Andrew U. D. Straw

1900 E. Golf Rd., Suite 950A

Schaumburg, IL 60173

T 312-985-7333   F 877-310-9097
andrew@andrewstraw.com


SUMMARY

Disability rights lawyer and advocate. Have provided negotiations for plaintiffs. Law practice has included clients sexually harassed at work, people with disabilities, tort victims, immigrants/refugees, and small, medium, and large businesses across the US. Worked on projects & contracts at Library of Congress, Library of Virginia, Virginia Historical Society, the Council for Excellence in Government in Washington, D.C., and state, federal, and local governments.  
Passion: accessible parking and sidewalks.

 

Found “qualified” to be General Counsel of U.S. Access Board in 2014.  U.S. Access Board develops access standards for the U.S. DOJ and other federal agencies to enforce.

 

Advised clients on both federal and state criminal law.  Worked with ESRI and other software companies on a pilot project for court records automation, and was on the Virginia State Bar Task Force on Technology.  Proposed e-filing system for Virginia in 1999-2000.  Provided statistical analysis for all 400+ Indiana trial courts’ case data, and edited the annual report of the Indiana Judicial Branch.
 

EMPLOYMENT

Andrew U. D. Straw, Esq.

Disability Rights Lawyer and Advocate.   3/2010 -

Negotiated settlements in employment law and disability rights cases.

Drafted legislation and advised a state representative candidate on election law.

Drafted the first Indiana local air pollution control ordinance.

Successfully achieved largest public records request in Indiana history: 29,000 emails.  Consulted Indiana Public Access Counselor.

Opposed sexual harassment at South Bend Housing Authority, and other civil rights claims.   HUD labeled it a "troubled" agency.

Pursuing parking lot and entrance disability access in businesses, local government, schools, the post office, and the local Chamber of Commerce in Streamwood, Illinois.  Village found about 150 parking spaces for disabled people were missing.  

Advised 2014 disabled Indiana judge candidate on election law.

International forgery detection project for court documents.  May 2016.

Opposed systemic disability discrimination by state courts, especially in Indiana.

Opposed abuse of process by opponents who entered discriminating information from the state supreme court to win a frivolous lawsuit.

Representing civil client who was arrested for displaying a U.S. flag and signs on a public sidewalk in Campbell, Wisconsin.  2016

Representing disabled veteran before U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and U.S. Air Force.  2016.

Representing two people before U.S. Navy JAG Code 15 and 3 people before U.S. federal courts for Camp LeJeune poisoning claims.  2012-2016.

  

Indiana Center for Excellence in Government, Ltd. (d/b/a Disability Access of Indiana, Inc.)

President & General Counsel.  Disability Rights Advocate & Anti-Corruption Expert.   11/2010 - present
 

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand

Research Assistant, Social Media Analyst.  3/2006 - 2/2010

Researched critical literacy education in New Zealand.

Advised head of university’s marketing on establishing Facebook page.

SGL Global, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Corporate compliance translator.  2007
Translated hundreds of pages of corporate financial documents from Italian into English to facilitate major criminal investigation audit.


Anja Klinkert Lawyers, Dunedin, New Zealand

Legal Researcher.  2005-2007

Researched family law, human rights, senior law, and disability law part-time.

Research on New Zealand disability and human rights laws helped win a divorce property case for a mentally disabled client.

 

Medlicotts Barristers and Solicitors, Dunedin, New Zealand

Legal Researcher for former University of Otago Chancellor's Law Firm.  2005

Researched legal theory for family law cases in New Zealand.

Analyzed corporate documents and determined existence of assets for property to be divided.

Indiana University-Maurer School of Law

Assistant Dean for International Programs.   2/2003 - 5/2003

Provided support and leadership to international graduate students in the Law School's international legal studies program.

Advised on academic, bar exam, cultural, immigration (SEVIS), and disability/medical advice to international lawyers and judges.

Indiana Supreme Court

Attorney and Statistical Analyst.  8/2000 - 7/2002

Analyzed the case load data of all 400+ Indiana trial courts and wrote annual statewide Indiana Judicial Service Report of the judicial branch.  Wrote articles for the state court administration newsletter.

