Information as to Attorney Paul L. Rein, State Bar No. 43053 (1969)
Paul Rein has been litigating access cases on behalf of physically disabled persons for the past 45 years of his 51 years as an attorney (to our knowledge, longer than any other attorney in the United States). He prepared for the turmoil of litigation by winning the Intercollegiate Middleweight Boxing Championship in 1965 at the University of California and has been working to assist the Cal Boxing Team ever since.
Paul believes in economic justice for working and poor people. He supports his partner Aaron Clefton’s efforts to provide debt relief and bankruptcy services to the community in the Bay Area. Paul does not handle bankruptcy cases himself.
Paul Rein has authored the leading text on disability access law and litigation, Full and Equal Access: Disabled Rights Litigation in California (Word Association Publishers, 2013), a 475 page book outlining California and Ninth Circuit disability access law, available through Amazon.com. This book was edited by Aaron Clefton.
Education and Experience of Paul Rein: Phi Beta Kappa undergraduate degree, University of California, Berkeley, 1965; J.D. Boalt Hall, University of California, Berkeley, 1968. Represented Boalt Hall in 1968 California State Moot Court Championships, team winning the Oral Advocacy portion of the competition. Admitted to California Bar and all Federal Courts, January 9, 1969. Trial counsel and appellate co-counsel in the three leading California appellate cases upholding use of private lawsuits for public interest injunctive relief to remove architectural barriers and recover damages for physically disabled persons: James Donald v. Sacramento Valley Bank (1989) 209 Cal.App.3d 1183 (3rd District Court of Appeal), James Donald v. Cafe Royale (1990) 218 Cal.App.3d 168, 266 Cal.Rptr. 804 (1st DCA), and Mark Hankins v. El Torito Restaurants, Inc., et al. (1998) 63 Cal.App.4th 510 (1st DCA).
In Mark Hankins v. El Torito Restaurants, we recovered substantial damages and attorney fees for discrimination against a disabled person who was denied use of both public and “employees” restrooms, and set important California legal precedent when the published appellate opinion affirmed the trial court judgement. (63 Cal.App.4th 510)
Important precedents were also set by our cases in two published opinions by Northern District Chief Judge Thelton Henderson in Bernard Walker and Christina Adams v. Carnival Cruise Lines, et al., (1999) 63 F.Supp.2d 1083 and (2000) 107 F.Supp.2d 1135, extending ADA coverage to the services of travel agents booking accommodations for disabled persons who request “accessible facilities” and holding that ADA Title III protected persons physically unable to travel to Miami from being required to bring their ADA actions in Florida, despite the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Shute v. Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. (1991) 499 U.S. 585. Settlement (in conjunction with a Florida class action handled by Matthew Dietz, Esq., of Miami) resulted in making accessible all 15 Carnival Cruise Lines ships operated in American waters, and involving the largest cruise line in the world.
In the second Carnival Cruise Lines opinion ((2000) 107 F.Supp.2d 1135, at 1143), the Court encouraged private lawsuits to enforce the ADA and obtain “private attorney general” attorney’s fees:
There can be no question that the Americans With Disabilities Act, passed in 1990, established as law the nation’s interest in eradicating the bigotry and barriers faced by individuals with disabilities…The ADA creates the possibility that successful plaintiffs may establish permanent changes in the design and physical configuration of structures to better accommodate the disabled. 42 U.S.C. 12101(a)(5). The benefits of such changes clearly redound not only to the plaintiffs themselves, but to similarly situated disabled persons, and the entire society at large. As a result, plaintiffs or plaintiff classes who bring suit pursuant to the ADA do so in the role of “private attorneys general” who seek to vindicate “a policy of the highest priority.”
For example, successful ADA plaintiffs confer a tremendous benefit upon our society at large, in addition to the attainment of redress for their personal individual injuries…[T]he enforcement of civil rights statutes by plaintiffs as private attorneys general is an important part of the underlying policy behind the law. Such a policy ensures an incentive for “impecunious” plaintiffs who can ill afford to litigate their claims against defendants with more resources…”
Paul Rein has published numerous “disabled access” articles encouraging other lawyers to handle public interest disability rights cases, including the pioneer article “Wheelchair Access Litigation,” more than 38 years ago in the CTLA Forum Magazine (June 1982, Vol. XII, No. 5); “Public Interest Law and Attorneys’ Fees,” CTLA Forum Magazine (May 1989); “Enforcing Disabled Access Through Private Lawsuits” (Fall 1996, The Verdict); “Enforcing Disabled Access Through Private Lawsuits: Public Interest Work and Attorney’s Fees” (December 1996) CAOC Forum Magazine, as well as preparing syllabus materials for multiple CAOC seminars. He has lectured to multiple attorney groups and law school seminars, including Boalt Hall, ACCTLA, DREDF, Consumer Attorneys of California (CAOC) and “ATLA” (formerly Association of Trial Lawyers of America, now “AAJ,” American Association for Justice). His work was recognized in the January 1998 California Lawyer magazine article “Fighting for Equal Access,” republished in the Spring 1998 Verdict magazine of the ACCTLA.