This interview was conducted by Phil Spence, AKA: MotoBeemer. Find more of his fantastic motorcycle content on YouTube and Instagram and listen to his podcast on Spotify.

Phil Spence: All right, guys, welcome to the episode, The Moto Beamer Show. That’s right, we got Scott from Rider Justice. Scott from Rider Justice, how you doing, Scott?

Scott O’Sullivan: Excellent, Phil. How are you today?

Phil: Doing great. It’s a dude. I’m super stoked to have a motorcycle lawyer on the show. I think you have just an absolute just ton of information that people would like to know and people need to know. I’ve gone through and I’ve listened to some of your previous podcasts. I read some of the articles you’ve done. You’ve been in the industry for what? Twenty-five plus years.

Scott: Yeah, over 25 years now, it’s weird.

Phil: Isn’t it weird? You kind of look in the mirror and you’re like, what happened to this guy? Right? I don’t know. I’m not saying you look bad.

Scott: Don’t even get me started on that. As you can tell from, you know, I should have been wearing a hat. Thanks, Phil.

Phil: Yeah, you look great, man. You look great. I want to get into what you’re doing in the community and all that stuff and the business that you run and your firm and everything. But I kind of wanted to set the hook, like I told you, because you have a ton. We went to lunch a couple weeks ago and you have a ton of great stories. And I just kind of wanted to get people off on the right foot. And for me to you, what is in your almost three decades of doing this, the absolute wildest thing you have encountered or dealt with as a motorcycle lawyer.

Scott: The craziest case that I ever came across is not exactly a motorcycle case. I can follow it up with a motorcycle case. But the craziest case I ever had is, I got called by this guy who owns a limousine company. You know how they will regularly get their cars washed every week or every day so they just have an account in the local car wash place? Well, there used to be one on Colfax Avenue in Denver and my client had taken his car in.

And as he takes it in and they, like take it through, one of the guys at the shop gives a guy in the street the wave like, come here, here’s the car. And the car then gets stolen. The guy then steals the car, murders someone, uses it as an accessory to murder, puts the body in the back of the limousine, flees the state and then heads to, I think they caught him in Kansas. It was the craziest case.

Phil: What? Dude.

Scott: We ended up doing this case against this car wash place for having these degenerates work for him and stealing stuff and just to get the cost of the limousine back. Because the car was evidence for over a year in this murder. And so he didn’t have any use of his limousine. I just felt bad for the guy. And now we’ve been, that’s almost 20 years ago. We’ve been friends now ever since. And that’s the craziest case I’ve ever had. I have a crazy motorcycle one, but that tops it. Murder, stealing cars. Across state lines is pretty funny.

Phil: Yeah, I think I saw that movie. It’s called Goodfellas.

Scott: Yeah, exactly. Something like it. That’s right.

Phil: So he murdered the guy with the car or murdered the guy and put him in the car?

Scott: Went to a person’s house, shot the guy, dragged him out, put him in the trunk of the car and then fled state, you know, across state lines. It’s crazy.

Phil: That is, I mean, like I said, you see movies about that, but I mean, that’s for real. Like.

Scott: It was for real. I don’t mean to laugh about it. It’s terrible. Somebody got murdered. I can laugh about it, I know, 20 years later. And then the company that, this car wash company hired this super shady lawyer that I wasn’t even sure was a lawyer and kept showing up at court. It was all just straight out of a movie. We ultimately won and we won them value the car, loss of the value of the car, all sorts of things for him. But it was crazy.

Phil: That is why, so 20 years ago, this was probably before I’m just guessing. Because if you would ask this guy, what’s your plan? Because you know your cell phone pings off towers and all this stuff, I guess maybe it was before all that.

Scott: Maybe, well, I don’t know, that’s giving a lot of credit to criminals, right? Having a plan and thinking it all the way through. You know, I’m not so sure about that.

Phil: Man that’s incredible. That’s, you know, I knew I was gonna ask you this question. I did not expect that kind of answer. That’s wild, man.

Scott: It was wild.

Phil: That’s, I know that you talked about a motorcycle and you got any good motorcycle ones, a top tier.

Scott: Yeah, the craziest long-term one that we ever dealt with was my client was riding his bike down, I think it was Grant or Sherman, and it’s at night, like at seven or eight o’clock at night, and this car comes off a side street and just nails him. Hits him so hard, the car loses its front license plate, and then the defendant driver then flees the scene, and he’s fortunate it’s a residential area, so a bunch of people come out, help my client, they actually save his leg.

Terrible collision. But this guy flees the scene, and the cops try to find him. They at least have his license plate, so they have some identification. But this guy goes silent. We hire private investigators to try to find him. Turns out the address that he gave on his driver’s license and registration and everything else was an empty abandoned lot registered to no one in Littleton. And so this guy was intentionally trying to be off the grid, right?

But he had a fairly unique name. And we, just because we kind of had an idea of who he was, but there wasn’t much out there in the world, through word of mouth, over the course of over a year, we’re trying to find this guy. The police gave up as they, you know, you think they would.

And it turns out I meet with a client and I’m like, just by chance, I know you work in the bar and street, you ever run across a guy named this? And she’s like, Oh yeah, he’s the bouncer at Herman’s Hideaway and he’s a total scumbag.

And around that time, the police found the car that he hit my client with. He had abandoned it in a garage just down the street from when the collision happened in a parking garage. And it still had blood on the car from my client. Still had all this other evidence around it. The police then, I got the police involved with Denver and then Englewood. And they wouldn’t really talk to each other because, you know, this guy’s across the line. So, we ended up doing this like behind the scenes sting operation with my PI, my private investigator to get him into Denver County so the Denver police could arrest him. And then we finally arrested him. We ended up getting a huge judgment against him. But yeah, that was like a two-year process of just like not giving up trying to try to help this guy because like, what a scumbag. He was, you know, totally off. And we knew who his dad was and his dad was hiding him. It was all this, it was craziness.

Phil: So, it sounds to me like when you think of like a lawyer, it’s like I’m sitting in my office waiting on a call, but you’re like sleuthing out there. You’re like talking to people, canvassing the area, setting up stings. I don’t want to be on the wrong side of Scott from Rider Justice, I guess. Right?

