Posts Tagged ‘Cotchett’

More Details on Why That New Zimride “Lyft” Pink-Mustache-on-a-Car Taxi Service Might Not Be “100% Legal”

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

Oh, here we see that Bob Scoble has the deets on Lyft.

“New competition, new technology has the ability to disrupt… People who already have an interest are confused by modern technology and there’s nothing we can do. But we’ve had several transportation lawyers  give us their opinion that what we’re doing is 100% legal.”

OH, WELL, WHY DIDN’T YOU SAY SO BEFORE, DUDE? BECAUSE, OF COURSE, IF TWO LAWYERS SAY THAT SOMETHING IS LEGAL, THEN THAT MEANS THAT IT’S 100 PERCENT LEGAL. OF COURSE! AND DUDE, PERHAPS PEOPLE WHO HAVE A VESTED INTEREST IN NOT HAVING TOO MANY EMPTY TAXIS DRIVING AROUND SAN FRANCISCO AREN’T “CONFUSED” AT ALL? MAYBE THEY LIKE THE PRESENT SYSTEM.

“So by making that an optional donation at the end, we’re allowed to make certain exceptions within the legislation.”

WTF, DUDE? WHAT “LEGISLATION?” DO YOU MEAN “LAWS?” YOU SOUND LIKE A TYPICAL CEO, ONE WHO’S TRYING TO MAKE A MURKY SITUATION INTO A CRYSTAL CLEAR SITUATION. IT AINT WORKING, DUDE. NOT ON ME. PERHAPS IT WORKS ON YOUR MONEY PEOPLE, BUT IT DOESN’T WORK ON ME.

“We would eliminate people that are not safe drivers.”

ARE YOU GUARANTEEING THAT YOUR DRIVERS ARE “SAFE?” NOT EVEN THE SFMTA DOES THAT. SEEMS AS IF YOU’RE BEGGING TO GET SUED IN CIVIL COURT.

Oh, here we go, the video.

(Robert Scoble says “cool” waaaay too much, like he’s working on his second six-pack of the day.)

Now let’s check in with Cyrus Farivar of Ars Technica:

“I ran the idea past the former deputy director of the San Francisco Taxi Commission, Jordanna Thigpen. Despite what the companies say in their own legal documents, the judicial system may have its own view. “Sometimes in the law, judges will interpret a statute [in this way]: if it looks like a duck, if it walks like a duck, it’s a duck,” said Thigpen, now an attorney with Cotchett, Pitre, and McCarthy.

OH, WHAT’S THIS? IT APPEARS WE’VE FOUND A “TRANSPORTATION ATTORNEY” WHO THINKS WHAT LYFT IS DOING IS _NOT_ NECESSARILY 100% LEGAL. IMAGINE THAT!

“In her former position as enforcement and legal affairs manager for the taxi division of the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority, Thigpen said that she would focus largely on safety. She frequently checked (among other things) not just that the vehicle in question had insurance at the time of inspection, but that there was continuous coverage—as the law requires of taxi companies.

LYFT HAS INSURANCE AND SAFETY ISSUES, THAT’S FOR SURE.

“Under the San Francisco Municipal Code, Section 1105, Paragraph A, Subsection 1, if a court finds either service to be a “Motor Vehicle For Hire,” they would likely be required to obtain permits issued by the SFMTA.

I’D SAY SO. IN FACT, I’ll GO AS FAR TO SAY THAT IF A COURT FINDS THAT A SERVICE IS A VEHICLE FOR HIRE, THEN IT WOULD SUPER-DUPER UBER-LIKELY BE REQUIRED TO OBTAIN PERMITS.

[Lyft and SideCar] are trying to put themselves in this netherworld of regulation,” Thigpen said. “The determination is: how is a court going to interpret the definition of ‘for hire’ vehicle?” For now, company representatives insist they are not a “vehicle for hire.”

YEP. THAT’S WHAT THEY’RE SAYING.

“We’ve worked with transportation legal experts who confirm we are abiding by current laws,” said John Zimmer, the founder of Zimride, in an e-mail sent to Ars. “Lyft is a community based ride-sharing service that is an extension of our existing long distance ride-share model. We use optional donations as a way for drivers to reimburse the costs associated with owning and operating a vehicle.”

WHATEVER YOU SAY, DUDE. BUT IRL THE “DONATIONS” AREN’T OPTIONAL. YOU SAY THEY ARE BUT THEY AREN’T. YOU SAY THE DRIVERS ARE TRYING TO OFFSET COSTS BUT REALLY THEY ARE TRYING TO TURN A PROFIT WITH THEIR CARS, RIGHT?

OK, we’ll just have to wait and see how thyngs go with Lyft, you know, lyng-tyrm…

Jerry Brown Throws Down – Massive Medi-Cal Fraud Case Against Medical Labs

Friday, March 20th, 2009

The phrase of the day is “qui tam.” It’s Latin for “million dollar payday,” assuming of course you are a False Claims Act whistleblower and you win, the way this federal case worked out.

California State Attorney General Jerry Brownannounced this morning news of a case in San Mateo concerning fraud and kickbacks and hundreds of millions of dollars. It’s a doozy. Read all about it in his words, below.

Brown Sues to Recover Hundreds of Millions of Dollars Illegally Diverted from Medi-Cal

LOS ANGELES – Responding to a whistleblower’s allegation of “massive Medi-Cal fraud and kickbacks,” Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. joined legal action against seven private laboratories to recover hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal overcharges to the state’s medical program for the poor.

“In the face of declining state revenues, these medical laboratories have siphoned off hundreds of millions of dollars from programs intended for the most vulnerable California families.” Attorney General Brown said. “Such a pattern of massive Medi-Cal fraud and kickbacks cannot be tolerated, and I will take every action the law allows to recover what is owed,” Brown added.

According to whistleblower Chris Riedel, the CEO of Hunter Laboratories, “I confirmed with the California Department of Health Care Services that these practices were illegal. We then had a choice–either join the other labs in violating the law or be unable to compete for business. We choose to suffer the financial consequence, and follow the law.”

The lawsuit, which is pending in San Mateo Superior Court, contends that the 7 medical labs systematically overcharged the Medi-Cal program over the past 15 years.

Read more, after the jump:

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