Case: United States v. Law School Admissions Council

2:99-cv-06209 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Dec. 6, 1999

Closed Date: 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 6, 1999, the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the company that administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12189 and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 36.309. The plaintiff alleged that LSAC demanded excessive …

On December 6, 1999, the Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Law School Admissions Council (LSAC), the company that administers the Law School Admission Test (LSAT), under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. § 12189 and its implementing regulation, 28 C.F.R. § 36.309. The plaintiff alleged that LSAC demanded excessive documentation from individuals who were visually impaired and had other physical disabilities who requested accommodations on the LSAT in violation of the ADA and its implementing regulations.

On August 7, 2001, the District Court (Judge John P. Podova) rejected a motion by a third-party plaintiff with a disability to intervene in the lawsuit. The Court rejected the motion because it held that plaintiff's motion was untimely; would introduce issues unrelated to the current litigation as the third-plaintiff alleged causes of action under privacy law, the Civil Rights Act and the Rehabilitation Act, named a new defendant (a law school that had denied the third-party plaintiff admissions), and involved a mental disability when this case has been limited to physical disabilities; and the United States, as the government entity vested with the power to enforce Title III would adequately represent the third party plaintiff's interests. United States v. Law School Admission Council 2001 WL 1175141 (E.D. Pa. 2001). The ruling was affirmed on August 27, 2002 with no written opinion by the Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. United States v. Law School Admission Council 48 Fed. Appx. 41 (3d Cir. 2002).

On February 22, 2002, the United States and LSAC entered into a five-year settlement agreement. The settlement, which was limited to individual candidates for accommodations that had physical disabilities, required:

  • LSAC was to its document request requirements for individuals with physical disabilities to documents necessary to determine if the individual had a disability, how that disability effected the individuals ability to take the LSAT, and assess the individual's need for accommodations.
  • LSAC would be required to conduct an individualized assessment on individuals' requests for accommodations.
  • LSAC would be required to grant accommodations to all individuals who submit accurate documentation of a disability and that they have received similar accommodations on similar admissions tests.
  • LSAC was required to provide the accommodation of extra breaks to candidates who qualified for that accommodation
  • LSAC was required to notify an applicant for accommodations when his or her application would not support the accommodations he or she was requesting and ask for supplemental documentation that would allow LSAC to grant the application.
  • LSAC was generally banned from requiring tests that were not generally used by the medical community.
  • LSAC was required to provide a clear, written explanation for its decision to deny accommodations and inform a candidate for accommodations of their right to appeal the determination.
  • LSAC was required to submit an application to an expert when it lacked the expertise to determine whether an individual qualified for the requested accommodations.
  • LSAC agreed to adopt forms negotiated and approved by both parties (though the United States refused to endorse the forms request for percentile rankings).
  • LSAC agreed to pay the United States Department of Justice $20,000.
  • LSAC agreed to provide reports of requests for accommodations for the term of the settlement agreement.
  • LSAC agreed to allow the United States to monitor its compliance with the settlement agreement.

The term of the settlement agreement expired in 2007 and thus the case is closed.

Summary Authors

Brian Kempfer (6/8/2014)

People


Judge(s)

Padova, John R. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Delaney, Sheila K. (District of Columbia)

Einstein, Laura F. (District of Columbia)

Griffin, Nancy L. (Pennsylvania)

Gugin, Patricia D (Washington)

Maisels, Amanda (District of Columbia)

Nichol, Allison (District of Columbia)

Stiles, Michael R. (Pennsylvania)

Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burgoyne, Robert Anthony (District of Columbia)

Judge(s)

Padova, John R. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Delaney, Sheila K. (District of Columbia)

Einstein, Laura F. (District of Columbia)

Griffin, Nancy L. (Pennsylvania)

Gugin, Patricia D (Washington)

Maisels, Amanda (District of Columbia)

Nichol, Allison (District of Columbia)

Stiles, Michael R. (Pennsylvania)

Wodatch, John L. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Burgoyne, Robert Anthony (District of Columbia)

Van Tol, Joan E. (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

U.S. v. Law School Admission Council, Inc.

Feb. 6, 2003 Docket
29

Order-Memorandum [Ruling on Request of Thomas Scherer as 3rd Party to Intervene]

U.S. v. Law School Admission Council, Inc.

2001 WL 1175141

Aug. 7, 2001 Order/Opinion
41

Settlement Agreement

U.S. v. Law School Admission Council, Inc.

