Reprinted with permission
Volume 21 – Issue 14 November 23, 2005
Town in Uproar over ADA Attorney’s Tactics
by Michael Hart
It’s been 15 years since the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) was put into law by congress and for a number of
businesses in town this was the week it came to Julian.
A San Diego based attorney, Theodore Pinnock, who also is afflicted with cerebral palsy and must negotiate the streets
in a wheel chair has sent letters to 67 businesses and individuals claiming they are not in compliance with the ADA. A
copy of one of the letters states;
Pinnock & Wakefield, A.P.C.
November 14, 2005
VIA CERTIFIED MAIL
RE: Total Equality, Just-Judgment and Rights (TEJJR) v. _______
LC #: 5 TAP
To Whom It May Concern:
We urge you to please contact an attorney to assist you with this very important legal matter. Please reference LC #: 5
TAP when calling. Please contact us by November 17, 2005.
Total Equality, Just-Judgment and Rights goal in writing you is to create an accessible environment so customers with
disabilities can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of Julian and its surrounding communities. Total Equality, Just-Judgment
and Rights is mindful that Julian’s majestic appeal is its historic architecture and its advocates using alternative methods
of accessibility to preserve the wonderment of Julian’s western greatness,
This firm represents Total Equality, Just-Judgment and Rights (TEJJR) against potential defendants as follows:
defendant name removed
Telephone: 619. 858.3671 * Facsimile: 619.858.3646 www.PinnockWakefiekiLaw.com
LC #: 5 TAP, NM„ 11/1i
The purposes of this letter are to: 1) Provide you with notice of access violations at your property; 2) Engage you to
participate in the firm’s Seven Step ADA On Site Mediation Process.
The Seven Step ADA On Site Mediation procedure is as follows:
1. You or your lawyer call us to setup an On Site date or to inform us you decided to retain a qualify Access Consultant
and you desire to litigate or discuss monetary compensation. For best results all persons with a lease or ownership
interest must be at the On Site. In California, there several competent ADA defense lawyers who can assist you;
2. Before the On Site you or your lawyer obtain the knowledge to meaningfully participate in the mediation. You must
have knowledge of the reasons courts request that ADA lawyers give you notice before filing an ADA suit, readily
achievable barrier removal standards, new and altered construction standards, Civil Code 52 $4,000 minimum standards
and familiarity with release provisions to meaningfully participate. (See Enclosure);
3. Before the On Site we will send you a draft Release and Settlement Agreement for your review;
4. During the On Site we determine if mediation is the best method of resolving this case. Mediation is the best method
if you realize we know most businesses do not deliberately violate the ADA, you obtain the knowledge in 2, you are not
opposed to negotiation of reasonable compensation, we are not in an accusatory and hostile situation and we are treated
with respect. If we determine mediation is not the best method of resolving this matter, we will terminate the mediation and
proceed to step 7;
5. During the On Site we will conduct a walk-through to list the access violations and design a plan and timeline to fix
6. During the On Site we discuss compensation and the Release and Settlement Agreement.
7. If the matter is not resolved at the On Site or two days thereafter, Mr. Pinnock shall transfer the file to the litigation
department unless good cause exists for a delay.
This letter discusses settlement terms related to these defendants and the contents of this letter shall be confidential
and not admissible in any proceeding in accordance with F.R.E. 408.
In 2005, Total Equality, Just-Judgment and Rights (TEJJR) discovered that the property has access violations thereon.
Total Equality, Just-Judgment and Rights (TEJJR) is composed of people with and without disabilities. TEJJR’s purpose is
to obtain ADA compliance through notice letters and mediation. Since the federal and state government do not have
sufficient resources to enforce the access laws, private persons must do so with fair compensation. So TEJJR seeks fair
compensation for its efforts.
Customers with disabilities are deterred from patronizing and desired to patronize the property. The following are non-
exhaustive list of the access problems at the property:
No disabled parking space steps at entrance no ramp door signage Insufficient access to entrance Lack of signage
Narrow path of travel
Insufficient accessible parking
Other access issues
defendant name removed
LC #: 5 TAP, NM„ 11/11
Settlement is conditioned upon you engaging in the Seven Step ADA On Site Mediation procedure and making
modifications to remove these barriers to access delineated herein or in a survey within 90 days of execution of any
Release And Settlement Agreement or within a reasonable time as agreed upon by the parties if additional time is
We urge you to please contact an attorney to assist you with this very important legal matter. In the alternative, if you
decide not to retain an attorney, please contact us immediately to discuss this matter. If we do not hear from you on or
before November 17, 2005, we will have no other choice but to assume that your non-compliance with ADA is intentional.
If you have any questions please call our office.
Theodore A. Pinnock
This was followed by a fax the chamber which named all the entities receiving letters and demanding a meeting on
Friday the 18th.
Being the only Julianite in attendance at the Friday meeting I asked why now, why such a short window in which to
respond, the answers were predictable. “You have had 15 years to comply and have not. The longer this goes on the
more attorneys fees you will have to incur.”
The chamber is trying to organize all of the people involved and present a united front thereby making it less of a burden
on all involved. Mr. Pinnock wants another meeting by Tuesday the 22nd and I do not believe that the people involved or
the chamber would be ready by then, in talking with one person who was on the list they had not seen the letter because
they have been too busy running their business to get to the post office.
Volume 21 – Issue 15 November 30, 2005
A meeting of all who received letters from the offices of Pinnock & Wakefield was held at the Town Hall Tuesday (11/29)
to discuss strategies for the town.
A number of Attorney’s where to be present to explain the options available.
Last Wednesday Mr. Pinnock was in town and the Chamber used the services of Jim Mason from ADAabuse.com who
has placed most of the demands on hold for a short time.
The bottom line is; a plan must be put in place that can bring all of Julian into compliance with the ADA without
succumbing to the extortion tactics of this law firm.
Michael Hart, publisher