Category Archives: legal profession

National Suicide Awareness Month – For Bar Applicants and New Lawyers

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 mdietz@justdigit.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.

black and white pictures of persons in wheelchairs in an institutional setting

Valuing and Devaluing the Disabled Human Life in Florida

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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

Sandra Faye Twiggs, a 59 year old Black woman in a wheelchair grimacing as she is being berated by the judge

Lessons From the Humiliation and Death of Sandra Faye Twiggs

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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 »

Lawyers drinking shots with one man looking disturbed

The Legal Profession’s Mental Health Issue is a Suppressed Epidemic

By Disability Independence Group, Inc. |

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.