Shapiro, Lifschitz & Schram

“It is fascinating to be on the inner circle with them.”

Edward P. Rudden – President and Owner, Accordia Consulting


March 15 marked the date that revised regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) went into effect. The new rules, originally published in September of 2010, are the first revisions to the ADA since it was signed into law in 1990. The regulations apply to units of state and local government as well as more than seven million places of public accommodation, including stores, restaurants, sporting arenas, movie theaters, doctors’ and dentists’ offices, hotels, and polling places. New construction or renovations completed after the March 15 cut-off date must comply with the new standards.

Significant changes to the previous regulations include:

• Increased requirements for accessible routes within buildings;

• More stringent slope requirements for clear floor space at accessible elements;

• The side reach range of equipment in accessible areas has been reduced to be no higher than 48 inches and no lower than 15 inches (was 54 inches and 9 inches); and

• One van accessible space for every six parking spaces (instead of every eight spaces).

Importantly, existing elements that complied with the previous standards do not need to be changed to comply with the new regulations. This provision is referred to as a “safe harbor.”  The revised ADA rules and the 2010 Standards, however, contain new requirements for elements in existing facilities that were not addressed in the original 1991 Standards. These include recreation facilities such as swimming pools, exercise machines, miniature golf facilities, and bowling alleys.  These elements were not included in the 1991 Standards and are not subject to the safe harbor.

To help small businesses understand the new and updated accessibility requirements, the Justice Department released “ADA Update: A Primer for Small Business.”  This document is available here: The regulations themselves are also available at

Found In: Construction

Did You Know . . .

Members of the SLS trial group have tried in excess of 50 jury trials and 75 bench trials?

The SLS construction group has worked on sports stadiums across the country including Orioles Park in Baltimore and Paul Brown Stadium in Cincinnati?

The SLS construction group has worked on power plant projects across the country?

In 2007 SLS was selected for an Honorable Mention as one of the Best Places To Work in Washington DC?

Ron Shapiro, Steve Schram and Judd Lifschitz have all been selected as SuperLawyers by Law and Politics?

The SLS office building is an historic townhouse constructed in the late 1800s?

SLS has been selected by Martindale-Hubbell as a Preeminent Law Firm?

SLS trial lawyers have argued appeals in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeal for the 4th, 5th, 9th, D.C. and Federal Circuit?

SLS trial lawyers have been lead trial counsel in cases in Arizona, California, District of Columbia, Florida, Louisiana, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Texas, and Virginia, - to name just a few?

Virtually all the cases that SLS trial lawyers mediated have been favorably settled at mediation?

The transactional group at SLS was lead counsel on one of the largest, most complex mixed-use projects in downtown Washington, DC involving 4 lenders and 6 property owners?

In appreciation for the outstanding efforts of each of its employees during 2007, SLS gave everyone (attorneys, paralegals, and staff) a 4 day/3 night expense paid trip to Key West, Florida?

The transactional group at SLS has represented tenants in more than 200 retail leases in the Mid-Atlantic region?

Every attorney in the transactional group at SLS has at least 15 years experience?

The transactional group at SLS has represented developers in the purchase, construction, financing and/or sale of more than 75 multi-family apartment projects?

The transactional group at SLS has represented real estate investors and developers with respect to property in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Texas, Tennessee, Michigan and the U.S. Virginia Islands?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented eight national banks in commercial real estate loans?

Attorneys in the transactional group at SLS have represented the FDIC, the Resolution Trust Corporation and several banking institutions in loan workout transactions throughout the Mid-Atlantic region?

The transactional group at SLS has represented homebuilders and commercial real estate developers in work-outs of individual loans and also for work-outs of large portfolios involving dozens of properties in several states?

The trial lawyers of SLS have numerous reported decisions to their credit?