Practicing Law While Living Openly with a Disability

Level: Intermediate
Runtime: 90 minutes
Recorded Date: March 25, 2020
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  • Impacts of Self-Disclosure of Disability(s)
  • Forms of Self-Disclosure
  • ADA's Reasonable Accommodations
  • ADA's Effective Communication Requirements
  • Mentorship and Networking
  • Competitive Edge
Runtime: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Recorded: March 25, 2020


Practicing law while living openly with the disability involves a myriad of considerations. Those considerations include self-disclosure, seeking and getting reasonable accommodations, and deciding how or whether you want to use your disability as part of your brand.

In this seminar, a disability diverse group of panel members will explore all of these issues among others time permitting.

This program was recorded on March 25th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Michael D. Hatcher

Sidley Austin, LLP

Michael D. Hatcher leads the IP Litigation group in the firm’s Dallas office. Mr. Hatcher’s practice focuses on patent litigation at the trial (district court, ITC and Patent Office) and appellate levels, with an emphasis on electronics and telecommunications cases, as well as drug and biologic patents cases, including pursuant to the Hatch-Waxman Act. Mr. Hatcher also litigates trade secret, trademark and Internet domain name disputes, and counsels clients on intellectual property issues. Mr. Hatcher has represented companies in patent and intellectual property matters spanning a variety of technologies, including semiconductors, power converters, telecommunications (including cellular and WiFi aspects), contact lenses, pharmaceuticals, biologics, food products, oil field equipment and diapers.

Mr. Hatcher has a B.S. in electrical engineering and physics. Before attending Georgetown Law School, Mr. Hatcher flew jets for the U.S. Air Force, and then worked for a defense contractor as a systems engineer designing military flight simulators. After graduation, he clerked for Chief Judge Edmondson on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Luke E. Debevec

Reed Smith, LLP

Luke joined Reed Smith in January 2008 and is a member of the firm's Insurance Recovery Group. Luke handles insurance and captive reinsurance coverage cases and arbitrations from inception through resolution across the country and internationally.

Luke has won significant insurance matters through litigation and arbitration and on appeal, but frequently resolves his clients' problems without need for these mechanisms. Luke has argued before the Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court and various state and federal trial courts. In 2012, Luke played a lead role in presenting and cross-examining witnesses at a $100+ million international arbitration involving property damage and business interruption loss resulting from an export grain elevator explosion covered by property insurance and captive reinsurance. In 2016, Luke helped lead a team of attorneys through a London Arbitration involving coverage for the costs of a massive inland oil release and interpretation of a "Time Element" Pollution Endorsement. Luke has helped policyholders and their captives to recover hundreds of millions of dollars from their insurance and reinsurance companies.

Luke frequently counsels policyholders and captives concerning their insurance programs and policy wording, risk management for corporate transactions, claims analysis, and strategies for maximizing loss recoveries.

Luke is a co-founder and board member of LEADRS (Looking For Excellence and Advancement of Disabled individuals at Reed Smith), a business inclusion group supporting attorneys and employees with disabilities and mental and physical health conditions of all types.

Julie Coleman Kegley

Senior Staff Attorney
Georgia Advocacy Office

Julie Coleman Kegley is the Senior Staff Attorney at Georgia Advocacy Office.

Conrad Reynoldson

Founding Attorney
WACDA (Washington Civil and Disability Advocate)

Conrad Reynoldson is a founder and the lead attorney at the Washington Civil and Disability Advocate. Conrad attended college at Seattle Pacific University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a double major in History and Political Science in 2009, then went on to graduate from the University of Washington School of Law in 2014. Conrad is a Blackstone Legal Fellow and is admitted to practice in Washington State and Federally in the Western and Eastern Districts.

William D. Goren, Esq.

William D. Goren, JD, LL.M, LLC

William Goren is one of the country's foremost authorities on the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. For more than 20 years, he has been advising on ADA compliance as both an attorney and professor—of which during his time as a full-time academic at various institutions in Chicago, he won numerous teaching awards and achieved tenure.

