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Bar Association of San Francisco Member Benefits: Publications

LRIS Helping Attorneys Help Small Business Clients Become ADA Compliant


By Carole Conn and Julie Traun, Lawyer Referral and Information Service


Extensive press coverage reports that lawsuits against San Francisco’s small businesses for alleged violations of the American’s with Disabilities Act are on the rise. These lawsuits have sharply increased since November and have forced some businesses to close – yet greater awareness and education about the ADA and compliance solutions could have kept these businesses open.

ADA experts, the City and BASF’s Lawyer Referral and Information Service are partnering to offer the necessary education and legal help businesses need.

While compliance with the ADA is the law, it’s also smart for business.

Part of assisting businesses with securing the necessary legal information includes a CLE training for attorneys on ADA compliance scheduled for May 16. LRIS has assembled the leading experts in the field of ADA law, including ADA litigation expert Larry Paradis of Disability Rights Advocates (DRA), the Mayor’s Office on Disability, San Francisco Office of Small Business and certified accessibility and building code specialists.

Attorneys who participate in this training will be eligible to join LRIS to receive referrals for the small businesses already contacting our program for legal assistance.

The related objective is to help take this information directly to the merchant community. Earlier this year Supervisor Carmen Chu’s office asked LRIS to assist with this effort. LRIS is now part of a consortium of city agencies and disability rights advocates organizing workshops within specific city districts to better reach the merchant community most affected. The workshops include information about ADA compliance, city resources available, legal resources through LRIS and simplified solutions. Stay tuned for dates of workshops.

In the meantime, please join this effort by registering for the training on “ADA Compliance for Small Businesses” to be held at BASF on May 16. Consider this training as a way to better inform your business clients (and perhaps your law firm, for you too may be out of ADA compliance!) about ADA law and compliance solutions. This presents an excellent opportunity to join LRIS; trained attorneys are needed to respond to this growing concern in the business community.

LRIS receives 50,000 calls annually from the public in need of legal representation. BASF’s LRIS is a State Bar Certified Referral Program, a model referral service, well known nationally for its outstanding legal assistance to the public. To join the LRIS, contact Yvonne Ng, the LRIS Membership Coordinator at 415-782-9000 x 8750 or

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