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Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, June 17, 2011

Judge Rules That Boy With Severe Autism
Has the Right to Take his Service Dog to School

Photo of Caleb and Eddy
Caleb and Eddy


On June 13, a federal judge ruled that Cypress School District must allow Caleb, a seven-year-old boy with severe autism, to bring his service dog to school, an accommodation he is entitled to under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The decision is the first time in our nation's history that a federal judge has ordered a school district to accommodate the use of a service dog in school by a student with autism.


This ruling was a victory for the family, and all families with children who have autism, because it affirms that Caleb's service dog, Eddy, is a service animal under the ADA. Diagnosed when he was two-years-old, Caleb's autism is severe. He is non-verbal, has a low cognitive ability, and difficulty interacting with others. His service dog Eddy, a Golden Retriever, was trained by Autism Service Dogs of America for nearly two years.


The Honorable Andrew J. Guilford of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California granted a motion for preliminary injunction filed by the Disability Rights Legal Center and co-counsel Winston & Strawn LLP. Caleb has been attending school without his service dog since the last two weeks of the 2009-20010 school year because of Cypress' district refusal to allow Caleb to attend with his service dog. The family sought an injunction to avoid further violations of their son's rights, and asked the Court to order the district to allow Caleb to attend school with his service dog.


The judge concluded that Eddy qualifies as a service dog under the Americans with Disabilities Act. "Most importantly, Eddy prevents Plaintiff from the potentially harmful act of elopement. (Shore Decl. ¶ 17.) Eddy also helps prevent Plaintiff from shrieking and throwing tantrums. (Id. ¶ 37.) These tasks certainly qualify as 'preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors,' as listed in 28 C.F.R. § 35.104," Judge Guilford wrote. Read the Order Granting Motion for Preliminary Injunction 


The media has been covering this precedent-setting case. Los Angeles Times wrote the article "Judge rules in favor of letting autistic boy take service dog to school"  NBC Los Angeles interviewed the family and Maronel Barajas, Senior Staff Attorney for the DRLC's Education Advocacy Program, for a news feature "Family of Autistic Boy Rejoices After Judge Rules Service Dog Must be Allowed in School." KABC-TV, also interviewed the family and attorneys for DRLC co-counsel Winston & Strawn LLP, for its news feature, "Cypress Family Fights for Autism Service Dogs." 


Cypress School District's discrimination against the child galvanized the U.S. Department of Justice. On Friday, June 10 the Department filed a Statement of Interest of the United States in favor of the Court granting our motion for a preliminary injunction. "Day in and day out since June 2010, C.C. ... has been and continues to be irreparably harmed by the Cypress School District's ... denial of his civil right to use his service dog in school, a right protected by Title II of the Americans with Disability Act of 1990..." the Department writes in its statement.

Anya Prince Attends Psychosocial Oncology Conference
APOS logo
APOS logo
Anya Prince, CLRC Skadden Fellow, traveled to Anaheim to attend the Eighth Annual American Psychosocial Oncology Society Conference. The conference brought together two hundred healthcare professionals and representatives from cancer support groups to discuss the science and practice of psychosocial care for people with cancer. Ms. Prince attended seminars on recent studies and advances in psychosocial care. Between seminars she ran an information booth where she educated healthcare professionals on the resources available to their patients. The booth featured a poster, created by Ms. Prince and CLRC Staff Attorney Shawn Kravich, comparing data from the Cancer Legal Resource Center healthcare professional survey against data gathered from the Telephone Assistance Line.
CLRC's Speaks on Employment Rights of People with Cancer
aba logo
ABA logo

Monica Fawzy Bryant, CLRC Staff Attorney, spoke at the Breast Cancer Legal Advocacy Workshop about employment rights of people coping with cancer. The workshop was part of the American Bar Association's Health Law Section's annual conference. This year's conference focused on "Emerging Issues in Healthcare Law" and was held in New Orleans, Louisiana. One of the Cancer Legal Resource Center's goals in attending was to recruit lawyers for the CLRC Professional Panel. Attorneys in the Professional Panel volunteer to counsel callers on the CLRC's national Telephone Assistance Line, to help resolve their cancer-related legal issues. Several attorneys at the workshop were excited to learn about the CLRC and to join our panel. Yesterday the CLRC received its first application to the panel from an attorney in Wyoming!

