Subj: ALERT! 2ND CIRCUIT ISSUES NEW DECISION IN BARTLETT CASE (August 31, 2000)
Date: 8/31/00 1:58:53 PM Pacific Daylight Time
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ALERT! 2ND CIRCUIT ISSUES NEW DECISION IN BARTLETT CASE (August 31, 2000)

Marilyn Bartlett has dyslexia. She also has a law degree and a doctorate in education.

Marilyn Bartlett asserted that the failure to provide reasonable accommodations prevented her from passing the bar exam. She sued the New York State Board of Bar Examiners, seeking reasonable accommodations for the bar exam.

On July 14, 1997 the U. S. District Court ruled in her favor. “As a remedy for the violations found, the court ordered injunctive relief in the form of reasonable testing accommodations including double time in taking the examination, the use of a computer, permission to circle multiple choice answers in the examination booklet, and large print on both the New York State and Multistate Bar Exam.” The court also awarded compensatory damages in the amount of $12,500 for fees paid in connection with the five bar examinations that Dr. Bartlett failed. Id. at 1152.”

The case was appealed to the U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. On September 14, 1998, that Court held “For reasons other than those articulated by the district court, we affirm the judgment that Dr. Bartlett is disabled within the meaning of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the Rehabilitation Act and thus was and is entitled to reasonable accommodations in taking the New York Bar Examination.”

The 1998 decision by the Second Circuit is on the Wrightslaw site at-

http://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/case_Bartlett_Bar_2d_9809.htm

The Board of Law Examiners appealed to the U. S. Supreme Court. During this time, the Supreme Court issued their decision in “Sutton” that affected Bartlett. The Court vacated Bartlett and remanded the case back to the Second Circuit for reconsideration in light of “Sutton.”

On August 30, 2000, the Second Circuit reconsidered their September 14, 1998 opinion and remanded the case back to the U. S. District Court that entered the original decision on July 14, 1997.

In their opinion issued yesterday (August 30, 2000), the Second Circuit wrote:

“We vacate and remand as to (1) whether Bartlett has a disability under the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act, and (2) if so, the proper measure of compensatory damages. We leave it to the district court on remand to decide whether to allow the parties to submit further evidence or whether to resolve these questions on the existing record.”

This new decision is lengthy, comprehensive and includes an extensive discussion of dyslexia, Woodcock-Johnson subtests, test accommodations, phonics, “self-accommodations,” the legal definition of a disability, and whether dyslexia substantially limits a major life activity.

We have not posted this latest decision by the Second Circuit is not posted on the Wrightslaw site. However, you can download the full text opinion from the findlaw.com website at:

http://www.findlaw.com/casecode/courts/2nd.html 

Your can also get the decision from versuslaw, an excellent, fee-based site:

http://www.versuslaw.com

To read an article about the Bartlett case on the law.com site, go to-

http://www.law.com

The law.com article about Bartlett is one of several stories featured in the August 31, 2000 law.com newsletter and will probably move from their front page in a day or two.

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