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New York Supreme Court appellate Judge Rosalyn Richter spoke on Stetson Law’s Gulfport campus Monday afternoon about the hurdles she faces as a person with a disability on the bench and the importance of reasonable accommodation to the courthouse and in the courtroom. Judge Richter made headlines this March after being appointed as New York’s first appellate judge who is both openly gay and has a disability.
Judge Richter was elected as a New York Supreme Court justice in November 2002, and has spent decades in the legal field. She was on campus providing the keynote at a luncheon for the TIPS Equal Access to Justice program at Stetson Law on May 18.
The judge reflected on the seemingly small challenges she faces every day on the job, like simply climbing the steps to talk with attorneys during sidebar. She stressed the importance of providing people with disabilities access to the courts and to every available career in law, including trial advocacy.
A national faculty of experts met on Stetson Law’s campus to make presentations to judges, attorneys and court administrators from across the nation. Topics included courtroom design; use of service animals; jury selection; and access for jurors, parties, attorneys and judges. Student leaders in Stetson Law’s chapter of the Lambda Legal Society also attended the luncheon with the judge.
Stetson Law is home to the barrier-free Eleazer Courtroom, designed specifically to give courtroom access to people with physical challenges and disabilities. The first elder-friendly courtroom in the nation, the Eleazer uses cutting-edge technology, including flat panel monitors to display evidence and hearing amplification devices to make speech more audible. The courtroom, including gallery, jury box, judge’s chambers and bench, is wheelchair accessible.
For more information about the TIPS program, please visit the ABA at www.abanet.org/tips.
Post date: May 22, 2009
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