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The Americans with Disabilities Act: Past, Present, and Future

Friday, June 17, 2016
1:30 pm
- 4:30 pm


2.5 Illinois MCLE pending approval
Free and open to the public
Welcome and Introduction
Hon. Robert W. Gettleman and Hon. Matthew Kennelly
Birth of the ADA (1990) and Clarifying Amendments (2008)
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Tony Coelho Former Congressman D., Cal. Primary author and sponsor of the ADA
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Marca Bristo President, Access Living of Greater Chicago; Former Chair, National Council on Disability
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Hon. Robert W. Gettleman District Judge Northern District of Illinois
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Hon. Jeffrey T. Gilbert Magistrate Judge Northern District of Illinois
[/column][/raw] [toggle title=”Tony Coelho bio”] Tony Coelho is a former United States congressman from California, and primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Tony was elected to Congress in 1978 and served for six terms until 1989. He served on the Agriculture, Interior, Veterans Affairs, and Administration Committees during his tenure, specializing in disabled rights.
In 1986, Tony was elected House Majority Whip. As the chief vote counter for his party, Tony oversaw a series of Democratic victories in the House on measures ranging from the budget to cutting off funds for the war in Central America. Tony was the original author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush. By 1994, the U.S. Census Bureau reported that some 800,000 more people with severe disabilities had found employment than were employed when the bill was first enacted.
President Bill Clinton appointed Tony to serve as Chairman of the Presidents Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities, a position he held from 1994 to 2001. He also served as Vice Chair of the National Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities. In 1998, Clinton appointed Tony as the United States Commissioner General at the 1998 World Expo in Portugal. Clinton also appointed Tony as Co-Chair to the U.S. Census Monitoring Board, a position he held until his appointment as general chairman of the Gore presidential campaign. In addition to formerly chairing Life Without Limits and the Disability Pride & Power Committee, he is the past chair of both the Epilepsy Foundation (2005-2007) and the American Association for People with Disabilities (2009-2011) Boards of Directors. He also served as the Acting President and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation in 2011. In May 2013, he co-authored an article for the American Journal of Public Health titled “Addressing Stigma Through Social Inclusion” with former First Lady Rosalynn Carter and former Surgeon General David Satcher. In March 2009, Tony was named as Chairperson for the Partnership to Improve Patient Care (PIPC). In this capacity, Tony works to amplify the voice of the partnership’s diverse members, including people with disabilities, racial and ethnic communities and the elderly, among others. Tony participates annually at New York Law School for its Tony Coelho Lecture in Disability Employment Law & Policy. He has endowed a chair in Public Policy at the University of California in Merced and also in Neurology for Pediatric Surgery at UCLA. He also serves as the patient stakeholder on the Stakeholder Advisory Group for the TVT Registry, which was created by The Society of Thoracic Surgeons and the American College of Cardiology as a benchmarking tool developed to track patient safety and real-world outcomes related to the trans catheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR) procedure.
Tony now makes his home in Rehoboth Beach, DE and Doylestown, PA.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Marca Bristo bio”] For more than 30 years, Marca Bristo and Access Living, Chicago’s center for independent living, have helped craft local, national and international reforms to protect the rights of people with disabilities and equip them with tools to lead independent, satisfying lifestyles. A pioneer of Chicago’s disability rights movement and a former patient of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, Bristo helped launch Access Living, one of the country’s first ten centers for independent living. Since 1980, Access Living has provided peer services and advocacy to over 40,000 people with disabilities, and it has won systemic improvements in housing public schools, public transportation, public access and long-term care.
Beyond Access Living, Bristo is an international advocate for the rights of disabled individuals. During the 1980s, as a member of the Congressionally appointed United States Task Force on the Rights and Empowerment of Americans with Disabilities, she helped draft and win passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act. In 1994, President Clinton appointed Bristo to head the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that provides policy guidance to the U.S. President and Congress. Bristo was the first person with a disability to hold this position. Today, as President of the United States International Council on Disabilities, a federation of US disability organizations committed to fostering Disability Awareness inclusion and rights overseas, she is leading a campaign to promote the ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities in the United States.
