Tag Archives: denver

What is it about Mountain Time that confuses coastal peeps?

There are 4 time zones.  If you’re from the East Coast, they go -1, -2, and -3.  If you’re from the West Coast, they go +1, +2, and +3.  It’s as if east coasters say, “I can subtract 1 and I can subtract 3, but subtracting 2 just baffles me!”  And the equivalent for west coasters.

A woman stopped me in the Denver airport yesterday and asked the time.  I told her.  She reacted with great skepticism and confusion because the answer I gave (“4:15,” for the record) did not fall into one of the time zones of which she was aware.  So she demanded an explanation of how this bizarre Land of the Mountains related to other, better known, time zones.  Seriously, we had to have that discussion, while I justified the existence of our little chronological slice of the country.

And don’t get me started on the networks that tell you the show is at 9:00, 8:00 Central, and 6:00 Pacific.  Um, guys? Hellooooo?

If you can successfully count to 4 without missing any numbers, you can figure out Mountain Time.

Beautiful as our mountains are, I think we need a better name.  No one, but no one, will ever loose track of Craft Beer Time.

Because the biggest f*****g problem with the ADA is too many f*****g drive-by plaintiffs

This evening we went back to the completely gutted and remodeled Izakaya Den restaurant and found that they installed a raised sushi bar with no ramp.  Here’s a photo from Westword with my added mark-up.

Photo of the inside of a restauarant.  To the lower left of the photo, a raised area is visible with seats at a lowered sushi bar.  The raised area is circled in red, with an arrow pointing to it from text that reads "Step up to sushi bar."


Just that, by itself, is deeply frustrating.  As we’ve discussed in connection with our lawsuit against the El Diablo restaurant, you can’t take an empty space and make part of it inaccessible.  While this should be obvious, it’s also illegal.

But what made this depressing, frustrating, infuriating and really sad was that we have been patronizing Izakaya Den and its sister restaurant, Sushi Den, for years.  They know us in both restaurants, well enough at Sushi Den that we had a table where we always sat, and most of the waitstaff had served us so often they automatically brought me a phone book to sit on.*  We had participated in a private sushi tasting with a chef visiting from Japan, and at that point (and others) met the owners.

It’s bad enough that Izakaya Den got seriously bad architectural advice.  It’s really depressing that no one ever stopped to think, this isn’t just a theoretical legal question; we have a regular customer who will want access to the sushi bar.   And what’s funny:  they have an elevator.  They added a second floor and an elevator.  Very fucking cool.  But damn!  Why on earth add an unnecessary, new, inaccessible raised area?

We proceeded from Izakaya Den to Kaos** pizza, which was also inaccessible,  then*** on to the Black Pearl which had this gorgeous ramp

Photo showing front of restaurant with a ramp to the front entrance adjacent to a patio area with tables and seats.

as well as truffle fries, an excellent cheese plate, and a nice refreshing bottle of 90 Shilling.


*  Yes, I’m that short and have that little pride.  But it’s nice to be able to look my fellow diners in the eye.

** Sounds like Maxwell Smart should be nearby, talking on his shoe phone.

*** I’m leaving out the part where I crossed the street from Kaos to where Tim was waiting, swearing my ass off, while he made “maybe you don’t want to use those words just now” eyebrow motions.  Turns out he was chatting with a nice woman — hidden to me by a parked car — and her cute Lab puppy.   I was embarrassed, she was understanding (“that’s OK; let it all hang out!”), and the puppy was really really cute.

El Diablo closed. Donate to CCDC. QED.

This may be the strangest charitable donation request you’ve ever gotten.  I’m asking you to donate to the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition because the El Diablo restaurant closed.*



CCDC’s legal team of Kevin Williams and Andrew Montoya represented CCDC and several Mexican food enthusiasts who use wheelchairs in challenging the fact that the owners of El Diablo took an accessible space — in, btw, a beautiful old building in a booming neighborhood — and turned it into a largely inaccessible restaurant by adding raised areas that were not originally there.

Two years, summary judgment for plaintiffs, and a couple hundred thousand in legal fees later — just at the point where the judge was about to order El Diablo to restore accessibility — the city shut it down for (unrelated) code violations.  It reopened, reshut, reopened, reshut, declared bankruptcy, reopened, and — after the latest violation notice from the city — closed for good.

Bottom line:  CCDC spent a lot of attorney time on this case, won the case on summary judgment, and will not see a dime in attorneys’ fees.  Please join us in contributing to CCDC.**

If you’ve heard enough, just click on through to the donation page and send them some cash.  If you want to know more about this case, here are some links:

  • More snarky commentary about the defense counsel’s accusation that alleging discrimination when an accessible space is rendered inaccessible constitutes defamation.

This part of the ADA — requiring businesses to be accessible — has no damages remedy.  The only way lawyers can bring these cases is because the ADA makes defendants pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees when they lose.  But lawyers like the great team at CCDC always work under the threat that they’ll spend years on a case — and achieve excellent legal results — only to have it disappear.  That happened here.

Please support CCDC’s excellent legal work.  Thanks!


* This photo is actually from January, but it’s more dramatic than anything I could find for the Final Shut Down.

** If you’re not comfortable with the online donation site — which seems highly unlikely if you’re reading a cutting edge blog like this one! — you can send a check to CCDC at 655 Broadway, Suite 775, Denver, Colorado 80203.

