BGL’s Andy Levy and Anthony May were recently featured in an article by The Maryland Daily Record entitled, “Denials of public-accommodations claims must be appealable, groups say,” published on November 10, 2022. Nearly a dozen civil rights groups—including the American Civil Liberties Union of Maryland and National Federation of the Blind—have come out in support of a Jennifer Rowe’s high court argument that the state’s appellate courts must be open to alleged victims of public-accommodations discrimination whenever a judge upholds the Maryland Commission on Civil Rights’ (MCCR) all-too-often dismissals of public accommodation discrimination claims.
Ms. Rowe, who suffers from PTSD, was a member of Krav Maga Maryland (KMMD), a martial arts gym, and an active member of its Facebook page. She complained to management when disability-related comments she contributed to the group page were deleted. After exchanging emails about the issue—with Ms. Rowe repeatedly referencing her disability, raising her legal rights, and requesting accommodations—KMMD terminated her membership.
The civil rights groups told the Maryland Court of Appeals this month that the state’s administrative procedure law should be read broadly to permit appellate review of circuit court decisions that generally defer to MCCR, thus foreclosing potentially valid bias claims from being appealed.
“Among other things, significant delays, failure to conduct impartial investigations, and the overwhelming majority of public-accommodation complaints resulting in findings of no probable cause or being dismissed outright mean that Marylanders’ rights to be free from public-accommodation discrimination (are) often illusory,” wrote Andy Levy and Anthony May.
MCCR’s “flawed process for evaluating probable cause together with rising incidents of public accommodation discrimination highlight the importance of increased judicial oversight,” added Andy and Anthony. “Meaningful judicial review by the state’s appellate courts is critical to ensure that all of MCCR’s actions are accurate, reasonable, and follow the appropriate procedural safeguards.”
LEARN MORE ABOUT ANDY LEVY
Andy Levy is widely regarded as one of Maryland’s premier trial and appellate lawyers, equally comfortable in civil and criminal courtrooms, before a jury, judge, or arbitrator. He is a Fellow of both the American College of Trial Lawyers and the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers, one of the few lawyers in the country to have been inducted as a Fellow of both organizations. He is listed in Best Lawyers in America in nine categories.
LEARN MORE ABOUT ANTHONY MAY
Anthony J. May has represented clients in a variety of complex litigation matters including assisting employees with disabilities in obtaining accessible technology and accommodations in the workplace, representing individuals who have been wrongfully convicted, commercial litigation disputes, and fighting workplace discrimination based on sexual orientation.