SWLAW Blog | Awards & Honors

Philip Schuler headshot

September 1, 2023

Southwestern Law Student Philip L. Schuler Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court Case

Southwestern Law School congratulates 4L Philip L. Schuler, for his achievement in submitting an Amicus Project brief to the Supreme Court of the United States. Under the expert supervision of Professor Jenny Rodriguez-Fee, Phil contributed a nuanced and insightful brief in the case of Acheson Hotels, LLC. v. Deborah Laufer.

The case at hand raises a critical question on the applicability of Article III standing in the context of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Specifically, the issue is whether a self-appointed ADA "tester" has Article III standing to challenge a place of public accommodation's failure to provide disability accessibility information on its website, even if the tester has no intention of physically visiting the venue.

In his brief, Phil presented a strong argument in support of Laufer, utilizing an analysis of research studies that examined the hotel reservation experience for persons with disabilities. His findings concluded that prospective guests are unable to exercise their ADA rights effectively unless ADA compliance information is readily available to them. The brief argues that such information is imperative for ensuring an inclusive and equitable environment for all individuals, irrespective of their physical abilities.

Those interested in reading Phil's full brief and accompanying documents may access them here.

Michael M. Epstein, J.D., Ph.D., Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School and Director of the Amicus Project, had this to say about working with Phil: "It was an absolute delight to work with Phil Schuler. Phil is a consummate professional; he is one of the most dedicated students I have had the privilege to supervise here at Southwestern. I could see that Phil deeply cared about the significant disability rights at issue in this brief."

This significant accomplishment is indicative of the high level of professional work-product that we encourage and foster here at Southwestern Law School. We extend our congratulations to Phil and also commend Professor Jenny Rodriguez-Fee for her guidance in this successful endeavor.

We are proud of the contributions our students make to the broader legal community and look forward to more groundbreaking work in the future. Well done, Phil!