With the goal of making the ADA/Rehabilitation Act and related laws understandable so that employers, governmental entities, businesses, and even individuals understand what it means to comply with the ADA/Rehabilitation Act and related laws, Mr. Goren provides consulting, counseling, representation, and training services to higher education institutions, public and private corporations, non-profit organizations, professional sports teams, government entities, and individuals. He also advises legal firms on a wide range of ADA matters. His approach favors prevention as a safeguard to costly litigation.

A licensed attorney in Georgia, Illinois and Texas, Mr. Goren also brings a deep, personal understanding of what it means to have a disability, equipping him with exceptional insight on how the ADA actually works. He is deaf with a congenital bilateral hearing loss of 65–90+ decibels, but functions entirely in the hearing world thanks to hearing aids and lip reading. For reasons unrelated to his deafness, he uses voice dictation technology to access the computer.

Mr. Goren is the author of Understanding the Americans with Disabilities Act, Fourth Edition (published by the American Bar Association, 2013). A prolific writer and renowned researcher, Mr. Goren has penned numerous other articles on the rights of persons with disabilities and publishes a blog — an ABA Top 100 Legal Blawg for 2014 — on current topics related to ADA compliance.

Mr. Goren is founder, founding member, and was the first president of the National Association of Attorneys with Disabilities (NAAD). Mr. Goren is a member of the American Bar Association's General Practice and Solo Technology Committee (Vice Chair) and its Labor and Employment/Civil Rights Committee. He is a member of the Technology Committee of the Business Law Section and the Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) Committee of the Labor and Employment Section of the American Bar Association; a member of the Atlanta Bar Association; and a member of the DeKalb County Bar Association. Previously, Mr. Goren has served on the Illinois Standing Committee on Disability Law, the Texas Bar Standing Committee on Disability Issues committee, and was a co-chair of the Civil Rights/Constitutional Law committee of the Chicago Bar Association.

Mr. Goren received his B.A. from Vassar College, his J.D. from the University of San Diego, and his LL.M. in Health Law from DePaul University.

Mark S. Goldstein

Reed Smith LLP

Mark is a partner in the New York office of Reed Smith and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Group.

Mark’s practice is focused on helping companies in New York and around the world manage their workplace needs. To that end, Mark counsels clients on a variety of day-to-day and also big-picture workplace issues. These issues include policy and handbook development; risk assessment and litigation avoidance; compliance with and overseeing anti-discrimination/harassment and other equal employment opportunity laws; wage and hour compliance; conducting internal investigations of sexual harassment and other allegations; hiring, discipline, discharge, reduction-in-force, and restructuring decisions; providing workplace training to managers and human resource professionals; enforcement of non-competes and other restrictive covenants; drafting employment, independent contractor, separation, confidentiality, and other workplace-related agreements; government audits and investigations; and a wide variety of other employment issues.

Mark also defends employers in a wide range of employment litigation matters. He has experience in both federal and state court, as well as before a multitude of government agencies, and has defended both single-plaintiff and class action claims involving discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wage and hour violations, leaves of absence, misappropriation of trade secrets, and other torts and contract disputes arising out of the employment relationship. Mark has also represented clients in litigation involving covenants not to compete. Mark works with clients at every step of the litigation process to determine which cases should be litigated, which should be resolved in an alternative forum, and which can and should be settled.

Mark also advises clients on all aspects of employment-related issues in corporate transactions. This includes conducting due diligence in connection with proposed asset and stock purchases; reviewing and editing purchase agreements; preparing employment, retention, and separation agreements in connection with business mergers/restructurings; advising clients as to how best to onboard employees of predecessor companies; and assisting in the implementation of separation/mass layoff programs resulting from corporate transactions.

Mark is passionate about mental health issues in the legal industry. He frequently speaks about mental health-related topics, including through webinars, bar association events, and other programs/events.

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