For her dedication and perseverance, Bristo received the Distinguished Service Award of the President of the United States and the Americans with Disabilities Act Award for her role in the creation and passage of the law. She was named a Henry B. Betts Laureate for significantly improving the quality of life for people with disabilities, and earned the 1993 United Way of Chicago Executive of the Year Award. Ms. Bristo also was named by Crain’s Chicago Business as one of Chicago’s 100 Most Influential Women. The Chicago Sun-Times included Bristo on its list of 100 Most Powerful Women, and was on the list of Today’s Chicago Woman 100 Women Making a Difference. Other awards include: IMPACT Award Recipient, Chicago Foundation for Women, 2010; BPI 40 Who Have Made a Difference, 2009; Chicagoan of the Year, Chicago Magazine, 2007.
Bristo is a Trustee of Rush University, a Life Member of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago, a member of The Chicago Network, and a Leadership Greater Chicago Alumni. She earned a B.A. from Beloit College and a B.S. in Nursing from Rush University.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Hon. Robert W. Gettleman bio”] Robert W. Gettleman was appointed by President Clinton in 1994 as a Judge of the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. His senate sponsor was Senator Paul Simon. Judge Gettleman is a graduate of Boston University (1965) and Northwestern University School of Law (1968). After graduating law school, he served as law clerk for two Chief Judges of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, Latham Castle and Luther M. Swygert (1968-1970).
After his clerkships, Judge Gettleman joined the Chicago law firm of D’Ancona & Pflaum, where he practiced specializing in civil litigation from 1970 until his appointment to the District Court in 1994. He was a member of the law firm’s Executive Committee and chaired the Litigation Department. During his private practice, Judge Gettleman tried and argued cases before courts ranging from various state and federal trial and appellate courts to the United States Supreme Court.
Throughout his career, Judge Gettleman was active in pro bono and public service endeavors. He was a commissioner on the Governor’s Commission to Revise the Mental Health Code in the 1970s as well as the Illinois Guardianship and Advocacy Commission (for which he served as Chairman) in the 1980s through the early 1990s. He was on the board of Access Living of Metropolitan Chicago, were he was one of the initial members of that independent living centers’ advocacy program. Judge Gettleman was also on the board of the John Howard Association (a prison watchdog organization) for more than 20 years and served as its President from 1978 to 1981.
Judge Gettleman is also an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law, teaching trial advocacy, and, with others, a disability law seminar. He was also on the Editorial Board of the American Bar Association’s Litigation Magazine, for which he has written a number of articles. He has served on a number of committees of judges in the Northern District of Illinois, and for seven years served as a member of the Advisory Committee on Bankruptcy Rules for the Judicial Conference for the United States. He is currently a member of the U.S. Judicial Conference Committee on Audits and Administrative Office Accountability
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Hon. Jeffrey T. Gilbert bio”] Magistrate Judge Jeffrey T. Gilbert (N.D. Ill.) received his undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis in 1977 (Phi Beta Kappa) and his law degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1980 where he was Articles Editor of the Law Review. After graduating from Northwestern in 1980, Judge Gilbert spent two years clerking for Judge Marvin E. Aspen (N.D. Ill.). In 1982, Judge Gilbert joined Sachnoff & Weaver, Ltd., at the time a firm of less than 30 lawyers. He practiced with Sachnoff Weaver through and including its 2007 merger with Reed Smith LLP, an international law firm of 1,600 lawyers, and then until he was sworn in as a Magistrate Judge in May 2010.
Judge Gilbert has been an adjunct professor at Northwestern University School of Law for the last 20-plus years. He teaches a course in the fall on trial advocacy and evidence and a disability law seminar in the spring. He also taught a graduate course on the first amendment and the media at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism and in the NITA trial advocacy program.
Current Issues from the Trenches
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Hon. Rebecca R. Pallmeyer District Judge Northern District of Illinois
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Noelle Brennan Partner Noelle Brennan & Associates
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David Haase Shareholder Littler Mendelson
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Barry Taylor Vice President Equip for Equality
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Hon. Jeffrey T. Gilbert Magistrate Judge Northern District of Illinois
[toggle title=”Hon. Rebecca R. Pallmeyer bio”] Rebecca R. Pallmeyer graduated from Valparaiso University and earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School. Following a one-year clerkship with Justice Rosalie Wahl of the Minnesota Supreme Court, Judge Pallmeyer practiced in the area of commercial litigation for several years with the Chicago law firm of Hopkins and Sutter.
From 1985 until 1991, Ms. Pallmeyer was an Administrative Law Judge with the Illinois Human Rights Commission, a quasi-judicial agency responsible for enforcement of the state’s anti-discrimination laws. On October 1, 1991, Ms. Pallmeyer was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. She served as Presiding Magistrate Judge from 1996 until 1998. On July 31, 1997, President Clinton nominated her for a seat in the U.S. District Court in Chicago. The Senate confirmed her nomination on October 21, 1998. In March 2002 and April 2003, Judge Pallmeyer traveled to Romania to consult with Romanian court officials on judicial administration and court reform.
