Posts Tagged ‘legal’

Whoo Boy: “LEGAL REVIEW FINDS PROP. F LAWSUITS MAY RESULT IN $435,000 AWARD FOR MINOR, ALLEGED VIOLATIONS”

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

Airbnb is pulling out all the stops here.

Let me just say that first of all, no “minor” violations of San Francisco’s short term rental laws will result in anything like a $435K award. Sorry. And also, by the time any “awards” are handed out, said violations are no longer merely “alleged,” but actually proven.

And now, on with the show:

“Noted Law Firm Browne George Ross LLP Provides Review of Legal Impacts of San Francisco’s Prop. F

Proposition F creates a profit-motivated private right of action even if the City and County of San Francisco finds no violation.

WELL, LET’S SEE HERE. A PRIVATE RIGHT OF ACTION ALREADY EXISTS, RIGHT? YEP. WHAT PROP F ADDS ON TOP OF THIS IS AN ADDITIONAL PENALTY OF $250-$1000 A DAY, ASSUMING THAT THE RESIDENTS BRINGING SUIT ACTUALLY WIN. THE REASON THAT THIS ACTION WOULD BE ALLOWED INDEPENDENT OF WHAT SFGOV DOES IS THAT SOMETIMES SFGOV LIKES TO SIT ON ITS HANDS AND DO NOTHING, SIMILAR TO THE WAY THAT IT’S DONE VERY LITTLE TO REGULATE SHORT TERM RENTALS THE LIKES OF WHICH WE’VE BEEN SEEING THE PAST TEN YEARS, AND, IN FACT, THE LITTLE THAT SFGOV HAS BEEN DOING LATELY WAS SPURRED ON BY THE PROSPECT OF PROP F. SO ACTUALLY, PROP F IS GOOD BECAUSE IT’S ALREADY PAYING OFF. AND, AS FAR AS “PROFIT-MOTIVATED” IS CONCERNED, SOMETHING SIMILAR IS ALREADY IN CALIFORNIA LAW REGARDING LANDLORD REFUNDS OF RENTAL DEPOSITS. SO IF A LANDLORD IMPROPERLY RETAINS AN APARTMENT SECURITY DEPOSIT, THE TENANT CAN SUE FOR NOT ONLY THE WRONGFULLY RETAINED PART BUT ALSO AN AMOUNT DOUBLE THE DEPOSIT AS A KIND OF SPECIAL DAMAGES. SO A LANDLORD’S MOUTHPIECE COULD ARGUE THAT THE TENANT SUING IS “PROFIT-MOTIVATED,” BUT THAT WOULDN’T ACTUALLY BE TRUE, RIGHT? AND IN FACT, THIS RENTAL DEPOSIT REFUND LAW SCARES LANDLORDS INTO DOING THE RIGHT THING, SO THAT NO LEGAL ACTION EVER NEEDS TO GET KICKED INTO ACTION. SEE HOW THAT WORKS?

In other words if someone wishes to sue their neighbor even after the city and County of San Francisco has determined there is no violation, an unscrupulous individual can still file a lawsuit and simply claim damages amounting to as much as $435,000 plus attorneys’ fees and costs.

WELL, THIS LOS ANGELES-BASED LAW FIRM IS SIMPLY ASSUMING THAT THE PROPERTY OWNER USING AIRBNB OR WHATEVER TO VIOLATE OUR LAWS WOULD BE A NEIGHBOR OF THE SAN FRANCISCO RESIDENTS AFFECTED. BUT LOTS OF AIRBNBERS DON’T EVEN LIVE IN SF, RIGHT? SO IT’S RATHER MORE RESIDENT SUING AIRBNBER AS OPPOSED TO “NEIGHBOR SUING NEIGHBOR,” RIGHT? AND HEY, HOW CAN AN “UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUAL” GET AN ATTORNEY TO REPRESENT THEM IN THE FIRST PLACE, RIGHT? AND HEY, “NOTED” LA LAW FIRM WHAT I’VE NEVER HEARD OF AFORE, HAVE ANY OF YOU EVER REPRESENTED AN “UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUAL?” HMMM… THAT’S SOMETHING TO THINK ON. IN ANY EVENT, UNSCRUPULOUS INDIVIDUALS  WITH WORTHLESS CASES WON’T WIN AT COURT SO THEY WON’T GET ANY DAMAGES AT ALL, RIGHT? AND LET ME JUST SAY, ANY AIRBNBER WHO ACTUALLY ENDS UP PAYING $435K PLUS HAS REALLY REALLY REALLY SCREWED UP. THESE WILL BE UNIQUE PEOPLE, CERTAINLY.

