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Psychiatric disability and the legal system
June 10, 2006

People with psychiatric disability fared significantly worse in employment discrimination lawsuits than their counterparts with nonpsychiatric disabilities, according to this article: Justice Disparities: Does the ADA Enforcement System Treat People with Psychiatric Disabilities Fairly? by Scott Burris at Temple University Law School. The article will be printed in the Maryland Law Review, 2006.

The article is full of statistics, which I find quite boring. However, the conclusions are interesting. Plaintiffs with psychiatric disabilities were less satisfied with the overall process of filing a claim of employment discrimination and bringing a lawsuit under the ADA. There were perceptions of unfairness, lack of voice, and lack of procedural justice in the charge process and litigation.

Update - June 12, 2006:

I regret that I omitted the following additional authors of this article:

  • Jeffrey Swanson, Ph.D., Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences, Duke University School of Medicine.
  • Kathryn Moss, Ph.D., Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
  • Michael Ullman, M.A., University of Hawaii.
  • Leah M. Ranney, Ph.D., Cecil G. Sheps Center for Health Services Research, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Scott Burris has been a member of the Temple University Law School faculty since 1991. Formerly an attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, he has also served as law clerk to Judge (now Chief Judge) Dolores Sloviter of the Third Circuit United States Court of Appeals. He is a graduate of the Yale Law School. He received his B.A. from Washington University.

He has written extensively in the areas of HIV and public health law. He is the editor of AIDS Law Today: A New Guide for the Public (1993), and the author or co-author of articles including The Law and the Public's Health: A Study of Infectious Disease Law in the United States, 99 Columbia L. Rev. 59(1999), Dental Discrimination Against the HIV-Infected: Empirical Data, Law and Pub lic Policy, 13 Yale J. Reg. 1 (1996) and Legal Strategies for Syringe Exchange in the United States, 86 Am. J. Pub. Health 1161 (1996).His work has been supported by grants from foundations including The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Lindesmith Center. He serves on numerous advisory committees on matters relating to the intersection of public health and law.

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