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CalAttorney2
CalAttorney2, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 10244
Experience:  Civil litigation attorney for individuals and businesses.
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Our small business has been hit with a lawsuit by a man named

Customer Question

Our small business has been hit with a lawsuit by a man named Cecil Shaw who sues hundreds and hundreds of businesses under the Americans with Disabilities Act. He filed the lawsuit against us on May 19th 2015. We have not received anything official yet. The only reason we know about the lawsuit is due to the fact that a random lawyer sent us a letter saying "do you need help with your lawsuit?" We looked it up online and found some of the information. Just in case you need it, the case # ***** *****:15-cv-00971
Shaw also hit 2 other businesses in our town in the past month which we just discovered. In our neighbor's case he is asking for $4000 in damages and also for his own lawyer fees which are $14,000!
After reading some of the other stories from people who have been sued by Shaw we are scared and feel literally sick. He has shut small businesses down and cost them thousands and thousands of dollars in legal fees.
The particular issues he has with us are small, as they are with most of his victims. We are not negligent people. Our handicapped parking space was faded, our counter-top was 4-5 inches too high and there were a few areas in the shop that were not wide enough for him to maneuver. From what we can piece together, he is asking us for $4000 along with his legal fees which we do not yet know.
My questions to you: 1, Is it unusual that it has been 8 days since they have filed and we still have not received anything?
2, Do you know how to go about finding a GOOD ADA specific lawyer? We have no idea where to begin, and realize that a good lawyer is essential.
3, There have been multiple news stories and articles written about this particular man and his abuse of the system, the general consensus is that he and his lawyers are extortionists, yet he and his lawyers are still going strong. The Million Dollar Question: How can this still be going on? Thank you!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  CalAttorney2 replied 2 years ago.
Dear Customer, I am very sorry to hear of this - unfortunately, unless there are changes in statute, this is likely to continue "going strong" as these attorney's fees are funded by "private attorney general" statutes which ensure that his attorneys will continue to get paid as long as he is going out and finding businesses such as yours.If you have not yet received notice of the claims against you, it is possible that his firm is not following the procedures for pre-litigation properly (there is a "safe harbor" to allow small businesses to make corrections prior to having a lawsuit filed, you still end up paying, but the damages are much smaller).See: http://www.coxcastle.com/Templates/media/files/pubs/attachment733.PDFWhile I cannot give you a specific referral, I can give you a couple of references to find local civil litigation attorneys that can help you with the defense against this type of ADA dispute. You can find local attorneys using the State and local Bar Association directories, or private directories such as www.AVVO.com; www.FindLaw.com; or www.Martindale.com (I personally find www.AVVO.com to be the most user friendly).