Adjunct Law Prof Blog

Editor: Mitchell H. Rubinstein
New York Law School

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

4th Circuit Holds ADHD Is Not A Disability


Halpern v. Wake Forest University Health Sciences, ____F.3d____(4th Cir. Feb. 28, 2012), is an extremely important case. The court upholds the discharge of a medical student from medical school and rejected his ADHD defense under the Rehab and ADA. Why, providing deference to the medical school, the court held that he was not qualified under the statute because "professionalism" was an essential part of the program. 

The court cited to several employment cases which held that an employee misconduct is not protected even if the disability caused the misconduct.

Law review commentary on this important case would be most welcome. Here that students!

Mitchell H. Rubinstein

Hat Tip: Workplace Prof Blog

Discrimination Law, Education Law, Law Review Ideas | Permalink


the title of your article is misleading. page 12 of the article says:
Wake Forest concedes that Halpern has satisfied the first
element. His ADHD and anxiety disorder constitute disabilities
giving rise to protection under the Rehabilitation Act and
ADA.4 Accordingly, we consider whether the district court
erred in determining as a matter of law that Halpern was not
"otherwise qualified" to participate in the Medical School’s

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