Advocated for and obtained software for a vision-impaired trial judge.  Justice Sullivan approved request.  Managed provision of email to all trial judges in State of Indiana.

Consulted hearing-impaired community for a statewide trial court transcript pilot project.

Planned new format of Indiana Supreme Court webpage, especially attorney section and user-focused design site-wide.

Invented idea for a real-time protective order database, recognized by Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Admitted to practice law by this Court on 6/7/2002 and left its service on 7/11/2002.

Alan M. Voorhees, Woodbridge, VA

Corporate Counsel to famous transportation planner.  8/1998 - 8/2000

Advocated to Virginia Supreme Court, state legislative committees, as well as individual court clerks and legislators on court records reform.

Served on Virginia State Bar Task Force on Technology and co- chaired Education of Bench & Bar subcommittee.

Clerked for Hon. Joseph E. Spruill, Jr., past president of the Virginia State Bar, on civil cases and researched Virginia death penalty law for a triple murder trial.

Received leadership training from the Council for Excellence in Government in Washington, which Voorhees initiated in the 1980s.

Corporate work for Autometric (aerospace/satellite--protects all US air traffic), Lizardtech, Cinecom, International Land Systems, Sylvan Internet, Richmond County clerk.

Voorhees was a board member of Delta Airlines, Chase Bank, and Boeing, Micros, and an angel investor for other small high tech companies.

Provided counsel on projects at the Library of Congress, the Library of Virginia, and the Virginia Historical Society.

Provided advice and counsel regarding millions in donations to Voorhees College (Historically Black College) and the University of Virginia.

Indiana University-Maurer School of Law

Legal Researcher.   9/1996 - 12/1997

Researched administrative, constitutional, disability, substantive due process, and globalization law for Dean Aman's textbook supplement and treatise.

McConnell for Congress, Princeton, IN

Internet Director.  1/1996 - 5/1996

Created and maintained web site for U.S. House campaign.

Wrote Internet press releases and canvassed for candidate in Bloomington and Evansville.

Italian Foreign Ministry, Bologna, Italy

Communications System Adviser.  12/1995 – 1/1996

Wrote educational software and instructions to teach Foreign Ministry telecommunications officers.

Options for Better Living, Bloomington, IN

Assistant Manager.  9/1992 - 8/1993

Planned and implemented daily activities and personal care for disabled adults in a group home.

Assisted multidisciplinary team, including health practitioners and psychologists.

Advocated for residents' rights to participate in community activities as per the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Oaklawn Mental Hospital, Goshen, IN

Nurse's Aide.  1989

Assisted in care of patients with mental disabilities, including veterans with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and patients with depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, and eating disorders.

 

Association for the Disabled of Elkhart County, Elkhart, IN

Supervisor.  5/1988 – 8/1988

Managed work for teens with mental and physical disabilities.

EDUCATION

University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand.

Graduate studies: NZ Bioethics & Health Law, 2004.  GPA: 3.2

Indiana University-Maurer School of Law, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

J.D. - 12/1997.  Dean's List, Fall 1997.  GPA: 3.2

Concentrated on administrative and political law and worked as the Dean's research assistant. Highest mark in class in Negotiations.  "A" grade in Political Law and "A" grade in Globalization Law Seminar.


Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

Master's Degree - 12/1995.  GPA: 3.77

Language Education (ESL/ EFL).
 

Indiana University, Bloomington, Indiana, USA.

Bachelor's Degree - 5/1992.  GPA: 3.2

Majors: English and Philosophy.  Minor: Political Science.

Originally matriculated as a National Merit Scholar in the Hutton Honors School to study biochemistry and genetics.

AFFILIATIONS

Indiana bar: Active in Good Standing.  Admitted 6/7/2002.

Virginia State Bar: Active in Good Standing as of 7/20/2016.  Admitted 6/7/1999.

Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals: admitted 1999.

Northern & Southern U.S. District Courts of Indiana: Admitted 2002.

U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois: Admitted 2013.

U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin: Admitted 2015.

Federal Bar Association, Chicago Chapter, 2015-2016.

American Bar Association: Member 2014-2016.

Military & Veterans Health Law Task Force

Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health Advisory Board

Healthcare Fraud and Compliance

Public Health and Policy

Physician Issues

Civil Rights Litigation

Disability Discrimination

Section 1983

National Lawyers Guild: Member, 2015-2016.