Because litigation is so incredibly expensive, time consuming and stressful many people will pay to get out of suits even though they have done nothing wrong.

BOY, WHAT A PITCH FROM A LAW FIRM – YOU DON’T NEED US, JUST PAY ALL THE MONEY ANYBODY EVER ASKS FOR AND THEN WAIT FOR THE NEWS TO SPREAD AND THEN GET SUED AGAIN AND AGAIN. AND NOTE HERE, I’M NOT ARGUING THAT PROP F IS GOOD FOR AIRBNBERS (ALTHOUGH IT MIGHT ACTUALLY BE GOOD FOR SOME) – I’M SAYING THAT PROP F IS GOOD FOR SAN FRANCISCO. AND ACTUALLY, PROP F WOULD BE GOOD FOR LOS ANGELES LAW FIRMS, POSSIBLY, IF LA-BASED AIRBNBERS GET SUED IN SF AND THEY WANT TO HAVE A LOCAL ATTORNEY, THEN MAYBE EVEN THIS LA FIRM COULD GET IN ON THE ACTION.

Proposition F will exponentially exacerbate the problem by encouraging an untold number of new lawsuits, thus delaying even more those who appropriately seek justice through San Francisco Superior Court

WELL LET’S SEE HERE. PROP F WILL BE BUT A DROP IN THE BUCKET AS FAR AS SF SUP CT IS CONCERNED. IT’S NOT GOING TO EXPONENTIALLY DO ANYTHING.

FIN.

The Drone Bros of Emerald Bay State Park go MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…

Monday, September 21st, 2015

Ah let’s head back to nature. Do you see – it’s hard to spot:

7J7C5780 copy

This is better:

7J7C5763 copy

Here we go, at the bottom – there’s a clear shot:

7J7C5779 copy

And then, back to its master:

7J7C5788 copy

Are drones legal in California State Parks like 4.5 starred Emerald Bay?

Sure, for now.

That’s good, ’cause people be flying drones all over the place these days. (You’ll hear them before you see them, most likely. MMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM…)

Slacklining Hippies Use Bud Light Suitcase Cardboard to Protect Tree in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, June 10th, 2015

Sort of.

The cardboard looks a little low to me:

7J7C9242 copy
Is this a good thing or a bad thing? IDK

Is this a legal thing or an illegal thing? IDK.

Le mise-en-scene:

7J7C9244 copy

7J7C9240 copy

Barely Legal: Are These Freeway-Legal Vespas in the Slow Lane of the Bay Bridge or are they Merely “Motorized Bicycles?”

Thursday, May 28th, 2015

I’m thinking that these are Vespas, or similar, with engines displacing 150 cc’s, or more, so that would make them legal (barely) on CA freeways:

7J7C8538 copy

Even so, they were struggling going uphill, it looked like.

May all your lives be semi-charmed, at the very least…

The Drone Bros of Golden Gate Park: Whose Drone is Hovering Three Feet from Your Bathroom Window on Fell Street? This Dude’s

Tuesday, May 26th, 2015

Here’s the scene without any arrows pointing things out:

7J7C8569b copy

And here are the arrows:

7J7C8569a copy

And here are the bros:

7J7C8569 copy

Now it could be that bro was just checking out his own pad using his new toy, but man, some people might have been surprised if they saw this drone hovering just outside their windows.

The drone slowly increased altitude to rooftop level and I didn’t stick around to see where it went next.

This is How We Live in 2015…

The SFMTA’s Current Approach to Bikes in the Broadway Tunnel Doesn’t Seem Better Than the Old Approach

Tuesday, May 19th, 2015

After years of work and study…

BROADWAY TUNNEL BICYCLE PROJECT: Staff has sent a work order to
the Signal Shop to have the bicycle symbol flash when turned on. (No
updates)

…this the result, eastbound – a blank, nonsensical, K-Mart-looking diamond what lights up when cyclists are sensed in the BT:

7J7C7366 copy

The old method of alerting drivers was similar, but it actually made sense to drivers when it wasn’t operating.