Scott: We’ve done a few weird sting things where I’ve had defendants, one in particular was a terrible case involving a rape of a woman. And the defendant actually showed up at trial and I had him arrested in front of everybody. And that was one of my more satisfying court moments ever because this guy was dumb enough to show up. Thank God. Anyway, but yeah, we’ve had…

Phil: Oh wow. So.

Scott: A few of those like that.

Phil: So, you kind of work hand in hand with, and this is some insight for me and I’m sure everybody else, how much you work hand in hand with law enforcement. You’re just like, hey, this is the guy and they go arrest him type situation.

Scott: Mm-hmm. You know, that’s a little these are more rare outliers. Most times I’m kind of against the cops, honestly, not because I don’t like them, but because a lot of times they find our riders at fault for things that are clearly not their fault. I think sometimes they feel bad for the car driver for doing, you know, maiming or maybe even killing a motorcyclist. And they don’t want that person to go to jail or whatever. So there’s some bias, there just is. And for all my brothers and sisters in law enforcement, it’s a fact, just admit it. So a lot of times I’m usually, we’re played obviously, but we’re working with them, but sometimes they’re just wrong. And we have to do investigations and video and witnesses and everything else to prove why the police are wrong

Phil: So, I said, I listened to a couple of your podcast and you mentioned that, and I actually had that as a question. And you mentioned there’s some serious unconscious bias against motorcycle riders. And I think you just alluded to it there. Maybe you could expand on that a little bit more. I mean, obviously people think, they see motorcycles and like, you guys feel entitled or you ride in between traffic or whatever it is, but what have you experienced related to unconscious bias?

Scott: Mm-hmm. I think there’s just a general feeling out there that you’re taking the risk. It’s a high risk and you kind of, I’m not saying they feel this way, but you get what they deserve. And to be perfectly like as fair as I can be, first responders, ambulance, police, and the ER surgeons, they see the worst of it. And I think people just become jaded. They don’t mean to be. But with motorcycle riders in particular, they feel like, look, you just should have done X, Y, and Z or you shouldn’t have been on a bike. There’s almost like this, you shouldn’t have been on a bike to begin with. You took the risk and you lost. And I think that’s the jaded feeling that they get, I think. Yeah.

Phil: Interesting so like hey so you chose to ride a motorcycle so by default it’s probably your fault.

Scott: I think there’s that bias. Yeah. And what happens sometimes is, and this is not, this is where the law gets involved, this is where my investigation witnesses and everything else. You know, what a guy does a mile back, if he split lanes and it’s hot and he splits some lanes just to get kind of ahead of bad traffic or something, that did not contribute to the accident a mile behind. What contributed to the accident is the person making a left-hand turn in front of my client on a green light. And… The mile back doesn’t mean anything. It maybe scared some car drivers further back and they’re like, oh, that guy was a maniac. And like, well, at the time he was doing literally nothing wrong, it was at the speed limit. And so that’s not a factor of what contributed to the accident. We see that a lot. And then our rider will get charged and it has literally nothing to do with the collision that happened and who’s at fault.

Phil: You know, it’s interesting you mentioned that because we discussed this a little bit when we had lunch together and I think it’s a super interesting topic and I think something that people should hear about. Now, I guess there’s no definitive. Maybe you can clarify that for me, but a lot of people these days, myself included, we make YouTube videos riding on motorcycles. So you know, I’m out here, I record myself doing a top speed run, you know, 100, well, in my case, the bike only do about 135. Rumored, not that I’ve ever done that.

But, let’s just say I get in an accident, you know, a year later and they’re like, hey, here’s this video of Phil doing 135. I’m, I’m guessing that people try to use that to correlate that to, you know, whatever took place at the accident scene. Maybe I’m not saying that. Right. But have you experienced that?

Scott: Yeah, usually it’s not like that sort of old archival footage. We’ve had lots of motorcycle accidents over the years. And there’s one that I can think of in particular, where our guy is out east, pretty far east on I-70. And he’s got his GoPro helmet on. And you look, you can see the speedometer. He’s going about 170 or so. And yeah, I mean, he’s bonkers. And so he ends up, though, getting off an exit. There’s no traffic. There’s nothing out there. Then he gets off an exit and it’s one of those that come back up over I-70 and he is going, you know, he revs it up pretty quick and he’s going maybe 35. So, you can see the speed limit and it’s just not his fault and this old man turns left in front of him, wipes him out. And the cops wanted to try to charge him for the 170 but it’s clearly showed with the GoPro footage that he was going 35 at the time of the collision and it has nothing to do with back there.

Phil: Right.

Scott: You know, when he was doing that. We’ve had others with guys doing pretty risky behavior down like canyons and things like that with crazy footage. And then something happens that like is two miles back. So generally, I’ve never seen, even that guy that was going one-seventy, I didn’t see him get charged for that. But the police really wanted to talk to me a lot about it. I’m like, I don’t care. You know, at the time of the footage, he was 35. He was totally under the speed limit actually when the guy hit him.

Phil: So asking for a friend. But yeah, so like extreme example, yeah, extreme example, extreme example.

Scott: Yeah, don’t break the law.

Phil: There was a guy recently that posted a video of like, I think it was Colorado Springs and Denver.

Scott: Oh my god, that’s insane. I hated it. Yeah.

Phil: like insane, like wild, wild stuff. You know, he’s probably doing, like he said, 170 split lanes, all this stuff. What is the law say about you post that stuff on YouTube? And maybe you use your name and they can definitely find you. Like, how does that work?

Scott: I’m not a criminal defense lawyer, but I think with that video evidence, if somebody wanted to charge him state patrol or somebody else, I think they could. If they were able to find out who he is, I think they should. When I watched that video like everyone else, my first thought was he’s not just endangering himself, he’s endangering possibly 10 other cars at the exact same time.

Phil: Right.

Scott: These cars, he could… he could easily kill five people in one accident. And so it’s not just him that he was endangering. He was endangering the entire highway, wherever, whatever section he was on. So, I wish they could find that guy and prosecute him. He also went out and started doing that with girls on the back of his bike. And I mean, it’s just insane. It’s not okay. It’s not okay to scare the crap out of somebody on the back of your bike with no permission.

Phil: I think the appropriate phrase here is youth is wasted on the young. I don’t know. I don’t know why anybody would, would do something like that. Um, you know, I kind of wanted to circle back to, and we talked about some accidents and stuff, and I think this is a very important topic. It’s almost like, um, well, I’ll just let you define it, but you get in a motorcycle accident, do’s and don’ts, right? Hopefully you’re okay. Maybe you’re not, you know, understanding there might be an unconscious bias already against you.

