By Andrew Cohen
Berkeley Law student Jesse Ferrantella ’11 has won first place in this year’s Adam A. Milani Disability Law Writing Competition. Sponsored by Mercer University School of Law, the competition was created to promote greater interest in disability law and to encourage excellent legal writing skills in law students. It is named for the late Milani, a former disability rights activist and renowned scholar.
The national competition solicits student-written trial or appellate briefs on disability law, theory, or practice. Ferrantella’s brief—which he wrote in his first-year Written and Oral Advocacy course taught by Sarah Laubach ’05—was one of nearly 90 entries in the competition.
Ferrantella, who will receive a $600 prize for his winning brief, argued that a commercial Web site is a place of public accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. The legal model was based in part on the efforts of Mazen Basrawi ’04 and his work on a case through a public interest fellowship at Disability Rights Advocates, a non-profit law firm dedicated to securing the civil rights of people with disabilities.