Texas Attorney Volunteers to Give Legal Advice
The Cancer Legal Resource Center would like to thank Holly B. Williams from Midland, Texas for joining the CLRC's Professional Panel. Attorneys in the Professional Panel volunteer their time to speak with callers on the CLRC's national Telephone Assistance Line, in an effort to assist in resolving cancer-related legal issues.

Save The Date

Friday, July 8: Deadline to Apply for
Kirkland & Ellis Justice Fellowship 

The Disability Rights Legal Center announces the creation of the Kirkland & Ellis Justice Fellowship, a two-year position to head up the Center's newly formed Community Advocacy Program. The goal of the Program and the Fellowship is to provide the disability community with critical information and resources about their civil rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws. "This fellowship will allow an outstanding new lawyer the freedom to do in-depth research on real life issues facing the disability community, while serving the current needs of the community.This fellowship recognizes DRLC's commitment to training the next generation of advocates," said Paula Pearlman, Executive Director of the DRLC. The fellowship is named in honor of Kirkland & Ellis LLP in recognition of the DRLC's long-standing pro-bono and co-counseling relationships with the firm, and for Kirkland's generous funding of this position. Candidates for the Kirkland & Ellis Justice Fellowship must apply online through the DRLC website by 5 p.m. (PST) on Friday, July 8, 2011. The selected Fellow will begin work on Monday, October 3, 2011.

Hold Saturday Night July 23 for 'Casino Angeleno'

 Casino Angeleno icon

The Cancer Legal Resource Center's Casino Night event is back by popular demand! The CLRC will be hosting its "Casino Angeleno" summer event on Saturday, July 23, 2011, sponsored by our exclusive "Baccarat Sponsor" Ticketmaster®; "Roulette Sponsor" KDB - Your Neighborhood Kitchen, Den, Bar; and "Poker Sponsor" MassMutual Financial Group. Set on the rooftop deck of the Petersen Automotive Museum, with the Hollywood Hills as a spectacular backdrop, guests will enjoy a starry, summer night of guilt-free gaming, music and prizes. Proceeds will benefit the Cancer Legal Resource Center. For sponsorship opportunities, download the sponsorship packet, or contact Joanna Morales at joanna.morales@lls.edu. Event details are posted at www.CancerLegalResourceCenter.org. To purchase tickets, download the invitation

Community Outreach Program Provides Free Legal Clinics  
Photo of Dayle McIntosh Center
Dayle McIntosh Center


To better serve residents of Orange County, Community Outreach Program staff will hold office hours on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the Dayle McIntosh Center in Garden Grove. That means this month we will host office hours at the center on June 22. Come meet our staff and learn about laws protecting the civil rights of those with disabilities, and services available to them, including health care, special education, government services and more. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, contact Maggie Hui, Community Outreach Program Coordinator, at (213) 736-1408 or Maggie.Hui@lls.edu. Video TDD (213) 736-8310; Video Relay Number (866) 912-8193. The Dayle McIntosh Center is located at 13272 Garden Grove Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92843-2205.

Dad's Day Deals
Give to the DRLC by Shopping, Searching Online  


Go to iGive for great discounts and Father's Day gift guides from some of your favorite stores -- plus every iGive purchase means a donation to the Disability Rights Legal Center. All you do is go through iGive.com and a percentage of your purchase goes toward our work on behalf of people with disabilities. Become an iGive member and select the DRLC as one of the causes you support. It is the company who makes the donation in your name. iGive has links to almost a thousand online stores, including Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, DisneyStore.com, eBay, Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, Macy's, NORDSTROM.com, Overstock.com, ProFlowers, Sport Chalet, Travelocity. You can also donate to the DRLC simply by using iGive's search engine. There are no costs, obligations, nor any hidden fees. Causes always receive 100% of the donation amount advertised on iGive's website. Go to iGive.com to sign up.


The online credit card donation feature is available on the Make a Donation page of the DRLC website. This quick and easy function can be used for general donations.  



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DRLC Staff Photo August 2010
Disability Rights Legal Center Staff Photo August 2010