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, January 15, 2013

New ADA Regs Proposed That Would Allow Temporary Lifts In Pools (Courtesy of Julie Mills)

Julie Mills, an attorney and blogger who writes about ADA issues in the hospitality industry, wrote a piece this week on HR 203 - a new bill that has been introduced in Congress that, if passed, would permit pools to use temporary lifts instead of incurring the expense and potential safety issues that arise from the ADA's current requirement for fixed lifts in most pools.  Julie does a nice job of summing up the issue so, with her permission, I've reprinted her piece below.  Julie's Blog, "The ADA:  Titles II and III," can be found here.  
(read her piece and my thoughts after the jump)

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year From The California Supreme Court! A Home Run Ruling In Nalwa v. Cedar Fair

In the law, there aren’t many things that can rightfully be called a home run.  The vast majority of “big” decisions out there are not total wins for one side, but are judged to be “big” because, in the main, their result effects a shift in the law or undoes a prior bad result even while, in some modest measure, containing a small victory for the “loser.”  The recent Supreme Court Obama-care decision is a perfect illustration: the Court upheld the individual mandate (the big win for liberals all over the country) while making clear that the individual mandate is, in reality, a tax (a small victory for conservatives).  On New Year’s Eve, though, the California Supreme Court issued a rare home run opinion in Nalwa v. Cedar Fair – an opinion that eviscerates the prior poorly-reasoned decision of the California Court of Appeals and unambiguously establishes the right of amusement and recreation facilities to assert the primary assumption of the risk defense to avoid costly and uncertain trial practice.  Even more remarkable, although the decision was a 6-1 majority (a strong victory to be sure), the Court of Appeals reasoning – that California’s public policy precludes the applicability of the assumption of the risk doctrine to the recreation industry entirely – was unanimously rejected.  There is simply no way to view this decision as anything but a complete home run for both Cedar Fair and the amusement industry in general.