As we reported earlier, the IBA sent a letter to the out-of-state law firms that have been threatening banks and thrifts across our state with lawsuits over their websites under the American with Disabilities Act.
Our letter demanded that they “withdraw all demand letters propounded on IBA member banks and thrifts and refrain from any further threats, demands or litigation against any IBA member bank or thrift with respect to its website, unless and until: (1) a legal standard regarding website accessibility is promulgated by the U.S. Department of Justice; and (2) the IBA member bank or thrift has an opportunity to comply, but unreasonably fails to comply, with any deadline for compliance established in connection with that standard.”
We are pleased to report that these law firms have agreed to withdraw their demand letters sent to IBA member banks and thrifts. In a letter received by the IBA yesterday, June 26th, the law firms state:
Carlson Lynch Sweet Kilpela & Carpenter LLP and KamberLaw vehemently
dispute the factual assertions and legal conclusions set forth in your June 9,
2017 letter. Nonetheless, we hereby withdraw the letters to your member
banks, which were sent merely as a courtesy.
While they are noncommittal as to their actions beyond withdrawing their letters, we believe this is a very positive development for our members. They now are relieved from further discussions with these firms and from paying ongoing legal fees relating to their demands. And they may no longer need to report the threatened lawsuits as a contingent liability.
Apart from sharing this good news, we want to remind our members that lawsuits concerning website accessibility under the Americans with Disabilities Act continue to be filed across the country against banks and businesses in other industries, and the letter we received yesterday applies only to these two out-of-state law firms and their demand letters. Banks and thrifts that have not already begun the process should use this opportunity for assessing and addressing their websites' accessibility, without dealing with the distractions and extraneous costs of threatened litigation.