Perpetuating Stigma: Client Identity in Disability Rights Litigation

72 Pages Posted: 13 Dec 2008  

Laura L. Rovner

University of Denver Sturm College of Law

Date Written: December 9, 2008

Abstract

This article explores the idea that questions of client identity are central to many disability rights cases, and that the legal system, operating on the client through the medium of her own lawyer, may require the client to re-define herself in a way that involves significant intrusion into the client's personal autonomy. In the article, I take the position that the pressures on a disability rights plaintiff to re-define herself in a manner consistent with the stereotypical expectations of the legislature, judges and juries often are further exacerbated by the imbalance of power inherent in the attorney-client relationship. This imbalance may make it more difficult for the client to portray herself as a strong and capable individual, thus creating another layer of oppression for a client who may be seeking, through the process of litigating her claim, to tell her story in her own voice.

Suggested Citation

Rovner, Laura L., Perpetuating Stigma: Client Identity in Disability Rights Litigation (December 9, 2008). Utah Law Review, Vol. 2, No. 247, 2001. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1313803

Laura L. Rovner (Contact Author)

University of Denver Sturm College of Law ( email )

2255 E. Evans Avenue
Denver, CO 80208
United States

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