Disability Rights Committee, Member, 2016.

Indiana Association of Mediators: Board Member, 2012-2013.

Indiana University Alumni Association: Life Member.

U.S. International Council on Disabilities: Member, 2014-2015.

Bipolar Lawyers Bar Association, Founder, 2016.

American Association of Retired People (Disabled Member), AARP, 2015-2016.

Children of Camp LeJeune, Founder & Member, 2015-2016.


AWARDS/HONORS

American Bar Association Commission on Disability Rights: “Spotlight” disabled attorney, January 2014.

"Most active student leader," one of five 1996 Parker- Powell Indiana University Student Association fellowships.

Trained with Health and Human Services executives at Council for Excellence in Government, 2000.

"Imagine E-government Award Competition National Finalist."  Kennedy School of Government and Council for Excellence in Government recognized my domestic violence real-time FBI protective order database proposal as one of the top 8 e-government ideas in the USA.  2001.  My mother’s experience with a death threat motivated my interest in this area.

National Merit Scholar, 1987.

Passed U.S. Foreign Service Exam, Written Portion, 1998

National Association of Law Students with Disabilities (NALSWD) 2015 Annual Conference in Baltimore: Panel Speaker on "Attitudinal Barriers" in the Legal Profession and Judicial Branch.


LANGUAGES

English (Native), Italian (Fluent), German (Studied 5 years), French (Studied 1 year), Spanish (Basic)

OVERSEAS EXPERIENCES
New Zealand, Italy, Germany, France, UK, Turkey, Canada, Switzerland, Australia, Malaysia, Liechtenstein, Austria, the Vatican, Monaco, Dubai
Permanent resident status in New Zealand.  U.S. Citizen.

POLICY/ACADEMIC EDITING

Indiana Daily Student columnist and editorial board member.

Edited books by University of Otago instructors: one on Chinese folktales and another on Chinese administrative law and human rights reform.

Advised Ph.D. student and edited her dissertation on Chinese administrative law and human rights reform in China.  Edited Ph.D. dissertation on Chinese media culture and documentary film.


COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT

Founder, Children of Camp LeJeune group with other people poisoned at Marine Corps base Camp LeJeune, North Carolina.  TV coverage for proposed 2015 bill: https://youtu.be/MKojwUm0qwk

Law School Representative to Indiana University Student Government, Bloomington.  1995-1996.

International Law Association membership director. 1995-1997.

Law School Educational Policy Committee member, Bloomington, IN.  1996-1997.

Legal Services volunteer for poor, elderly, & disabled legal clients, Bloomington IN.  1996-1997.

Tutored factory workers after plant moved to Mexico.  1996.

Tutor at Monroe County Public Library for disabled youths.  

Age Concern Otago volunteer, Dunedin, New Zealand. Visited disabled senior.  2010.

Volunteer: Free Burma, Amnesty International.  1996-1997.


RECENT DISABILITY CIVIL RIGHTS WORK

U.S.A.  Federal Tort Claims Act.  File# 140367.  Constitutional claims: 5th and 9th Amendment rights not to be poisoned by the government.  Claim for my disabilities and my daughter’s spinal injuries from my exposure to trichloroethylene and other poisons in the drinking water at Camp LeJeune Naval Hospital, where I was born.  Separate claim for my mother’s early death from cancer at 48; assigned as administrator of her estate.  Straw v. United States, 1:15-cv-1756 (N.D. Ill.) Issue of 6 months of tardiness by government and default is before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.  Straw et. al. v. USA, 15-2590 (7th Cir.)  Case transferred by the MDL Panel.  Straw et. al. v. United States, MDL 2218 (2015).  The case is now before the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.  Straw et. al. v. United States, 1:15-cv-03633-TWT (N.D. GA), 1:11-md-2218 (N.D. Ga.).  CURRENT STATUS: awaiting decision on default for all four plaintiffs and awaiting Court's decision whether to evacuate Camp LeJeune and protect children living there at this time, while the base abatement is not yet complete.


U.S. Treasury.  Rehabilitation Act of 1973 claim.  Case# CR-13-8.  Claim for discrimination on the basis of mental and physical disability in loan program specifically for disabled people. 07/2013.


