This page has the following information
- Lainey’s background
- An Overview of Lainey’s work
- Website and Twitter feed
- Honors and awards
- Press coverage
- Speaking engagements
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Before Opening the Law Office of Lainey Feingold
Lainey Feingold graduated law school in 1981 and has been a disability rights lawyer since 1992. Between 1981 and 1992 Lainey worked for the California Public Employment Relations Board (PERB), a private union-side labor firm, and a private civil rights firm. From 1992 – 1996 she was Litigation Director at the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) in Berkeley, California. In October 1996 she opened the Law Office of Lainey Feingold. Read the 15th anniversary post about the Law Office of Lainey Feingold.
Overview of Lainey Feingold’s Law Practice
Lainey represents persons with disabilities under federal and state law, primarily in matters seeking class-wide relief. Her principal work is with the blind and visually impaired community on technology and information access issues.
Along with co-counsel, she has developed “Structured Negotiations,” an alternative to litigation emphasizing collaboration and focusing on solution. Using this method, she has negotiated more than 45 settlement agreements without filing a single lawsuit. She has negotiated these agreements with some of the largest institutions in the United States, including American Express, Bank of America, Weight Watchers, CVS, Wal-Mart, Major League Baseball, and Wells Fargo Bank.
Lainey has long worked with the blind community nationally in successful efforts to obtain Talking ATMs, accessible websites and mobile devices, tactile point of sale devices, accessible (audible) pedestrian signals, talking pill bottles, audio description equipment, and alternative formats including braille, audio, electronic and large print. In addition to her work with the blind community, she has resolved numerous other cases on behalf of persons with disabilities, including national class actions against Shell and Chevron resulting in ADA implementation at over 5,000 service stations across the country.
Lainey was a founding steering committee member of the Disability Rights Bar Association, a national organization of disability rights lawyers.
In February 2014 Lainey received one of 57 California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY) awards. Read the post about the 2014 CLAY award for Disability Rights. Lainey was also selected as a California Lawyer of the Year in 2000.
Lainey Feingold’s website and Twitter feed
The Law Office of Lainey Feingold maintains this website and the LFLegal Twitter feed to share news and information about Lainey’s work specifically, and about issues of general interest to the blind community, the broader disability community, and the digital accessibility community. The website was launched in 2008 and, in addition to providing information, is intended to model how a law firm website can be made accessible for people with disabilities. (Law firms are covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act; law firm websites must be accessible to and usable by everyone, including people with disabilities.)
In 2008 this website was included in the implementation report issued by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) as one of only two sites meeting Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 Level AAA. Read the post about LFLegal.com and the WCAG implementation process. The site was also recognized for its accessible design in a 2009 post on AccessSites.org. More information about the site itself is available in the two-year LFLegal anniversary post.
Lainey’s principle co-counsel in her work is Linda Dardarian of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian and Ho. Linda has played a critical role in developing Structured Negotiations as an advocacy and dispute resolution method and in effectively implementing it in the majority of the cases described on this site. In addition to working with Lainey on various Structured Negotiations, Dardarian is an expert litigator, handling significant disability rights litigation on behalf of people with disabilities across the United States. Read the post about Linda Dardarian’s designation as a “2010 California Super Lawyer”. Linda shared the 2014 California Lawyer of the Year Award for disability rights with Lainey.
Lainey has also been privileged to work with attorneys who are part of the National Disability Rights Network. Stan Eichner, formerly Executive Director of the Disability Law Center in Boston, Massachusetts, was an invaluable co-counsel in the Structured Negotiations with Fleet Bank, Sovereign Bank, and Citizens Bank. Amy Peterson, of Equip for Equality in Chicago, Illinois, took the laboring oar on the Structured Negotiations with LaSalle Bank and with TCF Bank.
If you are a lawyer with an issue you think might be suitable for Structured Negotiations and are interested in discussing a possible co-counsel arrangement, please contact Lainey.
Honors and Awards
Lainey has been recognized by the blind community and the legal community for her Structured Negotiations work:
- California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY award) for Disability Rights (2014)
- Access Award from the American Foundation for the Blind (2008)
- Special Achievement Award from the American Council of the Blind (2007)
- Special Advocacy Award from the California Council of the Blind (2000)
- California Lawyer of the Year (CLAY award) (2000)
Structured Negotiations have attracted the attention of the legal, disability and digital accessibility/usability media.
- In April 2014 Lainey was featured as part of the podcast series conducted by Sarah Horton and Whitney Quesenbery, the authors of A Web for Everyone. You can read a transcript or listen to the April 2014 Web for Everyone podcast about Structured Negotiations.
- Structured Negotiations was also the topic on the February 2014 Eyes on Success program. You can listen to or review a transcript of a February, 2014 Eyes on Success podcast about structured negotiations
- In August 2013 the New York Times published Lainey’s letter to the editor about the digital divide and people with disabilities. Read the post about the disability digital divide and the New York Times letter.
- In December, 2013, the American Bar Association profiled Lainey Feingold and Linda Dardarian’s Structured Negotiations achievements. Read the ABA Journal article about Structured Negotiations.
- Also in December 2013 the Access World Magazine, published by the American Foundation for the Blind, included a profile titled ‘Lainey Feingold: The Power of Structured Negotiations’ by journalist Deborah Kendrick.
- Lainey’s work was also featured in two articles about Structured Negotiations appearing in the legal press in 2007. Read the Law.com article about Structured Negotiations. Read the Daily Journal article about Structured Negotiations.
Press releases about settlement agreements Lainey has negotiated with Structured Negotiations can be found in chronological order in the Settlement Agreement Press Releases Category on this site.