Scott: Yeah.

Phil: What are your recommendations for do’s and don’ts, especially if law enforcement arrives and all that sort of thing?

Scott: Well, the first do is, you know, always check your bike, make sure everything’s working right, brakes, tires, wearing all the gear all the time. You and I are believers in that. And you know, I watched your video the other day. You’re right, there’s freedom to choose. If you don’t wanna do that, that’s fine. But there’s risks. There’s no risk legally for you, but there’s risks. So I would say start with that. Do start with wearing the right gear, wearing helmets.

And the next would be, we can talk about it later, is the right insurance. But the do’s are, if you’re in a collision, and we’ve seen this actually recently in a few recent motorcycle accidents where thank God my clients haven’t been terribly injured and they’re pretty coherent at the scene, even though they may have a broken wrist or a broken ankle or something. If somebody turns in front of you, even if they feel real bad about it, you still call the cops. You have to call the cops.

Phil: Right.

Scott: Because otherwise that person’s gonna lie later when you’re trying to deal with the insurance period they just are. If you have the capacity to do so at the scene If you’re by yourself any pictures any video of the scene even taking pictures of people’s driver’s licenses Getting witness statements anything like that don’t feel bad about that. This is the real world we live in now and you get a quick little video of the guy saying, yeah, it’s all, sorry, I didn’t see it, it’s my fault. Fine, and if he gets hostile, then it’s his fault. I mean, that’s crazy. And if you don’t, if you don’t have the capacity for that, which most of my riders don’t, hopefully you’re with friends that are there, secure the scene, get witnesses, get witness statements.

Don’t just talk to people and like, oh yeah, they said it was all that guy’s fault. You actually get the names and numbers. That I see time and again, like, oh yeah, there was a person there, a nurse that helped me and she was great and said I didn’t do anything wrong. But then we have no information on that person because usually that maybe that person has left and hasn’t talked to the police or who knows what. And then that person just gone forever and we can never find her ever again.

So as much information as you can collect as possible is the most important. And, you know, video, pictures, anything you can get, the better.

Phil: Would you agree, I obviously do this in film and all that stuff for a living, I wear a GoPro chin mount, always filming. And then, which of course leads to a headache when you gotta cut like eight hours of filming down to like three minutes. But video is the ultimate evidence, I would assume. Like if I’m riding and something terrible happens and there’s a video, I mean, that probably supersedes statements, I don’t know. Like the video is, you know, clutch.

Scott: So, the video, what I can say after doing this for a long time is your own is always helpful, but it’s a careful what you wish for. If you’re going, let’s say it’s a 40 and you’re going 50 to kind of get through and clear some traffic. I mean, technically you’re breaking the law, the speed limit, but that’s the careful what you wish for. The police may go, oh, you’re going too fast under the circumstances. So, there’s always a careful what you wish for with video.

Phil: Mm-hmm.

Scott: The other thing with video that we see, and we’ve had amazing Das Cam footage that gets captured behind our riders, capturing things that you and I would watch objectively and say, that is 100% the at fault driver’s fault, not my motorcycle rider’s fault. And people who have biases will look at them like, oh yeah, they were going too fast. And like, you still don’t get to turn left in front of somebody, you can see them.

Phil: Right.

Scott: So even when it’s objective, very obvious proof, people just disagree. And so I still think it’s good to have, and I know there’s some that you can have in mirrors now that have rolling footage too, so you don’t maybe have to have all the gear on your helmet and everything else. It’s not going to hurt. And if it’s your fault, it’s your fault. I mean, that’s just kind of the way it is. But generally, it’s helpful.

Phil: Interesting. So if we back up from, we’ve talked about the accidents, hopefully we can mitigate against that prior to, I would think, you know, why should somebody call you? Why would they call you? Obviously, you know, you made it very clear, like I don’t sell insurance. Got it. But you’ve been in the industry, you’ve dealt with the insurance, you’ve dealt with the things and I’m assuming people that were underinsured. Why would I pick up the phone and call you?

Scott: The main reason is: we have been doing this for so long, or I’ve been doing this for so long, and I having been a former insurance defense attorney, there’s things that we know and laws that we can take advantage of for the rider that they’re just not going to know on their own. The defendant’s insurance company sometimes is just going to deny you outright when it shouldn’t. That actually plays into our hands and helps you help go against them. Or they’ll just try to do a quick settlement when you should just never take it. Because you haven’t done a background check on the person and get all their financials and see what’s going on. Because there may be other insurance that’s available and now you’ve accidentally settled your case. And all these years of doing motorcycle cases and just personal injury cases in general, we’ve seen it all. Nobody scares us. I’ve sued giant corporations and it’s all the same. There’s literally no one that scares us at all and it’s to your favor.

Phil: That’s so interesting. I guess you guys are the experts, you guys have done this for a while, and maybe somebody flaunts a little settlement out in front of somebody, like, sure, I’ll sign up for that. And it’s like, man, you could’ve done so much more with that.

Scott: They must do it, enough people must take it. That’s always been kind of my feeling is that enough people take the quick money, not knowing that there’s more that they could go after. There’s personal judgments you can get after people. We have a lot of personal judgments that we’ve gone after with defendants who had no insurance, just so that we can secure something against the defendant so they don’t just get away with it, especially in our DUI cases where they hit, you know, our riders and they’re drunk and I’m like, well, fuck you guys. And so, excuse my language, I was like, that’s not okay. And, you know, we’ll get bigger judgments against them because of that, because it’s just, it’s not okay.

Phil: Do you see, and I alluded to it a little bit, do you see folks that come across you just not having the right coverages to be out there on the streets, so to say?

Scott: From a motorcycle rider point of view or from the defendant drivers? Yeah.

Phil: From the, from the rider point of view, accident happens. And you’re like, let me review this. Like, Hey Phil, you, you should have done more than this.

Scott: It is unfortunately all too common. I would say 90% of our riders are under-insured. Some I’ve known for decades and have heard me give the talk on what insurance I wish they had, and they just don’t. And I would say most are completely under-insured for the risks that are inherent in enjoying and riding a motorcycle. And it’s just devastating. I have to give that talk all the time, including we meet with somebody later today who’s partially paralyzed.

