Featured Guests
Richard Roane, Esq.

Rick Roane, Esq. is a partner with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, Michigan. For 26 years, he has practiced...

Your Host
Vicki Voisin

The Paralegal Voice covers the latest issues and trends in the world of paralegals and legal assistants. Host Vicki...

The legal history of rights against discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered people is changing rapidly. In April 2015, 38 states and Washington, D.C. granted legal benefits of marriage to same-sex marriages, a huge step up from 12 in 2013. But there are still 27 states that do not have statewide protection from discrimination against LGBT workers. Furthermore, many individuals in the legal industry fear losing their jobs because of their sexual orientation, and paralegals are more at risk than lawyers because they are employees at will and not protected by partnership agreements. So what can LGBT paralegals do if they live in one of these states?

In this episode of The Paralegal Voice, Vicki Voisin interviews Ric Roane, Esq., a lawyer with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP in Grand Rapids, Michigan, about the history of legal rights regarding the LGBT community and how paralegals today can cope with discrimination and fear of coming out in their workplace. Roane discusses how the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) signed in 1996 denies marriage benefits to same-sex spouses. He also talks about how the Elliott-Larsen Civil Rights Act in Michigan and similar acts in other states defend widely against discrimination without mention of the LGBT community. He explains the Supreme Court consideration of whether the Constitution guarantees same-sex couples the right to marry and how their decision will affect workers. After the break, he talks about his own experience of being an openly gay lawyer, the differences between discrimination of paralegals versus lawyers, and steps a paralegal can take to help enhance their job security.

Richard Roane, Esq. is a partner with Warner Norcross & Judd LLP, one of the largest and most successful law firms in Michigan. He has practiced family law and domestic relations litigation for 26 years. Roane specializes in divorce, nonmarital domestic relationships, domestic relations mediation and arbitration, spousal support, child custody and support, complex business valuation and distribution, and pre- and post-nuptial agreements. He does a lot of public speaking and has authored several family law articles and books.

Special thanks to our sponsors, Boston UniversityNALA, and ServeNow.


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Episode Details
Published: April 29, 2015
Podcast: Paralegal Voice
Category: Legal News
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Paralegal Voice
Paralegal Voice

The Paralegal Voice provides career-success tips for paralegals of any experience level.

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