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Attorney’s record of wins creates ripple effects for justice

In this staff profile piece, Attorney Steve Schmidt reflects on five memorable cases. Each focused on disability rights for clients of Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center. All had far-reaching effects in achieving justice for countless others in areas of legislation, prisoner rights, compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and increasing access to time with personal care assistants.

Understanding the rights of deaf and hard of hearing people in prison and jail – MPR

Sonja Peterson, attorney with Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center and client Chou Yang, whose first language is American Sign Language, talk to Minnesota Public Radio about MDLC’s recent settlement agreement with the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Settlement will lead to changes for deaf prison inmates – Minnesota Lawyer

Minnesota Lawyer’s Dan Heilman interviews Minnesota Disability Law Center Attorney, Sonja Peterson. Peterson represented client inmates in a lawsuit against the Minnesota Department of Corrections.

Legal Aid explains impact of Supreme Court decision on KARE 11

Litigation Director Luke Grundman describes how criminalizing homelessness could have an even more devastating impact on a community already marginalized and vulnerable.

Legal Aid issues statement on Supreme Court decision to penalize homelessness

Legal Aid is disappointed the Supreme Court has decided the Constitution allows governments to make it a criminal violation to be homeless.

Minnesota owes group of special-education students additional services – Star Tribune

The Minnesota Department of Ed will pay $3.2M to settle a class action lawsuit filed by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center. Read the full story by Anthony Lonetree in the Star Tribune.

Legal Aid sues MN Department of Corrections; nets victory for deaf/hard-of-hearing inmates  

As of July 1, prison policy is changing to ensure Minnesota inmates, with hearing loss, will get the same critical messaging that hearing prisoners get over the public address (PA) system. This is just one concession of a settlement agreement, following a lawsuit filed by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center on behalf of two inmates — one deaf, the other hard of hearing. 

Court order: MDE must notify Special Education students of disclosure and right to object

Special Education students born between July 1, 1998 and June 30, 2001 are set to receive notice of a settlement in a class action lawsuit filed by Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid’s Minnesota Disability Law Center. However, students or their families, may object, if they do not want their names shared with the Claims Administrator.

Breaking the Ice: Legal aid lawyer puts mission over pay — MinnLawyer

Minnesota Lawyer caught up with Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid Attorney Sarah McGuire. In her eight years at MMLA St. Cloud, she’s helped more than 1,250 households impacted by domestic violence. She’s also the 2023 recipient of the Becker Emerging Leader Award.