Phil: Oh man.

Scott: And we’re probably going to just help them, just give them some advice on how to best handle their medical bills. But there’s nothing we can do. We’ve done background checks and this person’s deadbeat and they’re old. So, there’s just nothing there.

Phil: That’s so sad. I, you, uh, kind of piggyback on that a little bit. You talked, uh, there’s something else in one of your interviews you talked about and I was like, man, that’s interesting asterisks on that. Ask him about that. You talked about content coverage and, and I want to, I want to come back to the, to the insurance thing because I do have an umbrella policy kind of generic question, but these are all things I didn’t know. I don’t think many people know you sign up for progressive or whoever. Like I got, I got insurance, but you talked about content coverage and you’re like, you know, it gets a little sticky, homeowners versus renters and what’s covered. If you wanna go into that a little bit, I found that super interesting.

Scott: Mm-hmm. Yeah, I mean, you’re a perfect example with your ADV setup, right? And all the BMW riders out there with their bikes all set up and their tents and their camps and their, you know, cooking gear, drones, you know, you could have a few thousand dollars worth of just cameras in one of your boxes, right? That is part of content coverage and your content coverage with a bike generally is, you know, your panniers, your boxes, things like that. It’s not necessarily covering.

Your collision and comprehensive is not covering the contents of those boxes. Your collision and comprehensive is covering the boxes. And generally speaking, what it means is your homeowner’s insurance actually then covers the contents of what’s in those boxes. And your homeowner’s policy covers the way to look at it. And this was described to me is, your homeowners covers anything, it’ll give you – shook your house upside down and all the things that fall out of the house that you could take out of the house and put in a car or your bike – that’s part of your content coverage of your homeowners. And as soon as it leaves your house, the cameras, the drone, the tents, the cooking equipment, all of that, as soon as it leaves the house, some policies, and this is where it gets complicated, only cover 10% of the total value that you’ve insured for your content coverage for the home.

So, if your homeowner’s policy has, let’s just say $300,000, then you have $30,000 in content coverage when it leaves the house and goes in the back of your truck or on the back of your bike. And that’s usually enough for most people. When it gets complicated, it’s for people who rent and ride and do, you know, carry all this gear. They only sometimes only have $30,000 in coverage and content coverage for the homeowners policy or renters policy. So that means they only have three grand in coverage out the door. And, you know, as you know, with equipment and cameras and like all these things, that can add up really quickly and you only have partial coverage then. And to be clear, and this may be just for anybody thinking this through, if it’s not your fault, the other side is responsible for all those things. But if you’re on an adventure ride and you go in and get a bite to eat and somebody breaks into your box and steals your stuff, um, and that your content coverage would cover that and your homeowner’s policy would cover that.

Phil: That’s very enlightening. I think, you know, because when you think homeowners, you think it has to be in my house, but for my homeowners to cover something outside of the house, I guess the answer would probably be, look, call your insurance provider, make sure you’re straight. And which I did the other day, based on your advice, and it was even those folks were a little confused. I was on the phone and they were like, oh, let me get into the manual here. And I was like, whoa, this is crazy. So, this kind of leads into the next question of like, you know, when you have your coverages set up, I know there are minimums and it might differ based on insurance providers, but you need to meet the minimum in order for things to sort of attach, and that might be the wrong word, to your umbrella policy. And even that, when I called my insurance provider, they were a little confused on it. But if you have any insight on that, I think that’d be super fantastic.

Scott: Yeah, like you’re my dream, you know, motorcycle rider where we have a conversation. You’re like, oh shit, I better check that out. And you check it out and then you do it as opposed to some that don’t. And so the friction that you ran into is this is part of the problem. Insurance companies, unless you have your own sort of private agent, they don’t really understand it because they’re not used to selling that coverage. They’re used to selling what you referred to earlier, which is actually the minimum. And that’s just the bare bones coverage just to get you into a motorcycle for proper insurance to be legal and or the car, truck, whatever. And really what you need to have the umbrella is it goes in different layers. The first layer is your, you know, a good example would be, I don’t know if you’ve seen it, but I’ve got an old Honda that I’ve restored. And so it’s finally done and I insured it through Progressive the other day. So, I reached out to my agent and said, I want the full absolute maximum coverage for liability, collision comprehensive, underinsured motorist, I want the MedPay on it. And I think that was it for all I needed.

That underinsured motorist coverage, for me because of my umbrella policy, they needed it to be the minimum of $500,000 worth of coverage for under-insured motors, which also mirrors $500,000 in liability as well. And then once I met that threshold, then my umbrella policy, which is through a different company through Chubb, will then insure it for under-insured motors coverage and liability coverage. And mine’s a little bit different than a lot out there for some reason. So I was able to insure it for $5 million.

So, I actually have an umbrella policy and an underlying policy that totals five and a half million dollars and for umbrella and liability, so You have to get the first highest amount you max that out and then the umbrella will cover it and you have to make sure When you set up the umbrella that it actually covers underinsured motorists, not just liability The total cost for me for coverage for

The bike, my old Honda with progressive ended up being $513 a year. And if I had only had the minimum 25,000 liability only, it was $475 a year. So, it’s a no freaking no-brainer.

Phil: Wow. So I’m doing a little quick math in my head. 25 plus 13, $38, is that right? I don’t know.

Scott: Yeah, it ended up being like 45 bucks or something like that. I can’t remember the exact math, but it was in that ballpark. Yeah, I know my premium actually ended up being $513. I think the state minimum was maybe $468 actually, is I think was what it was.

Phil: So, and we’ve also talked about this. So, the difference is so negligible for a whole year to go from minimum to literally, I’m protecting everything I have. And then so you have these folks out here that $30,000 in motorcycles, pipes, gear, $1,000 helmet. Yeah, I don’t want that coverage. And it just seems asinine. Yeah.

Scott: Yes. Literally an extra 50 bucks. And I think I don’t really blame the rider without having knowledge, right? The thing to always remember, even with, especially with companies, if you’re dealing with them directly Progressive, they’re just trying to get you into the cheapest thing possible and just banging out the door. Because once they get their premium, they know you’re in. And this is why I always advise having an agent help you or an independent broker.

