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Disability Rights Legal Center Newsletter
Good News Report
DRLC Newsletter

Friday, August 26, 2011

DRLC Leaders Participate in Judicial Conference  
Seal of the Ninth Judicial Circuit

Seal of the
Ninth Judicial Circuit

Shawna Parks, DRLC Legal Director, attended the 2011 Ninth Circuit Judicial Conference from August 15-18 in Carlsbad, California, as a lawyer representative for the Central District of California. She was joined by DRLC Executive Director, Paula Pearlman. DRLC Board Member, Harvey Saferstein from Mintz Levin Cohn Ferris Glovsky and Popeo P.C. was also in attendance as a member of the Advisory Board. The goal of the Conference is to discuss issues of common concern regarding the administration of justice within the Ninth Circuit. In addition to various business meetings, the Conference provided a rich educational program on the law and legal profession, the administration of the courts and other relevant topics. This year's program featured presentations on the limits of federalism; use of neuroscience evidence in the courtroom; historical overviews of search and seizure law; the future of the courts; and a retrospective on forty years of women in the law. In addition to many judges from around the Ninth Circuit, Justices Anthony M. Kennedy and Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the Supreme Court of the United States participated in the program. 

Caller Benefits from CLRC Service
The Cancer Legal Resource Center operates a national, toll-free Telephone Assistance Line (866-THE-CLRC) where callers can receive free and confidential information about laws and resources. Below is the experience of a caller who responded to a follow-up questionnaire about services she received:
Norma Rushing called the Cancer Legal Resource Center in July 2011. After her boyfriend was diagnosed with kidney cancer, his company canceled its health insurance policy for all employees. The couple found themselves in shock at having to pay for cancer treatment all by themselves. With treatment he was showing progress despite only having half of a kidney, but they were struggling to pay the $5,000 per month of medical bills. If they failed to pay his bills he would no longer receive treatment critical to his health. 

After receiving a referral from their social worker, Norma asked the CLRC for help understanding their rights and health insurance options. COBRA, the national law that allows people in group plans to keep their insurance after certain events, was not an option for them. They knew of no insurance that would take someone with a pre-existing condition.

The CLRC provided information on two options Norma did not know about. One route was getting a HIPAA plan, commonly known as a "federally subsidized plan" or "guaranteed issued plan" which is an option for individuals who don't have protections under COBRA anymore. The other was a Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) which provides coverage for citizens or qualified residents with pre-existing conditions to get coverage if they have gone six months or more without coverage. The CLRC also provided them with information on local agencies that helped with navigating healthcare and financial assistance.

Norma felt extremely appreciative of our services. She later stated:
"I'm glad there is someone out there that provides help for people without insurance, no money, and getting chemo. Without you guys doing the research, we wouldn't have known what to do. You gave us so many avenues we didn't expect or know about. We're so glad our social worker referred us to you."

After calling the different agencies the CLRC referred Norma to, she found out that her boyfriend's military service qualified him for coverage under the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (V.A). Nancy's boyfriend now has medical coverage through the V.A. If in doubt, Norma said she would call the CLRC again because "Everything they sent me was exactly what they went over with me on the phone. It is very helpful, it's nice to have resources such as this to turn to."

New Attorneys Join the CLRC's Professional Panel

The Cancer Legal Resource Center would like to thank Leslie A. Soley from Fresno, California and Matthew K. Pelkey from Buffalo, New York for joining the CLRC's Professional Panel. Attorneys in the Professional Panel have agreed to 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.

Paula Pearlman Meets with Director of Disability Rights Group in Berkeley 
Susan Henderson
Susan Henderson at
Ed Roberts Campus

On Thursday, August 25, Paula Pearlman, DRLC Executive Director met with Susan Henderson, Executive Director of the Disability Rights Education  and Defense Fund, Inc. (DREDF). DREDF is a national law and policy center dedicated to furthering the civil and human rights of people with disabilities. Ms. Henderson gave Ms. Pearlman a tour of the Ed Roberts Campus in Berkeley, California, where DREDF is headquartered. The campus, which opened in April 2011, incorporates green design principles and is heralded as the first comprehensive disability service and advocacy center in the world.


Save The Date  

DRLC at Back to School Family Inclusion Event


Disability Rights Legal Center staff will be at the Special Needs Network's 6th Annual Back To School Family Inclusion Event this Sunday, August 28 from 2 to 6 p.m. This is the only back to school event in Los Angeles for kids with special needs, their siblings, and families. The free event features a health and resource fair, medical, dental, and vision screenings, food and beverages, and giveaways. Come by the DRLC booth and say hi!  

Community Outreach Program Offers 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 September 14 and September 28. 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.

Champion the Rights of People with Disabilities by Shopping, Searching Online  


You can support the work of the Disability Rights Legal Center simply by shopping and searching online. Become an iGive member and choose the DRLC as one of the causes you support, then click on an iGive link to one of the almost one thousand participating retailers, including Amazon.com, Bed Bath & Beyond, DisneyStore.com, eBay, Expedia.com, Hotwire.com, Macy's, NORDSTROM.com, Overstock.com, ProFlowers, Sport Chalet, Travelocity. You will not pay more for products, rather the companies give a listed percentage of the purchase to your cause. There are no obligations or hidden fees. Causes always receive 100% of the donation amount advertised on iGive's website. You can also contribute to the DRLC simply by using iGive's search engine. 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.  



Visit the How You Can Help page of our website to volunteer as a pro bono attorney on a disability rights case, work as a student law clerk or assist with intake and administrative responsibilities.


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DRLC Staff Photo August 2010

Disability Rights Legal Center Staff Photo August 2010