“It's very rare that you see something on your way to work and think ‘I did that and it's helpful.’” Whether serving as President of the Disability Rights Legal Center or President of the American Branch of the International Law Association, or problem solving for one of his corporate clients, Litigation partner Chuck Siegal brings a unique perspective to his professional and personal endeavors.
Prior to becoming a lawyer, Mr. Siegal earned a Ph.D. in physics from Carnegie Mellon University. “Physics and math are very good training if you want to be analytical, and the law is analytical.” Mr. Siegal's perspective is shaped in part by the late Simeon Friedberg, a physics professor with whom Mr. Siegal debated the search for truth in science. Professor Friedberg noted that scientists get to the truth by publishing their research, thereby exposing to scrutiny their stated facts and conclusions. Mr. Siegal sees a useful parallel with judicial review in the legal arena.
Never one to back down from a challenge, Mr. Siegal, along with fellow litigation partner Stuart Senator, took on the Los Angeles Metropolitan Transit Authority and the California Department of Transportation among others in a suit on behalf of clients with disabilities who travel the 900 miles of freeways and state highways in Los Angeles County.
The result was a settlement mandating that all the call boxes in Los Angeles County be retrofitted for handicap access, which included installing ramps and equipping phones with telephone typewriters for those with hearing or speech difficulties. The seemingly mundane apparatus stationed approximately every quarter mile serves as a poignant reminder of just one of the ways Mr. Siegal is making a difference.