Because if you talk to them and they really want to actually develop your business, they want to ask you the question, like, well, have you thought about under insurance and modernist coverage? And they should sell it the right way. But at the same time, there is also, as you know, that when I demonstrated with the $468 for the minimum or the $515, they get, even an independent broker gets a big chunk of that premium every year as their sort of, um, percentage. And so they don’t actually give a crap, right? If you get the extra, cause they got the, they got that original kick every single year, they may get $200 of that $468. So it doesn’t really help them a lot by getting you up to $515 and they’re worried about losing business and maybe they just don’t tell you, uh, that, oh, yeah, you know, you really should insure yourself  more. So, I can’t always blame the riders for making that choice because I think they just don’t know that it’s really it’s only an extra 50 bucks. Yeah.

Phil: That’s interesting. Their kick might only be a few extra bucks, so why do they care? I don’t know.

Scott: Exactly. They don’t care. They’re like, oh, sorry. You only had the minimum.

Phil: So, you talk about riders, and I actually have a question here that I think is super important. So we talk about new riders, because we’re gonna have new riders come in the season. People buying motorcycles for the first time, they do their MSF course, they come out into the wild, so to speak. Based on everything you’ve discussed and known and seen in your decades, if you could sit down and have five minutes with a brand new rider, or if you had a forum, maybe you go to the motorcycle safety course, everybody’s getting ready. What are you talking about? What are you talking about that will resonate with them? Cause they’re anxious to get out, twist the throttle, do all the fun things. Right? What are you talking about?

Scott: It’s almost kind of where we started, which is all gear all the time, right? Especially for new riders. It’s about the insurance that we just talked about. And then it’s the little things. You took your safety class, you learned how to ride. I would take an advanced class next after getting a little bit of time on the road. And then just hitting your sort of comfort zone. One of the biggest things that people should do, I think, and you know, you may…

may have something to add to this is go to some big empty parking lot somewhere and practice full braking and keeping it upright. Most new riders and most riders in general apparently can only brake to about a half a G, which means you’re traveling an extra few hundred feet and with proper training and proper experience, you should be able to do it almost to a full G which could save you almost, you know, it could be 50 feet, 100 feet. And that could make the difference between a collision not having a collision. Um, so I do talk about practicing that kind of stuff and things like that.

Phil: When I think of braking, first thing that comes to mind is how far technology has come. This was actually a question for you, but my very first motorcycle over 20 years ago was just standard. And now my BMW has front and rear brakes kind of linked with ABS and all this crazy tech. But I think folks default to, I’m going to stomp on the rear brake. And it’s like most of your braking power, unless I’m wrong, is in that front brake. And you can stop a heck of a lot faster than you think you can. So great advice on that.

Get out to a parking lot, get between the cones, do the emergency braking, all that sorts of things. All that sort of thing. So, kinda going into that, we talk about technology and how things have moved over the last few decades. What have you seen in the last few decades as kinda the industry has shifted? And personally, I’ve seen an explosion in adventure bikes and all, just from a rider perspective. And a move away from, I used to buy magazines. You don’t buy magazines anymore, right? You get everything online. Click on your phone. What have you seen that has impacted you in the industry over the last two three decades?

Scott: It’s such a good question because one that I saw recently that I didn’t know anything about and I’m kind of embarrassed by this. I had a client that was on an old Goldwing and he’s riding up in the Jefferson area and this dirt bike cuts across from his path and he jams on the brakes and clips the guy and then kind of evil can evils it into a ditch. And I had no idea. It had an airbag system and enveloped him. It wasn’t on his body armor.

Phil: Oh wow.

Scott: And he said it saved him from real harm. I had no idea, and I’m sorry, going people out there that, you know, I didn’t know about the technology, but that’s impressive. We’ve all heard it, you know, we’ve seen the suits, we’ve seen the jackets and things like that, but I had no idea of that. That’s pretty freaking cool. But also, it’s a totally different configuration than like an adventure bike or something else like that. I mean, it’s almost around you anyway, right?

The, I think, ABS technology, I think future gyro sort of technology, gyroscope kind of technology is starting to come to the forefront, is only going to help. You know, anything that helps keep rubber in contact with the ground in a breaking or turning situation is always going to be better. And I think…

Phil: Absolutely.

Scott: The more they push that, the better. And it’s only just gonna get safer.

Phil: It’s interesting, I’ve mentioned this a couple of videos, but the, I believe trickled down from 10, 15 years ago, however long it’s taken, you know, from say MotoGP racing or the top level racing, to now I can go into my motorcycle and set fuel delivery and power delivery and electronic suspension. Like you said, I think I should know, but it has like a six position gyro on the bike that allows it to do all these calculations and it is absolutely wild how much. Now,

I do think that all of that is only as good as say the person riding the bike.

Scott:That’s 100% right.

Phil: I think you have to be able to provide that input and know what you’re doing. Not that you’ve got to be a top level racer, but you know, all those settings if it’s your first week on a motorcycle probably don’t matter too much. But the technology is absolutely incredible. I wanted to, man it’s so interesting, but I got to get this in man. I got to get this in. So.

Scott: Yeah.

Phil: There’s some stuff that you’ve done, I kind of pivot a little bit to it, because this is why I thank you and your firm and everything you’ve done as an advocate for the community is absolutely incredible. And you mentioned that you’ve been out there advocating for law changes, the vulnerable user law, you’ve helped pass laws, you’ve done all this stuff. I don’t know if it’s in the state setting there or whatever, but I just want you to talk a little bit about that and what you’ve done, because I think, the general perception is, okay, motorcycle lawyer, this guy’s chasing ambulances and all that good stuff, but you’re actually out there advocating for us, for our community, trying to change laws. So, I definitely would be interested in hearing some more about that.

Scott: So, thank you. I appreciate it because we actually have a session coming up soon in Colorado and everything I’ve done has been in Colorado. And it started a number of years ago with me being asked to help behind the scenes pass a law that definitely affects motorcycle riders. But it’s very inside ball and involves insurance and it’s called the May Cole doctrine. So I don’t want to spend any time talking about that. What’s near and dear to me that’s coming up, is I helped write the first law to ban texting and driving. And for years, the problem with that was by the time it made it through the legislature, it got so watered down as to lose teeth. And so we’ve been since then trying to just get phones completely out of people’s hands, make it a primary offense so they can be pulled over for it. We have now been doing it, I don’t know if this is year six or so trying to get it passed. I just had a meeting with our state senator who is the sponsor of the bill, Chris Hansen. And it looks as though this year the governor is on our side for a change. State Patrol, Department of Transportation, all these other groups are all 100% behind us. And we bring out motorcycle groups, bicycle groups, pedestrian advocates. I mean, we’ve got it all the insurance industry. Everyone is on our side on this one. And it just keeps getting shot down based on some legitimate concerns overall with, you know, targeting people for maybe race-based issues and things like that, which I completely get, and it is a thing.

