the bike lawyers by J.David Goodman/NY Times.

David Rankin and Mark Taylor have been sticking it to the Man in the name of cyclists since the days the cops declared war on critical mass back in the mid 90’s. Active cyclists both as commuters and socially were sick and tired of seeing their biker friends get harassed by the NYPD which lead them to form their own law firm Rankin and Taylor, specifically to fight for the civil rights of cyclists. They handle everything from personal injury cases to one of their current projects, bringing a class action lawsuit to the city for handing out false summons during the largely bogus, “operation safecycle,” of 2011.

The firm has recently been joined by Steve Vaccaro, who has been highly active on the legal front against much of the nonsense of the Prospect Park West bike lane.

J. David Goodman has just published an article about this powerhouse law firm in this Sunday’s New York Times, park of his on going Spokes Column.

A New Breed of Lawyers Focuses on Bicyclists’ Rights

Photo Caption: ON THE JOB Steve Vaccaro, a lawyer at Rankin & Taylor, biking from his office on Broadway to Midtown to meet with a community organization that has taken a stand against cyclists. Photo by: Christian Hansen for The New York Times

Published: August 19, 2011

AT the law firm Rankin & Taylor, everybody’s a cyclist. One recent day, the lawyers there parsed bike-law issues, like “dooring zones” and when is it legally acceptable to ride outside a designated lane, while downstairs, each of their bikes were expertly locked to a scaffold along Broadway in TriBeCa.

The small firm is preparing to bring a class-action suit against New York City on behalf of cyclists over summons handed out for what it contends are phantom violations — bike behavior that it says is not illegal in the city. It is another sign that New York’s bike fights are moving from the streets to the courtroom.

When it comes to bike law, it seems, the wheels of justice no longer grind slowly. Since a ticketing blitz early this year, cyclists in New York have faced stepped-up police enforcement of red-light and other, less-obvious rules, like having adequate lights or not riding with earphones in both ears.

Read more here.

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