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Disabled opposition.

Employment and Discrimination Law

Disabled opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:51 am

If one faces in court, a disabled opponent, is one obliged to make reasonable adjustments to allow for that disability?
Or does the court make the appropriate adjustments?
Or is it the case that a solicitor so disabled would be removed by the regulator?
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby atticus » Wed Aug 09, 2017 7:06 am

Yes; yes; no.

We all have to make allowances. Everything possible is being done to increase diversity in both branches of the legal profession and in the judiciary. I suggest that you look at SRA and JAC websites.

Also, we are quite properly subject to rules that require us to conduct ourselves with respect and dignity in our dealings with all others - clients, opponents, courts, others.

Finally, about 30 years ago I met an elderly gentleman who had been blinded in the second world war. He was a solicitor, a much respected and successful magistrates court advocate. I did not see him in court.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby Smouldering Stoat » Wed Aug 09, 2017 8:30 am

Sir John Fielding served as a Magistrate at Bow Street and (with his brother, the novelist Henry Fielding) founded the Bow St Runners, as well as being a pioneer in what we would now call the rehabilitation of young offenders. His blindness did not prevent him from doing any of these things.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:17 am

Thank you for the responses. However, I was thinking more about something more akin to dementia rather than blindness.
The nature of the illness appears to be such that a chap may retain an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, but forget (for example) to put on his trousers.
Clearly such a man could be a great asset to a law firm, but would, I suggest, be unfit to practice law by himself, yet I do not see any proper mechanism by which he could be prevented from so doing.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby atticus » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:28 am

I, too, gave an example.

Why do you wish to stop this person practising his profession? It seems to me that suitable arrangements can be made, that is to say the "reasonable adjustments" that you have previously mentioned.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:44 am

The problem is that if the reasonable adjustments are not made by the other side in a dispute, then the disabled solicitor's clients could easily be shafted.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby atticus » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:47 am

How?
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:57 am

The mental impairment may lead him to send a letter that is half baked, and allow the opposition to derive meaning that was not intended.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby Hairyloon » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:59 am

Hairyloon wrote:I was thinking more about something more akin to dementia rather than blindness.

Please note the highlighted words. I am not qualified to diagnose mental illness and even if I were, I have not examined the patient.
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Re: Disabled opposition.

Postby atticus » Thu Aug 10, 2017 12:15 pm

Is this remotely real?
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