We’re trying to show that it affects people in different demographics more punitively. So if you get hit by a distracted driver, forget if you’re a motorcycle rider, they’re just smashing into your car. That affects different people in different ways. High deductibles, used car, now all of a sudden they’re out a perfectly good car or perfectly good whatever. So we’re trying our best to overcome these issues.

The Vulnerable User bill, I was asked to be a part of that and help pass that. So I brought clients in to advocate and tell their stories. And they were motorcycle riders in particular and I was proud when that bill passed that was a big initiative that was done by Bicycle Colorado actually was a big person behind that, a big group behind that. So I’ve been lucky all these years these different groups asked me to come in. I’ve actually literally written some of the laws. One of the jokes I tell when I testify and it usually goes over like kind of a wet balloon or a wet you know what I mean and it’s hey I’m the only and I’m actually arguing against my best interest because we care, right? I care. I’ve seen it too much. I’ve seen too many people wiped out that easily lives could be saved if we pass these really simple laws. And it’s the truth.

The Colorado you know, trial lawyers association has yet to help me. The color of bar associates yet to help me. So I’m there sort of as a lone wolf and, you know, trying to get these laws passed, working with different organizations. And I’m a volunteer. I’m not getting paid for any of this. Uh, I’m just trying to make sure things are safer for you, me on the road, our kids on the road, everybody, right.

Phil: So you talked about it and you said it, and I’ve heard you say it in some of your Instagram reels, and I don’t know if people take that seriously, but I know you’re not exaggerating when you say you’ve seen people literally wiped out. And I would assume that’s just financially destroyed.

Scott: All the things, yes. Yeah, wiped out physically, emotionally, financially. I mean, completely devastated financially. And because there’s not enough insurance, there’s not enough, the defendant doesn’t have enough money. It’s, this is back to, and I’m sorry, we keep talking about it. It’s back to you gotta cover your own ass. You’re the only one that’s gonna protect you.

I hear clients say, oh, I was talking to my friend and all my case is worth millions. I’m like, sure, but who are we going to get it from? Obviously, I’m not that callous, but when I say it, it’s true. I can’t magically make them have my insurance policy of $5.5 million. There’s only so many of us driving out there with that. And I’m not going to tell you what I drive, so you can’t. Get in front of me.

Phil: It’s a Honda. It’s a Honda. It’s a Honda. Type R Civic lowered neon lights.

Scott: Yeah, yeah, that’s it.

Phil: Yeah, I mean, so we talked a ton about this stuff and it’s super informative. I can’t wait to publish this stuff. I mean, I know you’re doing stuff in the community through events, sponsorships, clubs to not just be out there and be a fixture. So just real quick, I’ll kind of insert this here. When I met you, It was at the film festival, VAHNA Film Festival, down at the Oriental. And I was just like, this guy is super connected. Just, you were the only person that called up on stage. After you got back down, everybody’s like, you want to shake your hand. So I know that you’re well tied in the community and I know you’re doing events or things like that to promote awareness. Maybe you can share a little bit about that.

Scott: Well, I mean, it all stems from my love of the community, right? I grew up as a kid with friends riding all sorts of different things. One of my dear friends passed away on my street while I was in law school. And then soon thereafter of getting out of law school, I sort of worked on my first motorcycle case and I truly love the motorcycle community and all its shapes and forms and all the… high school baggage that comes with it and everything else that’s fun and kooky about it. I love it. They’ll, they’ll get together and you know raise money for a cat that’s sick, right? I mean any chance to get together and help the community out they do it and that speaks to me I was raised that way to be community oriented. You know, the VAHNA guys are just guys that I’ve been now friends with for years. All these other organizations and things we do the Colorado Motorcycle Expo that’s coming up this in 2024. We love that community. That’s a completely different sort of community.

The Four Corners Motorcycle Rally, a ton of charity events we do, both for awareness, for safety, for drug and alcohol programs, for veterans. It all comes from family and friends and connections that we’ve made over the years that – we’re just trying to help them spread the word, raise more money, whatever it is to help their organization.

I mean, the Motorcycle Relief Project, you might know those guys and love those guys. What they’re doing is really freaking important. Unless we shine the light on some of this stuff and get involved, you don’t want to be the best kept secret in things like this.

Phil: Absolutely, I’m actually I’ve got Mike on the schedule from motor relief project next week I met those guys actually at the gas station and a bunch of guys in GS is rolled up and first thing I noticed was like man. Why do these guys got like military boots on that’s strange. And then I talked to Mike and he gave me his card and I looked into his project I like man, this is super fantastic. Like I think, you know, we talked about you know this program and that program what it all boils down to for me

Scott: Mm-hmm.

Phil: And the reason I do what I do and I think that you do what you do, motorcycling is just, you can’t, it’s almost like you can’t explain it, but the act of just being on the motorcycle actually made a reel like yesterday. I was like, yeah, I like all these things, but to me, it’s riding a motorcycle like that in and of itself is the most, I just go to a different place, right? Cause there’s no distractions. You got to be totally aware and you got to do all the things and seeing the, the world through the lens of my advisor.

It’s just indescribable and after, well, see, I’ve been riding for 25 years, so it’s not gotten old. Like I’ve progressed from sport bikes to different things to adventure bikes, but I think it’s just a love of riding motorcycles in all fashions and forms, whether it’s a Harley or adventure bike or whatever bike. I just think people just, that’s why we’re all here, right?

