mark ginsberg

Biketown says users will get multiple chances to protect their jury-trial rights

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 22nd, 2016 at 1:26 pm

New public plaza on SW 3rd and Ankeny-2.jpg
The new Biketown station at SW 3rd and Oak.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Anyone who acts to protect themselves from a clause buried in the Biketown contract that prompts users to waive their jury-trial rights is protecting themselves permanently, the bike share operator says.

At issue is a “binding arbitration” clause in section 15 of the long rental agreement to which people must agree in order to use the public system. Such clauses, which are designed to prevent class actions and other customer lawsuits, are increasingly common for credit card companies and other corporations but are rare among public bike share systems.

But as we reported Thursday, the contract includes a way for Biketown users to protect themselves: you have to send an email with a particular subject line to a particular email address mentioned in the contract.


Biketown contract forces users to waive their legal rights – unless they act quickly

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on July 21st, 2016 at 11:02 am

Biketown users on the Hawthorne Bridge yesterday.(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Biketown users on the Hawthorne Bridge yesterday.
(Photos: J. Maus/BikePortland)

Buried in the “miscellaneous” section of the user agreement for Portland’s new bike-sharing system is a notice that Biketown users are waiving their rights to a jury trial.

Unless, that is, they sent a one-line email to the company that operates Biketown within 30 days of first using the system. If they don’t, a prominent Portland bike lawyer says, their chances of winning any future legal claim against Biketown are slim.

The requirement was spotted this week, just after the system launched, by (among other people) Mark Ginsberg, a Portland attorney who specializes in “bicycle legal needs.” He shared his discovery in a post to friends on his Facebook page:

hey Portland friends who got BikeTown memberships, you read the contract right?
In Section 15, they force you into arbitration, unless you take action within the first 30 days (clarification- within 30 days of first use) to opt out of arbitration.
As your lawyer friend, I’m here to tell you that you should opt out.
don’t say I didn’t warn you.


Crash victims in limbo as police records backlog swells to six months

by on April 21st, 2016 at 4:16 pm

Small business owner Rowan Kimsey was seriously injured in a traffic crash over five months ago. She still doesn’t have a copy of the police report.
(Photo: M. Andersen/BikePortland)

For many traffic crash victims the difference between getting a check from the insurance company and getting nothing comes down to one document: a police report. And for an increasing number of Portlanders the time it takes to receive a copy of that report has ballooned from two weeks to up to six months.

These victims are in limbo. Without a police report they can’t get paid what they’re owed and they can’t fully heal emotionally because they often aren’t even able to find out basic information — like the first and last name — of the person who hit them.


Portland Copwatch to host ‘Your Rights, Bikes and the Police’ seminar

by on February 6th, 2013 at 5:24 pm

N17 protests
Interactions happen. Knowing the law and
your rights can make them smoother.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland Copwatch announced a seminar event today that’s aimed at people who ride bikes. “Your Rights, Bikes and the Police” will be an informational event that will feature local attorney Mark Ginsberg and members of Portland Copwatch, a non-profit, “grassroots group promoting police accountability through citizen action.”

Here’s more about the event: (more…)

Is carrying someone on your bike illegal?

by on April 26th, 2010 at 2:25 pm

Sunday Parkways Northeast 2009-64
Fun, yes; but legal?
(Photos @ J. Maus)

Back in February, Portlander Ken Southerland got a ticket for attempting to give a friend a ride on the back rack of his bicycle. In the summer of 2007, I saw two Portland Police officers issue a ticket to a man on Alberta Street for the same offense. In the latter case, the man was operating a tall bike with a home made wooden deck on the back (see photo below).

In Oregon, there’s a state law that prohibits “unlawful passengers on a bicycle.” With the popularity of Xtracycles and other long-tail bikes where people ride on the rear rack, and the general tendency for “doubling” (which is far from just a Portland phenomenon), I wondered whether or not the examples above expose yet another unfortunate grey-area in Oregon law that could negatively impact people who ride bicycles. (more…)