Feb. 26, 2002 Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

Complaint. (aam) (Entered: 12/07/1999)

Dec. 6, 1999

Summons(es) issued; 1 original mailed to: Counsel 12/7/99 (aam) (Entered: 12/07/1999)

Dec. 6, 1999

Demand for jury trial by PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF (aam) (Entered: 12/07/1999)

Dec. 6, 1999

Standard Case Management Track. (aam) (Entered: 12/07/1999)

Dec. 6, 1999
2

Waiver of Service Returned Executed as to DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL 12/13/99 Answer due on 2/11/00 for LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL. (md) (Entered: 12/28/1999)

Dec. 28, 1999
3

Amended complaint by PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF , amending complaint, Certificate of Service. (jl) (Entered: 02/01/2000)

Feb. 1, 2000
4

Answer to Complaint by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL (Attorney ROBERT A. BURGOYNE), Certificate of Service. (md) (Entered: 02/17/2000)

Feb. 17, 2000

ISSUE JOINED. (md) (Entered: 02/17/2000)

Feb. 17, 2000

Letter to ROBERT A. BURGOYNE re: L.R. 83.5. (md) (Entered: 03/01/2000)

March 1, 2000
5

Appearance of NANCY GRIFFIN for PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Certificate of Service. (Withdrawal of PATRICIA D. GUGIN) (md) (Entered: 03/10/2000)

March 9, 2000
6

ORDER THAT A PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON 4/13/00 AT 10:30 . ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 3/28/00 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED BY CHAMBERS. (md) (Entered: 03/28/2000)

March 27, 2000
8

ORDER THAT THE CLERK OF COURT SHALL PLACE THIS CASE IN THE SPECIAL MANAGEMENT TRACK, PURSUANT TO AGREEMENT OF THE PARTIES AT THE PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL CONFERENCE. ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 4/19/00 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (md) (Entered: 04/19/2000)

April 18, 2000

Special Case Management Track. (md) (Entered: 04/19/2000)

April 18, 2000
9

ORDER THAT ALL DISCOVERY SHALL BE COMPLETED BY 1/19/01 ; DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS DUE BY 4/20/01 ; PLAINTIFF'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE 4/27/01 ; DEFENDANT'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE 5/25/01 . A FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD IN MAY, 2001. THIS CASE WILL BE LISTED FOR TRIAL IN JUNE, 2001. ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 5/9/00 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (md) (Entered: 05/09/2000)

May 9, 2000
10

JOINT MOTION by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL, PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF TO AMEND RULE 16 PRETRIAL ORDER , CERTIFICATE OF COUNSEL, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. (np) (Entered: 01/03/2001)

Jan. 2, 2001
11

ORDER THAT ALL DISCOVERY SHALL BE COMPLETED BY 4/19/01. DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS SHALL BE FILED BY 7/20/01. A FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD ON 8/23/01 AT 9:15AM. PLAINTIFF'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE 7/27/01. DEFENDANT'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE 8/27/01. TRIAL POOL DEADLINE SET FOR 9/1/01. ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 1/8/01 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (gn) (Entered: 01/08/2001)

Jan. 8, 2001
12

JOINT MOTION by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL, PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF TO AMEND RULE 16 PRETRIAL ORDER , CERTIFICATE OF COUNSEL, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. (jl) (Entered: 04/06/2001)

April 6, 2001
13

Minute entry: 4/11/01 − Hearing (ph) (Entered: 04/12/2001)

April 11, 2001
14

SECOND AMENDED RULE 16 PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER THAT DISCOVERY WILL BE SERVED 8/31/01, AND COMPLETED COMPLETED BY 9/28/01, INCLUDING THE PRODUCTION OF DOCUMENTS. DEPOSITIONS WILL BE COMPLETED BY 10/31/01; PROVIDED HOWEVER, THE PARTIES SHALL HAVE UNTIL 3/18/02, TO COMPLETE THE DEPOSITIONS OF EXPERT WITNESSES. THE PARTIES SHALL RESPOND TO PENDING DISCOVERY REQUESTS BY 6/12/02. DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS SHALL BE FILED NO LATER THAN 4/15/02, AND ANY OPPOSITION SHALL BE FILED NO LATER THAN 5/15/02. PLAITNIFF'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE ON OR BEFORE 6/14/02; DEFENDANT'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE ON OR BEFORE 7/12/02; A FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE FOR THIS MATTER WILL BE HELD ON 8/1/02 AT 9:30 A.M. THIS CASE WILL BE LISTED IN THE TRIAL POOL 8/1/02. (SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA) 4/13/01 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED. (fh) (Entered: 04/13/2001)

April 13, 2001
15

Statement by PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Settlement Issues, certificate of service. (jl) (Entered: 05/03/2001)

May 3, 2001
16

Appearance of Sheila Delaney for PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA , Certificate of Service. (jpd) (Entered: 05/17/2001)

May 17, 2001
17

Reply to Defendant's Letter dated May 8, 2001 ,Certificate of Service (jpd) (Entered: 05/17/2001)