Scott: Totally 100% agree. And I saw, I waxed nostalgic recently, I went to that U2 concert in The Sphere, which was just amazing. And that, you know, whether you’re a U2 fan or not, it doesn’t really matter. And there was this line that was, without, with silence, there is no healing. And I don’t know why that resonated with me, but you’re on a bike, whether it’s wind or the motorcycle or something else like that, like you said, to get transported away. And, you know, you’re grinning and you’re enjoying what’s happening around you as opposed to maybe ruminating on some stupid shit that happened earlier that day or whatever, right? And, you know, I think I’m gonna try to figure out how to make it into a shirt. You know, I’ll let you order the first one. I’ll give you the first one. But yeah, there’s something. But yeah, it’s, yeah, I couldn’t agree more.

You know, what you’ve set up with, you know, your network and the app and all these videos and everywhere so people can actually get out and do amazing rides around Colorado is really such a gift to the community and I really appreciate it.

Phil: Yeah, thank you for that. I think I’ve got more states coming. I’m not doing most of the talking on this interview, but back to when I left the day job and wanted to start this, it was never how can I make money riding motorcycles, it was, how can I ride motorcycles? Like, that was it, how can I pursue this passion that I love so much? And then eventually, hopefully, money and all that stuff comes I think when you start with that in mind first. I love to do this,  how can I share this with people? I think that’s what really resonates with folks.

Colorado, I don’t know, I’ve done rides around. I mean, I lived in the Midwest for a while, a long time, and I’ve ridden in all the states around here. I just don’t think there’s anything better. Like all in one, if you were to pick one state. Colorado’s simply amazing. Paved roads, dirt roads, vistas, anything you want, it’s here, it’s absolutely incredible.

Scott: Yeah, totally agree. Lakes, rivers, I mean, the only thing we don’t have is, you know, maybe the coastal areas, but you know, that’s okay. It’s got everything else.

Phil: And we got sand dunes.

Scott: And that’s why, well, I don’t know about you, but it’s why I’ve lived here for, you know, now 30 some odd years, right? I’m not leaving.

Phil: Right, right. I think you know what I guess kind of tail end here. What can we see from Rider Justice in 2024? What do people need to be looking for from you?

Scott: For us in particular, as always, take a look for our Accent Scene Management classes, which are essentially first aid for motorcycle riders. We sponsor those classes. You still pay, but I’m trying to make them cheaper for people by quite a bit and lunch. So, watch for those. We do those throughout the winter so you’re prepared for the riding season. Those are my favorite things to do because it’s actively, we have real stories where it’s really helped people and save lives. So, I love that. The film festival, I’m gonna be out in the Scottsdale area for the next version of the VAHNA. Film festival is gonna be out there. And then we got Texas coming up too as well. This year I’ll be at the BMW MOA in in the Oregon area.

Phil: Yep, me too.

Scott: And I have some, yeah, there’s gonna, well, you’ll have to spend time in our booth. And I’ve got some special guests that are gonna be there that, you know, all the old white guys there are gonna be like, woohoo. So it’s gonna be pretty fun. I won’t name drop yet until it’s official, but it should be fun. So come out and see us there. And then all the other.

Phil: Kevin Costner, Kevin Costner, Yellowstone?

Scott: What’s that? Oh, no, even better, even better. Eva and Eva and Sterling. And you know what I mean if you’re a deep dive. Yeah. I think those two will be signing more old man white skin than anybody else, it for autographs. But yeah, then our other big just kind of capstone events. But I really this year wanna try to do even more sort of community focused things that really get out and to celebrate writing in all its forms. Yeah.

Phil: Absolutely, I think you make a great point. I love the first aid classes. I think some people I’ll say they don’t differentiate. Maybe they were never taught There’s a difference between a first aid kit and a trauma kit right like that thing that you bought at like Walmart is Not gonna help you if you have some major problems going on right? So that’s really cool the educational piece.

Scott: Mm-hmm.

Phil: The last question I’ll ask you is so next week. I also have Ted the executive director of the MOA. He’s lined up to be on the show, what uncomfortable, interesting questions should I ask him?

Scott: Oh cool. Interesting I just got off the phone with him yesterday as a matter of fact what would be uncomfortable and I can’t think of any like he’s just the nicest guy in the whole world and yeah and he’s so just genuine so I can’t even think of anything to tease him about and I’d love to tease people so I can’t even think of something to get a little dig on, he’s just so great.

Phil: Yeah. Very nice guy. I mean, we talked for like 45 minutes and I was like, man, this guy is like, he’s pretty incredible. I’m looking forward to his interview. I think it’s just going to be one of those things where you feed him a little bit and he just goes, I mean, sounds like a great, great guy.

Scott: Yeah. And I think, you know, where I see with interacting with him and the MOA now for a few years is just he’s really also growing the organization because that’s probably the most, the hardest thing he has to do is, you know, I was teasing earlier about old white guys riding these bikes but getting more millennials and 20s and 30-somethings that are enjoying BMWs to actually become part of this organization to kind of… keep breathing life into it. I think that’s not teaseable, but that’s a real something that I have to kind of, I know they’re grappling with and trying to deal with, because I think it’s important.

Phil: Yeah. It’s interesting. Some of my ideas are the stuff I’ve done. He was like, man, we were thinking about doing that. We just couldn’t staff it. So I’m really interested to start work with them in the new year. I’m going to be writing for them a little bit, maybe producing some content. So yeah, the MOA is a fantastic organization and, you know, getting their younger writers involved

Scott: Cool.

Phil: I’ve done a few videos with some guys out here that are younger in their mid-20s and stuff, but you often don’t see that. I would think the demographic would be somebody that’s maybe 20 years older than me, you know, out there on these BMWs. But you know, when I moved to Colorado, I had a, I actually had a Ducati and a sport bike. And I was like, this is not the place for this. Like I need something where I can just bend off on a dirt road and go have some fun, right? Like I have seen sport bikes out, you know, close to town, typically like on 103 there by Evergreen and you know, but man, you get out west a little bit, there’s no sport bikes like this. Not, that’s not what this is. Not at all.

Scott: No, it’s true. You just don’t see them. Yeah, I mean, you’ll see the, on our way up to Alma, we’ll see the occasional Harley’s, but it’s mostly GS’s that can go over the passes, enjoy the ride, because there’s such great rides on the roads too, but then have the capability to get off road. They’re perfectly suited for Colorado. They just are.

Phil: Absolutely, absolutely. Well, hey, we’re running up on time. Is there anything else you’ve got for the good of the interview or anybody that’s listening and watching? I really appreciate your time. Incredible insight. I’ve got about 15 separate clips I can definitely pull from this. I mean, do you drop some serious knowledge? I think folks that will listen to this entire episode are gonna be like, whoa, I need to A, check my insurance, you know, give my insurance provider, and then all the other things that we talked about, including putting bodies in trunks from car washes and driving across.

