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It’s always amazing the impact we can have when we are passionate about a cause. Daniel Brown’s passion lies with protecting equal rights and improving quality of life for those who live with disabilities. To look for his inspiration you need to look no further than his brother.
In 1998, Daniel’s brother, and a dozen other wheelchair racers, were halted during the New York City Marathon. The reason why they were halted: so that other runners could pass them on the Queensboro Bridge. Daniel, who is now a commercial litigation partner at Shepard Mullin Richter & Hampton, sued the New York Runner’s club, claiming discrimination. The case had a happy ending as a settlement was reached, which led to the New York City Marathon featuring a separate race for those who are wheelchair-bound.
“It was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in my life, “Daniel said.
Daniel’s battle didn’t stop there. In 2013, he and the nonprofit group ‘Disability Rights Advocates‘ successfully closed on a pair of cases that greatly improved the quality of living for disabled New Yorkers. The first case expanded the size of New York’s wheelchair- accessible taxi fleet. Before the case, only 231 of 13,237 city cabs were wheelchair-accessible. After that case, it was announced that by 2020, half of the city’s yellow cabs would be wheelchair-accessible.
The second case is intended to help disabled New Yorkers during citywide emergencies. This issue garnered greater interest after Hurricane Sandy hit caused evacuation problems for disabled people living in flood zones.
Daniel, who also does pro bono work, says working on disability cases has provided several proud career moments.
“Like most people I went to law school to do good, “Brown said. “A lot of us forget that… To use my bar card, as they say, to make the world a better place for hundreds of thousands of people, that’s one of the reasons I became a lawyer.”
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