May 17, 2001
18

Appearance of AMANDA MAISELS for PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES , Certificate of Service. (jpd) (Entered: 05/18/2001)

May 18, 2001
20

Response by PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF in opposition to motion to consolidate , Certificate of Service. (jpd) (Entered: 06/18/2001)

June 18, 2001
21

Response by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL in opposition to Motion for Consolidation , Certificate of Service. (jpd) (Entered: 06/18/2001)

June 18, 2001
22

JOINT MOTION by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL, PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER , CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. (jpd) (Entered: 06/18/2001)

June 18, 2001
23

ORDER THAT THE JOINT MOTION FOR ENTRY OF PROTECTIVE ORDER AND THE STIPULATED PROTECTIVE ORDER IS DENIED. ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 06/20/01 ENTERED AND MAILED AND FAXED. (mbh) (Entered: 06/20/2001)

June 19, 2001
24

REQUEST TO INTERVENE BY MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER , CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. (fb) (Entered: 07/16/2001)

July 16, 2001
25

Supplemental filing of DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL regarding the Dorfsman plffs' motion to consolidate, Certificate of Service. (kw) (Entered: 07/16/2001)

July 16, 2001
26

Response by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL in opposition to Scherer's Third Party request to INTERVENE , Certificate of Service. (afm) (Entered: 07/30/2001)

July 30, 2001
27

Response by PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF in opposition to Third Party request to INTERVENE, Certificate of Service. (afm) (Entered: 07/30/2001)

July 30, 2001
28

Response by PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF in opposition to 3rd Party REQUEST TO INTERVENE , Certificate of Service. (afm) (Entered: 07/31/2001)

July 31, 2001
29

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE THIRD−PARTY REQUEST TO INTERVENE OF THOMAS E. SCHERER IS DENIED. (SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA), 8/7/01 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (rp) (Entered: 08/07/2001)

Aug. 7, 2001
30

Notice of appeal by MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER. Fee Status: not paid. Copies to: JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA , Clerk USCA, Appeals Clerk, and LAURA F. EINSTEIN, AMANDA MAISELS, SHEILA K. DELANEY, PATRICIA D. GUGIN, MICHAEL R. STILES, NANCY GRIFFIN, ROBERT A. BURGOYNE, Certificate of Service. (fdc) (Entered: 08/13/2001)

Aug. 13, 2001
31

Copy of Clerk's notice to USCA re: [30−1] appeal . (fdc) (Entered: 08/13/2001)

Aug. 13, 2001
32

Suggestion of THOMAS E. SCHERER to the DEFENDANT LSAC'S and DOJ Attorney's Response in Opposition to Scherr's 3rd Party Request to Intervene, Certificate of Service. (fdc) (Entered: 08/13/2001)

Aug. 13, 2001

CERTIFIED AND TRANSMITTED RECORD ON APPEAL TO U.S. COURT OF APPEALS.(Pleadings # 20, 21, 25, 29, not included). (ke) (Entered: 08/16/2001)

Aug. 16, 2001

Notice of Docketing ROA from USCA Re: [30−1] appeal USCA NUMBER: 01−3203 . 08/16/01 (afm) (Entered: 08/17/2001)

Aug. 17, 2001
33

MOTION by MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS , CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. (afm) (Entered: 08/23/2001)

Aug. 23, 2001
34

Copy of TPO form ref: [30−1] appeal . (afm) (Entered: 08/23/2001)

Aug. 23, 2001

RECORD COMPLETE FOR PURPOSES OF APPEAL. (ke) (Entered: 08/23/2001)

Aug. 23, 2001
35

ORDER THAT THOMAS E. SCHERER'S MOTION TO PROCEED IN FORMA PAUPERIS IS GRANTED ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 8/30/01 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (jl) (Entered: 08/30/2001)

Aug. 29, 2001
36

JOINT MOTION by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL, PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA TO AMEND SECOND AMENDED RULE 16 PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER , CERTIFICATE OF COUNSEL, CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE. (afm) (Entered: 11/14/2001)

Nov. 14, 2001
37

Notice of Memorandum and Order by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL, Certificate of Service. (afm) (Entered: 12/07/2001)

Dec. 7, 2001
38

ORDER THAT PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO CONSOLIDATE IS DENIED AS MOOT. ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 12/12/01 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (afm) (Entered: 12/12/2001)

