Wonka, – “A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.” #WellLawyer
Lessons From the Humiliation and Death of Sandra Faye Twiggs
On Sunday April 15, 2018, Judge Merrilee Ehrlich stripped any shred of dignity or humanity from a 59 year-old woman, who appeared before her, in her first appearance before the court after being arrested. In as much as the video and the transcript demonstrate how unhinged Judge Ehrlich acted towards this women, and how the Court staff and lawyers, like palace eunuchs, allow such unabated behavior to continue. However, the outrage from the surface must be examined, and lead to thorough introspection and change, and not merely the retirement and resignation of this long-time judge.
DIG Builds Partnerships
In 2016 DIG Builds Partnerships at the INTERSECTION of Domestic Violence and Disability In 2016, one of DIG’s greatest accomplishments was becoming part of the solution for the serious problem of access to domestic violence and sexual assault services for persons with disabilities. We did this by spending the year building partnerships with three… Read More »
What is Substantial gainful Activity or SGA according to The Social Security Administration?
By: Lesly Lopez To be eligible for disability benefits, a person must be unable to engage in substantial gainful activity (SGA). A person who is earning more than a certain monthly amount (net of impairment related work expenses) is ordinarily considered to be engaging in SGA. The amount of monthly earnings considered as SGA… Read More »
Diversity – Does it Matter in the Legal Profession?
By: Matthew Dietz The Florida Bar is fully committed to the enhancement of diversity within the Bar, the legal profession, legal education, and in the justice system, and affirms its commitment toward a diverse and inclusive environment with equal access and equal opportunity for all. –The Florida Bar Board of Governors, May 2010 On… Read More »
The Legal Profession’s Mental Health Issue is a Suppressed Epidemic
As a new lawyer, the emphasis is to focus on career development, and the life tenet of “Work Hard, Play Hard” is taken to heart. A balanced life is only considered for later in life, and wellness is not good for advancement to partner. Twenty years later, balance is not achieved, and anxiety as well as management of that anxiety is a way of life.