Judge Pallmeyer has presided over dozens of civil and criminal trials, including the prosecution for public corruption of the former governor of the State of Illinois, George Ryan. She speaks frequently on practice and procedure in federal court and on substantive legal issues including, in particular, employment law matters.
Judge Pallmeyer serves as a member on the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management of the United States Judicial Conference. She is an honorary fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers. fellow of the American Bar Foundation, and a member of the ALI-CLE Employment and Labor Law Advisory Panel. Since 2006, Judge Pallmeyer has served on the faculty for the annual ALI-CLE program, Current Developments in Employment Law, held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Judge Pallmeyer is past President of the Lawyers Club of Chicago, Judicial Counselor of the Richard Linn American Inn of Courts, and an active member of the Chicago Bar Association, the Chicago Chapter of the Federal Bar Association, the Womens’ Bar Association of Illinois, and the American Bar Association.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Noelle Brennan bio”] Noelle Brennan has been in private practice engaged in plaintiff’s employment discrimination and civil rights litigation since 2004 and is a founder and owner of Noelle Brennan & Associates, Ltd. Since 2004, Ms. Brennan has worked on both individual and class discrimination cases, including several large race discrimination and harassment class actions which resulted in significant injunctive relief and significant monetary damages. Previously, she spent seven years as a Supervisory and Trial Attorney in the Chicago District Office of the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission where she worked extensively on class action sexual harassment cases, including EEOC v. Mitsubishi, and EEOC v. Dial Corporation. Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Brennan was an associate at Katten, Muchin & Zavis. In August of 2005, she was appointed by U.S. District Court Judge Wayne Andersen to monitor the hiring practices at the City of Chicago and its compliance with the long standing Shakman Decree which prohibits political discrimination in all job actions. In November of 2014, she was appointed by U.S. Magistrate Judge Sidney Schenkier as a Special Master to review the State of Illinois’ Department of Transportation’s compliance with the Shakman Decree. She received her J.D. from DePaul University College of Law in 1995 and was the recipient of various academic awards. She taught Employment Discrimination and Individual Employment Rights as an Adjunct Professor at DePaul Law School and also regularly presents at legal seminars for both practitioners and business operators.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”David Haase bio”] David K. Haase has extensive experience representing employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He has particular expertise in litigating wage and hour class/collective actions, unfair competition claims, such as non-competition agreements and trade secrets, and employee benefits litigation. David has litigated the full panoply of employment-related matters before the federal and state courts. David is the chair of Littler’s Pro Bono Committee. He publishes frequently and lectures on a variety of employment law topics. Previously, David served as a judicial law clerk for the Hon. Charles R. Norgle, Sr., in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Barry Taylor bio”] Barry Taylor is the Vice President for Civil Rights and Systemic Litigation at Equip for Equality, where has worked since 1996. At Equip for Equality, he has overseen many individual and systemic disability discrimination cases including successful federal ADA suits against the National Board of Medical Examiners, the Chicago Police Department, and the Chicago Transit Authority. He is currently co-counsel in five ADA class actions, including lead counsel in Ligas v. Norwood, a class action on behalf of people with developmental disabilities who are seeking community services. Barry has given numerous presentations on the ADA across the country to people with disabilities, family members, attorneys, employers, businesses, service providers and advocacy organizations.
Barry has served as the Chairperson of the Disability Rights Consortium, Chairperson of the Regional Transit Authority’s ADA Advisory Committee; Chairperson of Season of Concern, Chairperson of the Legal Committee for the National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems, Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Legal Aid Committee, Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Association’s Mental Health and Disability Law Committee, and Co-Chairperson of the Chicago Bar Foundation’s Pro Bono Week. He has been an Adjunct Professor at John Marshall Law School, and in 2001, Chicago Lawyer Magazine named him one of “40 Illinois Attorneys Under 40 to Watch.” He has served on Senator Dick Durbin’s Federal Judicial Screening Committee and currently serves on the Governor’s Task Force on the Employment and Economic Opportunity for Persons with Disabilities.
Prior to coming to Equip for Equality, Barry was the AIDS Project Attorney in the Midwest Regional Office of Lambda Legal working to advance the civil rights of people living with HIV/AIDS. His caseload included a successful challenge to discriminatory inquiries by the Chicago Public Schools on teacher applications.
