About Me

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I am a consultant and general counsel to International Ride Training LLC as well as a practicing attorney in Avon, Connecticut. A particular focus of mine is the legal needs of the amusement and tourism industry. My focus on the amusement industry derives from my pre-law career as an operations manager with Cedar Fair Entertainment Company and Universal Orlando. Having started my career as a ride operator at Cedar Point in 1992, I progressed through the seasonal ranks and ultimately became the Manager of Ride Operations and Park Services at Worlds of Fun in Kansas City. I also worked in Universal's operations department during the construction and development of Islands of Adventure. Today, I am an active member of the New England Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions and the International Association of Amusement Parks & Attractions. I have been invited to speak at amusement industry meetings and seminars and have worked on a variety of matters relating to this industry.

Legal Disclaimer (because, you know, I'm a lawyer)

This Blog/Web Site is made available for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice (or any legal advice). By using this blog site you understand that there is no attorney client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher and / or author nor can such a relationship be created by use of his Blog / Web Site. By using thisBlog / Web Site you understand that any statement on the blog site are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of Wiggin and Dana LLP or International Ride Training LLC. By using this blog site you understand that the Blog/Web Site is not affiliated with or approved by Wiggin and Dana LLP or International Ride Training LLC. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state or jurisdiction. This blog is not published for advertising or solicitation purposes. Regardless, the hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Interaction Reaction: The Impact of Interactivity On An Amusement Operator's Liability Exposure

rise of interactivity in the attractions industry and something it said got my lawyer-brain thinking.  Here’s what it was:

Interactivity doesn’t stop with great-looking, immersive technology.  There is a still a need for pure physical interaction. 
“Pure physical interaction.”  As a fan of amusements, that phrase puts a grin on my face and starts the adrenaline pumping.  As a former operator, that phrase equals “repeat business” and additional revenue - something that the article emphasized.  But as a lawyer, that phrase made me pause for a minute and think about whether the rising popularity of interactivity could change the liability calculus for owners and operators of these attractions.  I thought that question deserved a closer look.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Disney's Autism Policy Passes ADA Muster - But What Does That Mean For The Rest Of The Industry?

Does the ADA require immediate, on-demand boarding for guests with cognitive disabilities such as autism?  It is among the questions most frequently asked of me and one for which there has been no judicial guidance … until now.  Late last week, the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida issued a first-of-its-kind ruling on the issue in a case called A.L. v. Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc.  In the decision, Judge Anne Conway ruled in Disney’s favor essentially finding that immediate, on-demand boarding was not “necessary,” as that term is used in the ADA, and thus that Disney was not obligated to provide it to autistic guests.  While there may be a couple of small areas in the court’s analysis that some could quibble with, on the whole the decision is well-reasoned, reasonable, and practical.  But what does it mean in the broader context?  What affect, if any, will this case have on future cases in the industry?  Those are the questions that I think warrant a little discussion – and thus have drawn me back to blogging after an extended absence (which I hope you can all forgive).