Dec. 12, 2001
39

THIRD AMENDED RULE 16 PRETRIAL SCHEDULING ORDER THAT DISCOVERY WILL BE SERVED BY 8/31/01 AND COMPLETED BY 11/30/01, DEPOSITIONS WILL BE COMPLETED BY 2/15/02, PROVIDED, HOWEVER THE PARTIES SHALL HAVE UNTIL 6/14/02 TO COMPLETE DEPOSITIONS OF EXPERT WITNESSESS; DISPOSITIVE MOTIONS SHALL BE FILED NO LATER THAN 7/30/02 ; PLAINTIFF'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE 10/15/02 ; DEFENDANT'S PRETRIAL MEMORANDUM DUE 11/15/02 ; A FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE WILL BE HELD AT 9:30 ON 11/25/02 ; THE CASE WILL BE LISTED IN TRIAL POOL AS OF 12/1/02 ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 12/12/01 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND FAXED. (afm) Modified on 12/13/2001 (Entered: 12/12/2001)

Dec. 12, 2001
40

JOINT MOTION by DEFENDANT LAW SCHOOL COUNCIL, PLAINTIFF THE UNITED STATES OF, MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER TO DISMISS THE ACTION . (jl) (Entered: 02/27/2002)

Feb. 26, 2002
41

ORDER THAT THIS ACTION AND ALL CLAIMS ASSERTED IN IT ARE DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE PURSUANT TO FRCP 41(a)(2). EACH PARTY TO BEAR ITS OWN COSTS, INCLUDING ATTORNEYS' FEES. THIS ORDER SPECIFICALLY INCORPORATES THE PARTIES' SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT, WHICH IS ATTACHED HERETO. NOTWITHSTANDING THIS ORDER OF DISMISSAL, THIS COURT SHALL REATIN JURISDICTION OF THIS ACTION FOR PURPOSES OF ENFORCING THE AGREEMENT OR RESOLVING ANY DISPUTES UNDER THE AGREEMENT FOR A PERIOD OF FIVE (5) YEARS FROM THE DATE OF THE AGREEMENT, UNLESS THE UNITED STATES MAKES AN APPROPRIATE MOTION FOR THE COURT TO RETAIN JURISDICTION BEYOND THE FIVE−YEAR PERIOD, AND THE COURT, IN ITS SOLE DISCRETION, GRANTS THE MOTION. EITHER PARTY MAY SEEK TO ENFORCE THE AGREEMENT AND MOVE FOR APPROPRIATE RELIEF BY FILING A MOTION WITH THIS COURT, AND THEREBY REOPENING THE DOCKET IN THIS ACTION. THIS ORDER CONSTITUTES THE COURT'S FINAL JUDGMENT IN THIS ACTION. ( SIGNED BY JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA ) 2/27/02 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED. (fdc) (Entered: 02/27/2002)

Feb. 26, 2002

Case closed (kv) (Entered: 02/28/2002)

Feb. 26, 2002
42

Suggestion in Opposition to the Proposed Settlement Agreement between the DOJ and LSAC by MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER, Certificate of Service. (fdc) (Entered: 02/28/2002)

Feb. 28, 2002
43

Request by MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER to AWARD SANCTIONS, Certificate of Service. (afm) (Entered: 03/07/2002)

March 7, 2002
44

Notice of appeal by MOVANT THOMAS E. SCHERER . Fee Status: IFP GRANTED . Copies to: JUDGE JOHN R. PADOVA , Clerk USCA, Appeals Clerk, and THOMAS E. SCHERER, LAURA F. EINSTEIN, AMANDA MAISELS, SHEILA K. DELANEY, MICHAEL R. STILES, NANCY GRIFFIN, ROBERT A. BURGOYNE, certificate of service. (jl) (Entered: 03/11/2002)

March 11, 2002
45

Copy of Clerk's notice to USCA re: [44−1] appeal . (jl) (Entered: 03/11/2002)

March 11, 2002

Second Transmitted supplemental record on appeal.(Pleadings # 37−42, 44−46, included). (ke) (Entered: 03/20/2002)

March 20, 2002

Notice of Docketing ROA from USCA Re: [44−1] appeal USCA NUMBER: 02−1694 . 3/22/02 (afm) (Entered: 03/22/2002)

March 22, 2002
47

Certified copy of order from USCA THAT THE APPEAL IS DISMISSED dated: 8/27/02 TERMINATING [44−1] appeal (afm) (Entered: 02/06/2003)

Feb. 6, 2003

Record on appeal returned from U.S. Court of Appeals: (afm) (Entered: 02/06/2003)

Feb. 6, 2003

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Disability Rights/Public Accommodations

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 6, 1999

Closing Date: 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Disability Rights Section of the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of several individual physically disabled applicants to law school

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Law School Admission Council, Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: $20,000

Order Duration: 2002 - 2007

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Monitoring

Reasonable Accommodation

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Retaliation Prohibition

Issues

General:

Access to public accommodations - privately owned

Education

Pattern or Practice

Reasonable Accommodations

Reasonable Modifications

Testing

Test or device

Discrimination-area:

Testing

Disability:

disability, unspecified

Hearing impairment

Mobility impairment

Visual impairment

Type of Facility:

Non-government non-profit