ADHD Is Not A Disability Under ADA

Those liberal judges on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals just decreed that ADHD is not a disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act. That’s important for FEHA lawyers because California courts often look to interpretations of the ADA by federal courts for guidance in interpreting certain sections of FEHA.

This case troubles me because it’s the kind of case that makes people dislike lawyers. Here, the plaintiff was a police officer who was a jerk. His colleagues complained about him and apparently plaintiff was, well, an asshat!

For example, here’s an excerpt from an email plaintiff sent to a colleague in response to a question about reports and such:

Allow me to respond to your email that by the way is a “PUBLIC RECORD”;

. . . . I’ll respond to the second part of your inquisitive email [the part about the two cars] with a metaphorical analogy. Envision a swimming pool with a deep end and a shallow end separated by a floating rope. . . .

There are many more potential hazards in the deep end and a person would be foolish to venture there without the technical expertise, stamina and initiative to keep from drowning. There are countless people who are good swimmers but still remain in the shallow end for fear of the potential danger the deep end harbors. Still, there are others who negligently and recklessly venture to the deep end without any technical proficiency and tragically drown. My recommendation to you is that you remain in the shallow end where you can splash around with the kids.

What really upsets me about your inquiry is not the simple fact that you question my judgment and knowledge but the manner in which you have done so. If you have any desire to discuss this incident further or any other incident please do not do so in a public record email, come and find me any day of the week! I’m easy to locate, I’m in the deep end so bring your water wings!

And this officer blamed this behavior on his ADHD?

The Ninth Circuit didn’t buy it and neither am I. I hate cases like this because they make the plaintiff’s bar look silly. On the other hand, plaintiff’s counsel did obtain a jury verdict in favor of his client, so he obviously has talent!

But the case makes the plaintiff look like a jerk. And now, he has a published opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals for everyone to see, describing his poor people relations. I wonder if plaintiff will put this on his resume?

Read it for yourself.

Weaving v. City of Hillsborough, No. 12-35726 (9th Cir. 2014).

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