Settlement Agreement | Department of Justice Press Releases
DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE COMPLAINT NUMBER 202-13-125
1. This matter was initiated by a complaint filed under title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12181-89, and the title III regulation, 28 C.F.R. pt. 36, with the United States Department of Justice (Department of Justice) against the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. The complaint was investigated by the Department under the authority granted by section 308(b) of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA"), 42 U.S.C. § 12188. The complainant, Ms. Jeanine Germanowicz, who is deaf and uses sign language to communicate, alleged that the Lawyers Advocate Inc, failed to provide effective communication with her because it denied her request for an interpreter for a seminar given by Lawyer's Advocate, Inc.
2. Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. denies Complainant's allegations that it failed to provide an interpreter. Lawyer's Advocate alleges that complainant failed to confirm her attendance at the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc's seminar and, accordingly, sign language interpretative services were canceled.
3. The parties to this Agreement are the United States of America and the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. This Agreement is not an admission of violation and should not be construed as an admission by the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. of any violation.
4. In order to avoid litigation, the parties have agreed to resolve this matter as indicated below.
5. The subject of this settlement agreement is the provision by the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. without charge, of auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities when necessary to afford effective communication to allow individuals with disabilities to participate in programs, services or activities conducted by the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc.
6. The ADA applies to the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. because it operates a place of public accommodation as defined by the ADA, 42 U.S.C. § 12181 and 28 C.F.R. § 36.104.
7. The Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. shall offer to Ms. Germanowicz, free of charge and at her convenience, the opportunity to participate in a training seminar with a qualified interpreter to be provided by Lawyer's Advocate, Inc.
8. In order to ensure that individuals with disabilities are not excluded or otherwise denied participation in Lawyer's Advocate, Inc.'s programs and services and in order to ensure effective communication with members of the public who are deaf or hard of hearing, the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. agrees:
a. To take those steps necessary to ensure that no individual with a disability is excluded or denied services because of the absence of auxiliary aids or services as required by the ADA. This requirement shall include, but is not limited to, providing sign language interpreters for individuals who are deaf or have hearing impairments. See 42 U.S.C. § 12182(B)(2)(A)(iii), and other relevant provisions.
b. Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. shall adopt and maintain a written procedure to receive and process the requests of individuals with disabilities for auxiliary aids and services and to consult promptly with individuals regarding their requests and needs.
9. Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. shall train all staff who deal with the public about the procedure for providing auxiliary aids and services. Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. shall inform members of the public about its procedure for the provision of auxiliary aids and services to individuals with disabilities by distributing information about this procedure in Seminar Brochures, pamphlets, posters or other appropriate means.
10. Within 30 days of the effective date of this Agreement, the Lawyer's Advocate, Inc. shall submit a report to the Department of Justice detailing the actions it has taken to comply with the preceding provisions.
11. This agreement is a public document. A copy of this document or any information contained in it may be made available to any person.
12. The Department of Justice may review compliance with this Agreement at any time. If the Department of Justice believes that this Agreement or any requirement thereof has been violated, it may institute civil action seeking specific performance of the provisions of this Agreement or seeking enforcement of the requirement of title III of the ADA in an appropriate Federal court.
13. Failure by the Department of Justice to enforce this entire Agreement or any provision thereof with respect to any deadline or any other provision herein will not be construed as a waiver of its right to enforce other deadlines and provisions of this Agreement.
14. The effective date of this Agreement is the date of the last signature below.
15. This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties on the matters raised herein, and no other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by either party or agents of either party, that is not contained in this written Agreement, will be enforceable under its provisions.
For the United States:
Bill Lann Lee
Acting Assistant Attorney General
for Civil Rights
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
Alison Nichol, Deputy Director
Eve Hill, Supervising Attorney
Celeste A. Simmons, Investigator
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 66738
Washington, D.C. 20035-6738
For Lawyer's Advocate, Inc.:
Stuart W. Hubbard
Lawyers Advocate, Inc
1050 East Third Street
Broomfield, Colorado 80020
February 7, 2001