Bar Association of San Francisco logoThis may be odd, but when I travel for work or otherwise, I enjoy coming across legal news or a legal organization that is compelling or that provides significant value to attorneyslike here or here or here.

Don’t judge.

This week, I’m in San Francisco, and I’m pleased to report that the Bar Association of San Francisco does both those things.

Granted, I’m biased, as I know a few of the folks who run that bar, but I’m often pleased by the work that emanates from their offices. In member engagement, publications and online offerings, they are a leader and worthy of stealing from emulating.

San Francisco Attorney Magazine cover

You can read about the BASF here. But I point you to a few praiseworthy items.

First, here is a BASF initiative that was mentioned at the annual NABE Wednesday morning meeting by the group’s Executive Director, Daniel Burkhardt.

It is called the “Mind the Gap Initiative,” which aims to “provide recent law school graduates who are unemployed or underemployed with training, work experience, mentorship and debt reduction information.” You really need to read about the initiative’s five elements here.

Second, I am blown away by a new blog launched by the BASF. It’s called “Legal By the Bay,” and you should read it (and bookmark it) here.

Legal By the Bay includes constantly changing content, all aggregated in a variety of intuitive categories, including technology, family law, work life balance, dispute resolution and others.

There are many law blogs I enjoy and read regularly. But there are a few that I am routinely jealous of. What Colorado does is one. And now Legal By the Bay is another.

Finally, because I love print as much as digital, let me point you to a great, SF-style magazine story that I’m considering appropriating for our own Arizona Attorney.

The article, happily, is not about a drowsy new statute or regulation. Instead, it explores the trend of lawyers who like to bicycle—either to work or otherwise.

Lawyers in form-fitting Spandex may not seem to be the most appealing idea, but the BASF made it work—and in the process revealed a unique side of its membership.

Well done.

In a future Arizona Attorney, look for our coverage of lawyers who scale mountains, or brave triathlons, or get their own coffee. Just do it.

Does the legal system do enough to protect bicyclists?

The answer is a resounding no, at least according to a crowd of cyclists at the State Capitol last Saturday, May 19. As a news story opens:

“Brent Holderman is lucky to be alive. Six weeks ago he was on a bike ride with a couple of friends, training for a triathlon in East Mesa.

“Twenty miles into their ride, their group of three was hit by a car. The driver was distracted after reaching for her GPS. Holderman ended up with 11 fractures and is in a wheelchair.

“‘There’s just too many people on the road not paying attention,’ he said. ‘They hit people like me.’

On Saturday, Holderman joined about a thousand bicyclists at the State Capitol Lawn. It was part of the ‘Ride of Honor.’ Cyclists peddled in from different parts of the valley to send a message on awareness.

The event was put on by the non-profit group Not One More Foundation. They’re calling on legislatures to create laws with stiffer penalties and fines for distracted drivers.”

The whole story is here.

I suspect many of us have known a cyclist who has had a close shave, or worse. A decade ago, I worked with a young woman on a few initiatives in our community. A month later, the University of Arizona undergrad was struck by a car and killed as she pedaled through Tucson. The driver never stopped and was never found.

The cyclist–protestors at the Capitol seek changes at the legislative level. But another recent story involving a cyclist makes you wonder: Is there an inadequate sense of dismay even at the policing level? Are injured cyclists too often chalked up as the occasional and unavoidable result of people on bikes insisting that they may use the roads? The nerve of them!

The story involved one of the most fraught interactions: a driver who turns at an intersection, oblivious to the cyclist in the crosswalk. In this instance, the bike-rider had even gotten off his bike and was pushing it through the intersection.

Given that the driver struck the man after “not paying attention” to her right side, and that the collision left the man with “tire prints on his abdomen,” the police response was underwhelming. According to Chandler police:

“‘It’s hard to say what they will do. She might be given a citation,’ [Chandler Police spokesman Sgt. Joe Favazzo] said. ‘This was really and truly an accident. It was a tragic event, and a good reminder to look both ways and always be vigilant.’”

The story doesn’t make clear whether he was talking about the driver or the cyclist. But the notion that it was “truly an accident” means the police take no action is an odd one.

Understand, nearly all of these injuries or deaths come about through an accident. Rare is the instance in which a psychopathic driver targets cyclists (though it does happen). But if “it was an accident” means “No harm, no foul,” bike-riders are in a worse position than I would have imagined.

More information on making cycling safer in Arizona is here, from the Not One More Foundation.

Tell me about your experience on a bike in Arizona. Are legal changes necessary?