U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, Disability Rights Section.  DJ# 204-26S-189.  Discrimination in the laws, rules, and procedures governing elections in Indiana.  10/2012.


Indiana Civil Rights Commission.  Indiana Civil Rights Law claim.  PAha12111565.  Claim for discrimination because the Indiana Democratic Party’s headquarters in South Bend, Indiana, lacks access in its parking lot and entrance, and the Party’s Rule 10 discriminates on the basis of mental disability.  “Denied Transfer” at the Indiana Supreme Court. Straw v. Indiana Democratic Party, 93A02-1406-EX-399.  TV coverage of Democrats' exclusion, 2011: https://youtu.be/2DebpmIA0oc


​​Indiana Civil Rights Commission.  Complaint against City of South Bend for using parallel parking for handicap spots, including bike lanes in the width calculation and omitting access aisles altogether.  PAha15040308.


Indiana Public Access Counselor.  Complaint against City of South Bend for taking 3 years to provide a public records request under the APRA law.  Files were never provided and Counselor agreed with me that such a long wait was "languishing" for years and completely unreasonable. Counselor rejected the City's demand that I or others must communicate by phone and remind local governments.  Straw v. South Bend, 15-FC-139.  06/03/2015.  Was a 2015 AP wire story, in the Washington Times and other newspapers nationally, and covered on several TV stations.


Cook County Circuit Court.  Defamation, Illinois Human Rights Act, and retaliation claims.  Straw v. Chamber, et. al., 120742 (Ill. Sup. Ct., 2016)  After demanding handicap parking in Streamwood, the Chamber of Commerce and newspaper violated my human rights.  One defendant has settled.  About 150 handicapped spots lacking in Streamwood.  Court of Appeals refused to consider handicap parking as a real estate matter, or the retaliation context as contributing to the malice of defendants.  Petition for Leave to Appeal and Appendix filed with Illinois Supreme Court on 5/3/2016.


U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois.  Civil RICO claim, 18 U.S. Code §1964(c). Straw v. Kloecker, et. al., 14-C-1420 (ND Ill. 2014).  Claim based on protection of mental health information privacy.  I appealed this to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, and then the U.S. Supreme Court 14-702.  Straw v. Kloecker, et. al., 574 U.S. ___ (cert. denied 1/20/2015).  My first appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court; I even cut the weird size paper for the appeal myself by hand.


Founded Disability Party for people with disabilities.  2/5/2013.  Over 1,400 followers in 39 countries as of 5/1/2015.


U.S. Supreme Court.  Advocated for the Court to become more accessible by creating an office of disability rights.  Letter sent 5/5/2014.


U.S. Marine Corps.  Wrote to Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps seeking support for Children of Camp LeJeune.  04/2015.


U.S. Treasury, U.S. Federal Reserve.  FOIA requests in 2014 revealed that neither the U.S. Treasury nor the U.S. Federal Reserve have any documents that reveal the relationship between FICO scores and disability (SSDI).  Requested my member of Congress, Tammy Duckworth, to provide Social Security funds for this statistical research on structural discrimination.  04/2014.  National Council on Disability and the Social Security Administration are investigating the relationship at my request.


Indiana University-Maurer School of Law.  Advocated for the Law School to become more accessible and welcoming to disabled law students and prospective law students.  2013-2014.


American Bar Association & top U.S. law schools.  Straw v. ABA, 1:14-cv-05194 (ND Ill. 2014).  This suit was to require all law schools to reveal disability statistics of class profiles, like they do race and gender.  7/9/2014.  01/2015.
U.S. Department of Education OCR# 5-15-4052 is Rehabilitation Act complaint to force these changes.

U.S. Department of Education Complaint. Advocated for Harvard Law School and all other schools that are not providing information on disability in law school admissions, when they do provide this information on race and gender.  Complaint # 01-15-2188.  05/2015


"Highly Qualified."  U.S. Army Medical Command Attorney-Advisor, 2014.  "Finalist," Executive Director of Indiana Protection & Advocacy Service, 2014.


