Law Firm that Claims it Stands up for the Disabled Accused of Racketeering
A lawsuit was filed in June in the U.S. District Court in Fresno against Mission Law Firm and its predecessor, Moore Law Firm, alleging that the two firms violated the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. The Mission Law Firm in San Jose had sued a restaurant in July 2014, claiming that it was inaccessible to disabled people and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The RICO Act, was enacted in 1970 to combat organized crime syndicates, but has since been expanded to civil courtrooms where defendants face heavy financial penalties if convicted. The ADA prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities in all areas of public life, including jobs, schools, transportation, and all public and private places that are open to the general public. The lawsuit alleges
The defendants have perverted the purpose of the ADA… for their own greed and financial gain.
The lawsuit identifies several defendants, including Ronald Moore, 58, of Clovis, who has curiously been a plaintiff in hundreds of ADA lawsuits, and his former sister-in-law, Tanya Moore, an attorney who operated the Moore Law Firm in San Jose. Court records say that Tanya Moore has filed over 1,000 ADA lawsuits against small businesses in Fresno and the Valley. The alleged fraudulent scheme began around 2009 when Tanya Moore and Kenneth Moore held meetings in Fresno to recruit disabled plaintiffs and offered them a finder’s fee every time they became a plaintiff in an ADA complaint. The defendants in the alleged lawsuit scheme have denied the allegations, and the lawsuit claims that Tanya Moore and her ex-husband quit practicing law in March 2015. The lawsuit is still ongoing, but if it is found that the two law firms actually did abuse the ADA, it would be a great shame that they chose to exploit a law that is meant for people that actually have disabilities.