Law Tigers, a national franchise business of injury attorneys who market to motorcyclists, boasts on their website that they exist to help all riders. Beyond accidents, Law Tigers claims to stand for the rights of motorcyclists, including clubs. But in seeming direct contradiction to these statements of support, a requirement of a posted Law Tigers Social Ambassador position requires that the ambassador not promote any political or motorcycle club affiliations, a requirement that would be considered unconstitutional if Law Tigers were a state employer.
It’s difficult to square these two perspectives simultaneously. Motorcycle clubs are lucrative marketing ground and also influential among the broader biker community. Supporting attorneys that actually support motorcycle clubs and rights should be an important directive for all club members and rights advocates.
Motorcycle Rights and Accident Attorneys
The motorcycle rights movement has been primary marketing ground for motorcycle accident attorneys for decades. And the social contract can be mutually beneficial. It’s no secret that personal injury law is one of the most profitable forms of practice. It’s also no secret that motorcycle accidents are common, particularly among motorcycle clubs which represent the segment of the motorcycling community that rides the majority of miles ridden in America. Profits from this relationship can fund critical civil liberty lawsuits to fight discrimination against motorcyclists that would otherwise lack sufficient funding. Lawsuits can be very expensive.
The promise to pursue rights based claims can be very persuasive to motorcycle club members. The fact that a portion of profits from an accident settlement/judgement is re- dedicated to fight discrimination provides a mechanism to address issues that would otherwise go unchallenged.
But motorcycle club members realize the value of this relationship and are often skeptical that the attorneys obligations under the social contract are being fulfilled. Of course they have to say they support motorcycle rights and motorcycle clubs. But what if this same organization creates employment requirements that would be unconstitutional infringements on association and speech if imposed by a state employer?
Law Tigers Talks The Talk
The Law Tigers website describes the firm’s goals and background in a third person narrative. In the About section, Law Tigers is described as caring for all riders and even going so far as to say that Law Tigers is a champion of motorcycle rights, including clubs.
“Their passion for riding and marketing acumen have built Law Tigers into a nationally- recognized brand that serves every rider in the US.”
“Warren [Levenbaum’s] work championing the rights of mistreated riders continues to resonate as the soul of Law Tigers, and Ari [Levenbaum] has cultivated thousands of partnerships within the motorcycle world – clubs, vendors, manufacturers, and dealerships.”
Ok. So Law Tigers talks the talk. But what do they require of those representing their brand?
Law Tigers Contract Restricts Female Ambassor’s Association and Speech Rights
These “Biker” attorneys are promoting a contest where the winner becomes the contracted Social Ambassador to the Law Tigers brand. As a condition to the contract, the Social Ambassador “must refrain from promoting political, religious, illegal or motorcycle club affiliation on their personal social platforms.”
Law Tigers is not prohibited from discriminating because they are a private employer and motorcycle clubs are not a protected class. However, if Law Tigers were a government entity, then this contract requirement restricting fundamental speech and association rights would arguably be considered an unconstitutional violation of the 1st Amendment. ( See RONALD GODWIN v. ROGUE VALLEY YOUTH CORRECTIONAL FACILITY, (RVYCF et al.,) U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, No. 14-35042, AUGUST 10, 2016)
Motorcycle club members are a very valuable resource for motorcycle accident attorneys. Regardless of private entities such as Law Tigers legal right to restrict employees expression rights, motorcycle club members and motorcycle rights advocates have a choice when they are the unfortunate victims of an accident. All motorcycle accident attorneys will tell you they support clubs and rights. All accident attorneys say they are the “champion” of motorcycle rights when a victim is deciding whether to retain them for an accident. But not all all motorcycle attorneys walk the walk. Certainly, motorcycle club members and other motorcyclists concerned about civil liberties should be hesitant to hire an attorney that didn’t want their social ambassador to express association with clubs or political issues.
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