Steven Schwartz, Legal Director, Center for Public Representation, was the featured guest for a DignityMA Study Session on September 22, 2023. His topic is Using Class Actions to Promote System Change.
Steven J. Schwartz currently is the Center’s Legal Director, after founding the Center in 1976 and then serving as its Executive Director for 38 years. After graduating from Harvard Law School in 1971, he represented thousands of people with disabilities over the past fifty years. He has testified before Congress on numerous occasions, successfully resolved a number of damage cases for institutionalized individuals with disabilities, and litigated dozens of class action cases that challenge the unnecessary segregation of people with disabilities in psychiatric hospitals, developmental disability institutions, nursing facilities, and juvenile justice settings. He has provided training and technical assistance to disability rights programs in more than 40 states, authored a number of law review articles, and served on the faculty of the Harvard and Western New England Law Schools.
Attorney Schwartz will review the purposes and methods involved with using class action lawsuits to affect change in public policies and practices. He will provide information about the results from some of the most prominent lawsuit outcomes in recent Massachusetts history.