Sherri Renner: The Case of My Career


The Case of
My Career

Most attorneys have that one special case they handled which was exceptional or pivotal in some way. These cases are dubbed, “The case of my career.” For years I thought mine was Art and Compassion Inc. and Food Not Bombs vs. The City of West Palm Beach. It was a big win for the politically powerless, allowed me to work with and get to know co-plaintiff’s counsel who is a fabulous human being, and was pivotal because it ignited in me a passion to defend people’s civil rights against governmental encroachment.

I was wrong, though. That wasn’t the case of my career.

As of the date of this writing (June 2019), it’s been nearly two years since the Florida Supreme Court disbarred me (a video with the details is below). I have sued the Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court for violating my rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Rehabilitation Act. This case is the case of my career. Literally.

Sherri Renner, JD

Even though I had intended to go public with this story eventually because of its potential importance to others, now that I’m sitting down and doing it I’m finding that there still is a stinging rawness to the wound that the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court inflicted. Nevertheless, I will continue with this project in the hope that it will help spur something positive or move the collective needle a tick or two toward better health and true equality.

There are several facets to my plight which motivate me to share all of this with you:

  • I have been living with the harms that the Americans with Disabilities Act was enacted to eliminate. There have been social campaigns in recent years to end the stigma of mental health issues and treatment. My story may help advance this effort because that stigma and the discrimination that flows from it were the factors driving the disbarment. 
  • The story provides a context for the discussion of those parts of the ADA that apply to protect people with histories of mental health diagnosis or treatment from the harm that was occasioned upon me.
  • Whether because of a failure to obtain justice in the courts, professional licensing issues, or mental health stigma, there undoubtedly are others out there who are in situations similar to mine who may find comfort in knowing they are not alone, or who may find inspiration or information that is useful for them.
  • The Florida Bar and the Florida Supreme Court have failed to create and administer their Bar licensing and regulatory scheme so that it complies with the ADA. These failures rightly impugn the impartiality of Florida’s judicial system and the promise that those who come before it enjoy equality under the law. Therefore it is in the public interest to expose the hypocrisy and inspire change.
  • It’s important to examine the various privileges, doctrines, and immunities that shield the states and other governmental entities from accountability when they violate the rights of citizens. Civil rights plaintiffs must run doctrinal gauntlets successfully before ever getting a hearing on the merits of their claims. Again, my story provides context for such a discussion.
  • After years of practice, including donation of significant pro bono hours to help people who represent themselves in court, I now am representing myself in this case of my career. Like so many other people, I couldn’t afford to hire a lawyer to represent me. I now can relate on a deeper level to the pro se folks I help. This experience has deepened the passion and broadened the vision I have for assisting them.
  • Finally, I share my story because the shortcomings, failures, and abuses of psychiatry must be discussed openly in the public sphere. Yes, the case of my career is, in fact, a saga.

On this website I plan to explore each of these points more in depth. And I’ll be reporting on the progress of my lawsuit against the Florida Bar and Florida Supreme Court, assuming there is any.

This website domain was the one I used for my law practice. After the disbarment, I revised the content to focus on LawYou America. Later, I deleted the website completely, intending never to use it again. But I changed my mind again when I began this project. I think it’s entirely appropriate to use this domain to discuss the issues at hand.

I made this video in January 2018 for family and friends once I reached the point where it was too painful to keep retelling the story.

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Want to pitch in and help right this wrong, not only for Sherri but for other people facing similar stigma and discrimination?

Sherri Renner: The Case of My Career

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