Congress, U.S.A.  Lobbying Congress for full health coverage and compensation for Children of Camp LeJeune, who were poisoned at birth and on the base. Received TV coverage in two states (Texas & Michigan): http://kltv.videodownload.worldnow.com/kltv_20150127194806120AA.mp4


Federal Highway Administration complaint against City of South Bend, Indiana, for its “parallel parking handicap spots," which include bike lanes as part of handicap spaces in place of the required access aisles.  06/2015  Now have a lawsuit to force these matter to happen after 5 years of refusals to comply with the law.  Straw v. City of South Bend, et. al., 3:16-cv-342-JTM-CAN (N.D. Ind.)


Illinois Human Rights Act Complaints.  9 perfected complaints pending at Illinois Human Rights Department for violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act.  5/2016.  Other access violations I have uncovered in Northern Illinois appear here: www.accessviolations.com


Straw v. Illinois State Board of Elections, 2016CH227 (Cook Cty Cir. Ct.).  I sued the Illinois State Board of Elections because they refused me 3 different accommodation requests in 2015, the last being that I could have to collect less signatures in my nomination papers for Congress since they refused my other accommodation requests.  I also requested the ability to collect signatures online as "esignatures." The State and federal courts in Illinois require e-signatures, so I felt this was not a burden on the state or unreasonable.  15 U.S.C. Sections 7001 and 7004 also mandate the State to allow esignatures.  I also requested to be able to witness signatures online using Skype or Facebook Video, and this was rejected also.  This case was to reverse my removal from the ballot in: Cramer v. Straw, 15 SOEB GP 501 (Ill. St. Bd. El.).  Judge Carroll dismissed my case, refusing to allow me to amend and defend my disability accommodations and rights.


Straw v. Illinois State Board of Elections, unperfected complaint to Illinois Department of Human Rights.  Seeking monetary damages and injunction relief due to the discrimination inherent in ignoring my rights as a disabled candidate.  Extreme injury as a candidate in removing me from the ballot.  I expect this to take about 1 year and if I win, disabled candidates for state and federal office will have accommodations available to them that did not exist before.  2/2016.


Petition of Andrew Straw to Illinois State Board of Elections.  March 2016.  Seeking recognition of the ESIGN Act (15 U.S.C. Sections 7001 and 7004) in Illinois elections.  In particular, I have asked that esignatures collected on the Internet be accepted, and that nomination papers submitted electronically be submitted. When the ISBE provides nomination papers for people to check, they provide them in PDF format.  This is the format I expect should be accepted for submitting nomination papers.  Also, as per ESIGN, electronic agents should be accepted.  Seeking read-only access to voter rolls to check accuracy of petition signatures.


REFERENCES

Hon. Joseph E. Spruill, Jr. (ret.)

Email: josephspruill@verizon.net

Reference Type: Professional.  Former Virginia trial judge and former president, Virginia State Bar (1976).  Hired me as his clerk on civil and criminal matters, including a triple murder-arson trial.

Dean Alfred C. Aman, Jr.

Phone: (812) 855-1902

Email: aaman@indiana.edu

Reference Type: Professional.  Former law school dean hired me to be his research assistant and later endorsed my congressional campaign in 2011.

Prof. Jiefen Li
Phone: 0061 (2) 79018939

Email: Jiefen.li@gmail.com

Address: 81 Bay Street, Unit 6, Glebe, NSW 2037, Sydney, Australia

Reference Type: Personal and Professional.  She asked me to assist with her Ph.D. dissertation and book on human rights in China.

Captain Jason Lee Straw (ret.)
Phone: 707-683-7193

Email: jason.straw@hotmail.com

Reference Type: Personal.  Jason is my brother.  He is a retired U.S. Air Force critical care trauma nurse (CCATT).

Mr. Alan M. Voorhees, famous transportation planner (deceased)

Reference Type: Professional (I was his corporate counsel).  Ms. Mary Gonet was his investment firm’s CFO.  Email: mgonet@summitva.com

 

Links:

Cases: www.andrewstraw.com/cases.html

Photo Portfolio of Disability Violations: www.accessviolations.com

Disability Info: www.andrewudstraw.com

My Work Reforming the Judicial Branch: www.andrewstraw.com/balance.html

Indiana Supreme Court Disability Discrimination: www.indianasupremecourt.org

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