From 1988 – 1993, Barry was a litigation associate at the Chicago law firm of Peterson & Ross. He is a 1988 graduate of the University of Illinois College of Law, where he also received his undergraduate degree in 1985.
New Frontiers: Technology, the Internet and the ADA
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Hon. Sara L. Ellis District Judge Northern District of Illinois
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Dan Goldstein Partner Brown, Goldstein & Levy
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Condon McGlothlen Partner Seyfarth Shaw
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Hillary Coustan Partner, Agrawal Evans, LLP; Adjunct Professor, Loyola University Chicago School of Law and Northwestern University School of Law
[toggle title=”Hon. Sara L. Ellis bio”] The Honorable Sara L. Ellis is a United States District Court Judge for the Northern District of Illinois. She was appointed to the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois by President Barack Obama in October 2013. Judge Ellis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1991 from Indiana University and a law degree in 1994 from Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She worked as a staff attorney at the Federal Defender Program in Chicago from 1994 to 1999. From 2000 to 2004 and 2008 through 2013, she worked in private practice in civil litigation and white collar criminal defense. From 2004 to 2008, she served as Assistant Corporation Counsel for the City of Chicago Department of Law, handling claims for injunctive relief and civil rights lawsuits. She is an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago School of Law, where she teaches federal criminal practice.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Dan Goldstein bio”] Dan Goldstein, a partner in the Baltimore, Maryland law firm of Brown, Goldstein & Levy, LLP, has been practicing disability rights law, principally on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind, since 1986. In 1999, at the direction of his client, he began to focus on accessible technology, filing suit against and then settling with America Online to make its services accessible. Since that time, he has reached agreements with a variety of entities, including, among others, Amazon, eBay, (with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as a co-plaintiff), H&R Block (with the United States as a co-plaintiff), Target and Scribd (the last two resulting in written opinions). Other technology cases include Apple’s iTunes U, ATMs, voting machines, accessible online absentee ballot marking tools, establishing conversion of copyrighted print books to accessible digital formats as a fair use and the use of assistive technology in taking the bar exam.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Condon McGlothlen bio”] Mr. McGlothlen is a partner representing employers in equal employment opportunity and other employment law matters. He has extensive experience representing companies in complex employment matters, including class actions and pattern and practice cases, as well as developing and implementing advanced hiring, promotion, compensation, and separation systems. He has been recognized in Legal 500 as one of the six “Leading Lawyers” in the United States in the area of Workplace and Employment Law Counseling.
One area of Mr. McGlothlen’s subject matter concentration is the Americans With Disabilities Act. In 1989, he joined a handful of other attorneys to form the Firm’s then “ADA Task Force” (even before Congress enacted the law). Shortly thereafter, that group submitted proposed regulations to EEOC, some of which were accepted; others that were rejected went on to become the law of the land under landmark U.S. Supreme Court cases like Sutton v. United Airlines (1999), Toyota Motor Mfg. v. Williams (2002), and U.S. Airways v. Barnett (2002). When Congress decided to amend the ADA by reversing some of those decisions, Mr. McGlothlen worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to help ensure that the ADA Amendments Act remained largely true to the original ADA. And, when EEOC proposed regulations to interpret the amended ADA in 2009, Mr. McGlothlen again worked with the U.S. Chamber, together with Society for Human Resource Management, to see that management’s viewpoint was considered (and in some instances incorporated) in the final ADAAA regulations. Throughout this time and since, Mr. McGlothlen has advised hundreds of employers on ADA compliance, has successfully tried ADA cases and argued several before the U.S. Courts of Appeal. He has also taught and published widely on disability law subjects.
[/toggle] [toggle title=”Hillary Coustan bio”] Hillary Coustan is a partner at Agrawal Evans LLP, where she practices complex commercial litigation. In addition to her business litigation experience, Hillary has successfully represented clients in disputes involving the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, and spent three years as the assistant director of the Child Law and Education Institute at Loyola University Chicago School of Law. She also teaches disability law at Northwestern University School of Law and Loyola University Chicago School of Law. Hillary is a graduate of Stanford Law School, where she was a public interest fellow and a teaching assistant in the Youth and Special Education Clinic.


Friday, June 17, 2016
1:30 pm - 4:30 pm
Event Category:


Dirksen Federal Courthouse Ceremonial Courtroom, Room 2525
219 South Dearborn Street
Chicago, IL 60604 US
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Illinois CLE Credit
Photo ID is required to enter the building
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