“Feds Probe Denver for Violating Deaf Prisoner Rights” – what we’re up to at FoxRob World Headquarters

The Colorado Independent has an article up about our Scott case.  The journalist had previously written about our Ulibarri case, and was thus able to put Mr. Scott’s situation in this astonishing perspective:

Scott isn’t the first deaf prisoner whose disability has gone ignored by Denver’s jail. Even as the city failed to provide Scott with an interpreter, it was defending itself against a lawsuit brought on behalf of three other deaf prisoners – one of whom hanged himself in his cell. Shawn Vigil spent a month in jail without an interpreter before his suicide in 2005. The Sheriff’s Department knew Vigil was deaf but apparently didn’t take note that he was functionally illiterate and unable to understand a question on his intake form asking if he needed accommodations for his disability.

We’re hoping this lawsuit will finally get some effective policies in place for deaf people detained or incarcerated by the City and County of Denver.


South Pearl Street’s Winterfest — as advertised:


and in reality, at 72 degrees on December 1:*


Yes, that guy is selling poems.  Why not, eh?  South Pearl Street is a little slice of Portlandia in Denver.   In fact, if you look carefully, the booth behind the poet is

Real Dill

where Tim bought a $12 jar of pickles, and which of course reminded me of

We also bought $50 worth of organic crap — what sort of weird spell do local farmers’ markets cast? — and I took some pictures.   Like this one, which seems to fit with my penchant for photographing random textured distressed things,


but was in fact taken at a stand selling random textured distressed things.

Frames price tag

But this is the real deal: the side of an ancient pick-up truck.  Not sure why I like distressed vehicles so much.  Oh. Right.


Another random photo:


And two bonus dog photos.  Watching the Winterfest crowds wander by.

Dog fence

And Saguaro, just after this morning’s bath, helping me practice with the new flash.



* That is not a political statement.  It is an accurate statement about the weather.  That is, we did not get pulled by snow-covered horses through snow-covered streets.  I walked through Winterfest in shorts and sandals.  In Denver.  In December.

Photo Essay

I know you’ve all been on the edges of your seats to see my photo essay, the final assignment for Digital Photography 201 at Illuminate Workshops.  The wait is over!  Of course, just in time for the final class, I had all sorts of legal adventures — trial prep! settlement! appeal! — and a major head cold.  So I didn’t actually attend the final class.  Or the make-up final class.  Or the make-up of the make-up of the final class.  What can I say – lawyers suck at non-law things.

The assignment read:

Decide on a subject whose story needs to be told.  … A story that is close and personal to you.

Shoot everything you can about your subject.

Make us see the subject from your perspective.

We were to edit down the photos first to 30, then to 12, print them on 11×14 paper, and present them at the last class.  But I missed the last class (twice) and I’m not good at following instructions anyway, so my photo essay has 20 photos, and is blogged, not printed.  It also reflects the fact that I ran out of time — even with an effective two-month extension — and had a cold.  Did I mention the cold?  So some of the photos reflect long walks around Denver thinking about my subject, while others reflect a bit of casting about my office last night for meaningful props.  But I think they show both my subject and some of the composition and developing skills we’re learning at (did I mention?) Illuminate Workshops.*

And the outtake … because nothing happens here without full canine supervision:


* How’s that for apple-polishing?  And I’m not even getting a grade!

Detritus on the mean streets of southeast Denver

A broken jar of pickled carrots on the sidewalk of S. Pearl Street.

My first attempt to blog from Flickr.  I’m working on my photo essay for the class I’m taking but as always discover that I’d much rather shoot photos of random shit than meaningful shit.  This amused me because where else but South Pearl Street would the litter consist of a broken jar of pickled carrots.  If I’d had the patience of a real photographer, I suspect in a half hour or so after this photo, the sun would have caught the orange in just the right way.

More randomness from Pearl Street:

Da Bear

Anyone know why I can’t insert a second photo from Flickr?  Guess you can only blog one photo at a time!  Too bad for you, readers!

Stopping to appreciate

I was just about to post a cranky post about opposing counsel in a case we’re involved in* and my last two Facebook posts have been

This is where we are on our Big Case: witness has to go back to doctor for urgent tests and possible exploratory surgery for cancer; Defendant refuses to withdraw the subpoena for her deposition at the same time as the medical appointment.

Mamas don’t let your babies grow up to be lawyers.


File under “K” for karma’s a bitch. Opposing counsel who refused to reschedule a deposition for the witness’s medical procedure now needs us to reschedule for *his* medical procedure. Must.Control.Sarcastic.Response.

so it hasn’t been a good week for Rule 1.5.  But before I launch into my latest diatribe, I wanted to link to this, a wonderful meditation** by my friend and co-counsel Kevin Williams on how lucky we are to practice in the field we do.

As many of you know, CCDC’s offices are like many non-profit’s, but from my office, I can see the Colorado Rockies South and West.  From Pike’s Peak…almost…(if you stretch)… to Long’s.  This evening, as I wrap up today’s work (responding to letters from some lawyer telling me why he thinks I’m an a**hole), I was lucky enough to remember to turn around from my desk and look out my window.  I just watched the magnificence of another spectacular Colorado sunset.

The sunsets keep coming.  Fifteen years of being a disability rights lawyer has taught me one undeniable principle: When you represent people who have a righteous cause, you are doing the right thing.  Although we have had a few let-downs over the years, and many, many contentious battles, the victories keep coming. I look forward to tomorrow’s sunset.

We are lucky.  I’ll be ranting again soon — tomorrow, even — about the antics of our opposing counsel, but for tonight I’m thankful to practice in the field that I do, with a partner like Tim, co-counsel like Kevin and the rest of our incredible and various teams, and righteous clients, cases, and issues.  And much as I love our coastal colleagues, with the amazing view of the sun setting over the Rockies.


*Coming soon.

**I think Kevin will hate this word.  I think he’d prefer something more like gin-fueled philosophizing.