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Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center

A release from Autism Speaks:
Autism Speaks, the world’s leading autism advocacy and science organization, has formed the Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center (ASLRC) to help develop and protect the legal rights of people with autism. The initial focus of the ASLRC will be on ensuring access to effective autism treatment through enforcement of autism insurance reform and other private and public sources of coverage.
The new Center will serve as a resource center for the nation’s legal community involved in autism litigation and work with local and national advocates in ongoing or developing impact cases and legal advocacy. The Center may provide logistic support, coordination, legal advice and analysis, training and policy analysis, co-counseling in strategic cases and amicus (friend of the court) briefing. Although the ASLRC will not be equipped to respond to individual requests for representation, it will have as part of its mission, the development of a referral network of qualified attorneys who can provide these services.
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The Center is led by Dan Unumb, J.D., who has previously practiced with the U.S. Department of Justice and private law firms and most recently served as Director of Litigation for South Carolina Legal Services. Unumb has extensive experience in autism law and is co-author of the law school casebook “Autism and the Law” with Lorri Unumb, J.D., vice president of state government affairs for Autism Speaks.
The Autism Speaks Legal Resource Center will strategically develop and enforce key legal precedents, organize and train attorneys, coordinate legal resources, and serve as a clearinghouse for legal information and assistance to attorneys, regulatory agencies, and providers. The Center will also work with the Bar and the judiciary to raise awareness of legal issues pertaining to autism and with policy groups, as well as executive and legislative personnel on legal reforms to address the public health crises posed by autism.
Initially, The Center is now focusing on enforcing insurance reform laws, and securing access to medically necessary treatment by all including those on Medicaid, those in states without insurance reforms or with federally regulated insurance, and those to be covered under the Affordable Care Act.