It’s what lawyers are supposed to do with at least some of our time. But its meaning is often misunderstood. It does not mean volunteerism. It does not mean charity.
It means using professional skills without regard to payment to provide services for clients who would otherwise not benefit for them and in a way that advances justice and fairness for more people.
For us, it means fighting for cycling justice. For free.
Our network of independent lawyers are first cyclists, and secondly lawyers. Since founded in 1998, we have donated many hundreds of hours of pro bono representation.
It takes two forms for us.
In the most catastrophic cases, lawyers in our Network have given pro bono representation to families after the wrongful death of their cyclist loved ones. In these cases, where a monetary award is minimal or unavailable, we have given legal assistance with the police and prosecutor and with the insurance claims process.
In everyday cases, we often represent cyclists in traffic court without charge. A notorious example is the case of the wrongfully ticketed and convicted Michigan cyclist. Lawyers in our Network appealed the case, and won. Recently, our Network lawyer in Virginia did the same thing. In South Carolina, we are regularly defending unfairly maligned cyclists in traffic court. And the same is true in other states in our Bike Law Network of bicycle crash lawyers.
We are formalizing the intake process for these cases and founding the Bike Law Defense League. It is an arm of our legal practices dedicated to the pro bono publico. We hope the BLDL will grow, perhaps into a non-profit some day. For now, it is our effort to help more cyclists, more places, fight for our rights, as cyclists.
We cannot take every such case presented to us, but we will consider them. Where there is an individual case of unfairness to a cyclist, and the case could help cyclists in the future by setting better legal precedent, please let us know. We will make every effort to help.