(The SFMTA seems to think that dreaming up crazy new ideas is its obligation – if you’ve never seen things before anywhere else in the world, that’s proof that the SFMTA is showing “leadership,” apparently)

Now here it is when it’s actually working, which I’ve never seen before, courtesy of Google Maps (from the northern lane – G gives you a choice):

Capturelkjlkjlkj copy

The big issue is how to handle bikes in the tunnel.

My method, westbound, from Chinesetown, is to walk the bike unless I see the rare ped, and then I dismount and stop while the ped passes me. In practice, this usually means riding all the way through. I think this is agin the current rules, but I don’t think I’m risking getting a ticket or anything.

Now eastbound is a different story, since the grade is generally working your way. The technique is to wait for a wave of traffic to go through and then enter when drivers idle at the red at Larkin. You’ll have a few cars pass you, but that’s better than just blithely ignoring traffic the way most do. Or, you can just ride on the sidewalk, remembering that you’re a second-class citizen when doing so.

Anyway, it seems that the generally dull-witted SFMTA is sophisticated enough to understand that going east and west is different thang here, so that’s good.

So do we want to encourage people to ride through this tunnel? IDK. I’ll tell you, westbound, uphill on the Geary Tunnel is worse and the Stockton Tunnel is way better.

I don’t know what the options are at the Broadway Tunnel. I’m sure most of them are very expensive…

The Illegal-Appearing Motorized Scooters of the Golden Gate Park Panhandle Bike Path

Wednesday, May 13th, 2015

What powers this ride? The gasoline? Maybe, but this safety-oriented piloti doesn’t look the rebel rebel type.

OTOH, where’s the battery if this rig is all-electric? I know not.

7J7C6955 copy

Compare all this with a legal all-electric bike rider ebikefan, whose mellow gets harshed by a mean-spirited hippie:

Encounter with ignorant E-Bike hater in San Francisco [HD] ebikefan

Success continues to elude the A2B electric bike people. I’ll tell you, most of the people in town you see on these e-bikes are somehow affiliated with the company itself, believe it or not. Something like $5000 is too too much for what these bikes are, but the other problem is that I wouldn’t want one if they gave me one for free.* I suppose if you’d paid me to ride one about and take charge of its safekeeping and lug it up and down stairs, well then I’d think about it. And if I accepted your deal, I’d be just like most of the other A2Ber’s in town, like, apparently, ebikefan, getting paid to operate an A2B…

*So don’t give me this oh, well, if you can’t afford a premium bike stuff. An A2B might be fun for Jay Leno to collect and have to gather dust in one of his garages (I’m seriously, I think he has one), but there’s a reason why they’re not popular…

White Over Raspberry – The Smartest-Looking GO-4 Intercepter Three-Wheeler in Town – But Is This Legal?

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2015

San Francisco, in particular, has an active meter-maid-motoring community.”

Can you legally perpendicular park your Frisco Family Car in a parallel parking area?

7J7C5784 copy

I know not.

This kind of thing is agin the rules if you used a four-wheeled SmartCar, but SF could have special rules for three wheelers…

Lawyer’s Corner: RPD Says Slacklines and Hammocks Violate the Park Code, But Do They Really?

Friday, April 10th, 2015

Here you go, this was just the other day in GGP:

7J7C5075 copy

RPD calls this kind of thing “affixing items to trees” on their newish signs, but I don’t see where this language comes from, you know, in the SF Park Code.

So yeah, if you cut down a big tree to have some fun with the stump, I can see how that’d be citeable.

But I don’t see how slacklining or romantic hammocking is an automatic violation of the SF Park Code.

So, I’m saying the newish signs from RPD are incorrect.

So I’m saying that the RPD should go to the BOS to fix this sitch,

JMO

Frisco Traffic – Big Wheel Up Front, Tiny Wheel Out Back – Are Pennyfarthings Legal on the Streets of San Francisco?

Thursday, April 9th, 2015

IDK. These rides certainly were not legal on CA streets a while back, but I’d have to look up what the current law says, something about being able to skid a wheel on dry pavement.

Anyway, here you go, in the Golden Gate Park Panhandle:

7J7C5128 copy

Dorsal view:

P1200815 copy