On the Categories page, you can find links to press releases by topic, such as all press releases about Lainey’s web accessibility settlements. These releases and the articles they generated appeared in national and local media across the United States.
Lainey is frequently sought out by local and national media on issues involving digital accessibility. Examples include the following:
- January 2014 article and radio segment on Marketplace Tech (American Public Media), Why Blind Users are Angry at Google, CAPTCHA
- March 2013 Wall Street Journal article titled Disabled Sue over Web Shopping
- April, 2013 article in American Medical News
- October 2012 article titled Blind and online: Progress, not perfection, for visually impaired tech users
- January 1, 2010 San Francisco Chronicle article titled Web More Accessible to Those with Disabilities
Lainey occasionally writes book reviews and cultural commentary for BeyondChron, an on-line news journal based in San Francisco. You can find links to Lainey’s Beyond Chron pieces in the BeyondChron Posts Category on this website.
Lainey is a frequent speaker at disability rights and accessible technology conferences, meetings and classes. If you are interested in inviting her to speak about Structured Negotiations, accessible digital content, Talking ATMs or other accessible information and technology, please use the contact page on this website.
Lainey’s planned speaking engagements for 2015 include
- Co-presenting a session at the 30th annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) in San Diego, California on March 4. Lainey and Linda Dardarian will be presenting Digital Accessibility: 2015 Annual CSUN Legal Update.
- Co-facilitating a workshop at the 2015 Jacobus tenBroek Disability Law Symposium in Baltimore, Maryland on March 27. Lainey will be presenting with Professor Peter Blanck on the topic Integrating the Internet: Now and in Twenty-five Years. Read more about the tenBroek symposium.
- Speaking at the annual John Slatin AccessU in Austin Texas. Lainey has provided a digital accessibility legal update for conference participants for the past several years. Read more about Knowbility’s AccessU.
- Lecturing on digital accessibility legal theory and developments as part of the Disability Rights class at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, CA.
In the Spring of 2014, Lainey spoke at the 29th International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) in San Diego, California and at John Slatin AccessU in Austin, Texas. Read about Lainey’s Spring 2014 Conference Presentations. She also presented at the 12th Annual Class Action Conference of the Impact Fund on the topic of Structured Negotiations as an alternative to class action litigation. Lainey was also a guest lecturer on digital accessibility for the Disability Rights class at her alma mater, Hastings College of the Law.
In 2013 Lainey presented at both the Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) in San Diego, California and at John Slatin AccessU in Austin, Texas. She was also a guest lecturer in the Disability Law Class at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco. Lainey co-presented at CSUN with Linda Dardarian of the Oakland, California civil rights firm Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian and Ho.
Lainey gave two presentations at the 27th Annual International Technology and Persons with Disabilities Conference (CSUN) in 2012 in San Diego, California. She addressed the Plenary Session at AccessU at CSUN, a mini “conference within a conference” focusing on web accessibility and inclusivity. She also presented at the main conference with her colleague Linda Dardarian on the topic of the role of law in making the web more accessible and inclusive.
- Read the post on Lainey’s 2012 CSUN presentations
- Watch the YouTube video clip of the WebAble TV interview of Lainey and Linda at the CSUN 2012 Conference
Also in 2012 Lainey presented at John Slatin AccessU in Austin, Texas in May. Read the post about Lainey’s 2012 AccessU presentation. She was also a guest lecturer, as she has been for many years, in the Disability Law Class at Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco taught by Paul Grossman and Kim Swain.
In January, 2011, Lainey was the keynote speaker at the California Digital Inclusion Celebration in Berkeley California. Also in 2011 Lainey also spoke at the CSUN Disability and Technology Conference, was the keynote speaker at the Conference on Employment and Visually Impairment at Baruch Computer Center For Visually Impaired People in New York City in April, and was the plenary speaker and a panel presenter at the John Slatin AccessU 2011in Austin, Texas. Read about the CSUN Panel on Accessible Technology Policy. Read the post about Lainey’s Spring 2011 conference presentations
In 2010, Lainey was an invited panelist at the United States Access Board Public Information Hearing on Accessible Diagnostic Medical Equipment (DME). Lainey spoke on “Discrimination Law, Equipment Barriers, and Legal Settlements.” Read the full agenda of the Access Board DME meeting. She also spoke, as she does often, at the national convention of the American Council of the Blind and the statewide convention of the California Council of the Blind. Read about Lainey’s 2010 conference presentations about Structured Negotiations
Information about Lainey’s Earlier Speaking Engagements
Lainey’s previous speaking engagements included: CLE training for lawyers and staff, California Protection and Advocacy Inc. (2006); Speaker, annual conference of the American Council of the Blind (2000, 2001, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2010); On-line presenter, World Usability Day Accessibility Sessions (2005); Lecturer on ADA public accommodations provisions at Boalt Hall School of Law, Hastings College of the Law and Stanford Law School (1994 – 2003); Panelist, Boalt Hall School of Law Symposium: The Changing Face of Disability Law in the New Millennium (2002); Speaker, National Association of Protection and Advocacy Systems (NAPAS) Annual Conference (2000) and Legal Directors Meeting (2002); Panelist, National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) disability rights conference (1996 (San Francisco), 1998 (New Orleans); Panelist on disability law, practice and policy: Annual Meeting, Northern California Chapter, National Multiple Sclerosis Society (1999); California Employment Lawyers Association Annual Conference (1997); Speaker, California Association of Consumer Attorneys Annual Convention (1995, 1996); National training for Independent Living, Centers (1994), Annual Conference of the National Association of Blind Lawyers (1994), San Francisco Bar Association conference on Litigating Disability Rights cases (1994).
If you are interested in inviting Lainey to speak about Structured Negotiations, accessible web sites, Talking ATMs or other accessible technology, please use the contact page on this website.