Scott: Yeah, you know, I am from Jersey, so it’s not surprised I run into a trunk one right off my bat in my career. But yeah, I think, you know, one of the things I do love to do and you know, when you and I were having lunch is I, you know, I don’t sell insurance, like you said, I just sue them. I do like to talk to people about what coverage they have. I don’t like to say don’t sell it. I got no skin in the game. I’m happy to talk to any of your viewers about that for free. They can always call me. Just look us up at Come out, support events, get involved, do whatever, Accent Scene Management classes. But yeah, just enjoy riding and ride at your level and at your comfort level. I think that’s the most important thing. The only thing we didn’t talk about and we kind of touched on is just… Kind of to your point earlier, it’s this situational awareness at all times.

Phil: Yes, situational awareness. I think over the years, you hit on it ride at your level. Riding is inherently dangerous, right? And different skill levels, I guess there’s a graduated level of what feels weird to me. And I think there’s that little voice in your head when you’re like, maybe you’re riding a fast pace or whatever it is, but then there’s that little thing and it happens to all of us, you’re like, hey man, I don’t know about this. I think that’s the point where you’re like, I need to back it down.

I need to back it down because I know we’ve all heard that voice. I’ve, I’ve felt it a couple of times this year. Uh, I was on independence past this guy and a Porsche just flew by me. I was like, I got him after about four turns. I’m like, I don’t got him. I need to slow down. Like, so yeah, Yeah. There’s no trophy at the end. Right.

Scott: Yeah, yeah. Wisdom, wisdom. Experience. No, no. My last little quick story I’ll tell is I used to coach soccer years ago and this dear family that I love, the wife comes up to me and says, I think my husband’s gonna get a Harley for his 50th. And I was like, no, don’t. I was like, did he ever ride before? No, never ridden before. I’m like, all right, well, here’s what has to happen. Take the classes, do things. I’m like, just please promise me he’ll do those things first. He didn’t do any of the things. And he goes out on his first ride with his buddies and he high sides it and Evel Knievels off the side of a hill. And thank God, totally fine, wearing the right gear. So huge gouge crosses his shield and his visor and he broke his arm, so he got really lucky and he never got it again. But if he had done it the right way, he’d probably still be riding today. Ride your own rides, don’t go on a crazy ride with your friends, you have no idea what you’re doing. Just enjoy yourself, yeah.

Phil: Yeah, I think group rides can, you know, the word that I use to describe group rides is ego. Because you have maybe, just from my own personal experience, my own personal experience, the most wrecks happen during group rides. You have the people at the front that are probably setting the pace that are, you know, very proficient riders. So maybe you think you need to keep up with them or you think you need to do things, you know what I mean? Or maybe the folks at the front trying to show off, you know, have a mistake.

Scott: Mm-hmm.

Phil: I’m not telling you anything you don’t know, but man, those things can be so, I think back to your point, if you’re going to start out, get that good mentor and go out with like one person.

Scott: Let me ask you a question about that. What do you think about trying to put together, I’m not saying you and I do this, but it is something I’m considering, is trying to put a mentor program together for new riders and different level riders. I don’t even know how that would work. It’s just something that I was thinking about today and it’s funny that you just brought it up. But what do you think?

Phil: I think that’s absolutely necessary. I think you can only get so much at like, one of my buddies, Chris, actually teaches at the MSF course down there. I think it’s in Lakewood off of 6 or something like that. But you’re in a group setting, you got 10 other people, and you’re going through the paces and you’re doing the things, but you can only retain so much. I think a mentor program would sort of be like that, 1.5, the next level up, and maybe you’re, you do all the things that are probably the most dangerous, whether it’s riding in traffic or we’re gonna go do some nice easy turns and what are your questions? I think absolutely critical to a mentor program would be, and you got me going now, would be, you gotta have an intercom system. You wanna be able to talk real time.

Scott: Mm-hmm. Mm. Yeah, smooth that turnout. Mm-hmm. That kind of stuff. Yeah.

Phil: So, my brother came out, yes. My brother came out two years ago, two years ago. So, my brother, so funny story, not funny but funny. The whole reason I started this, actually the YouTube channel, is because of my brother. So he started riding motorcycles, and he was like, you know, you’ve done all these things, and I was like, well, I live in Colorado, you live in Ohio, I could make videos that you could watch. And so that’s how it started. And he came out, he rented a Triumph, and we were on Cottonwood Pass. We had our intercoms on, and I rode right behind him. And I wasn’t like overdoing it, but it was like coaching. It was like, okay, gas, gas, break, okay, look this way. And I think that would be an absolutely incredible program. After this, we should definitely, you know, just kind of see what’s out there and see who’s willing to get in on with us. And I think a mentor program would be super fantastic.

Scott: Yeah, and if nothing else, it brings more riders together, but trying to do it in a way that I think makes it safer and fun for everybody. Yeah, let’s noodle on that. Yeah, this morning, my brain never stops, and this morning that came up in my brain, and I’m like, let’s try to figure that out. And I know people worry about liability and all sorts of other BS, and I think people overthink that kind of stuff. You assume the risk, you’re riding with a friend and… as long as your friend doesn’t wipe you out, like I said, it’s fine.

Phil: That’s it. I think, yeah. Maybe we could get access to that. You know that pad up there and Golden when the State Patrol uses? I don’t know. I don’t think it might be liability there, but I think I think it’d be super important to establish some sort of like tenants. Like here’s the four things that the mentor program addresses and we’re not trying to make people freaking street racers, right? But we’re definitely trying to help improve them. So man, yeah, now you got me going. My mind is just a mentor program. Let’s go. All right.

Scott: Oh yeah yeah.

Phil: Scott, hey man, I really appreciate the time. Fantastic, fantastic. I mean, you’ve dropped some serious knowledge, some manhole covers out here. So yeah, for anybody that’s interested, I’ll link down to it below all Scott’s information and just being so open and willing to share this with folks, right? I don’t know and I haven’t tried to get other folks, other agencies to do it, but you just seem so willing, able and accessible, which is crazy. So I really appreciate that.

Scott: Yeah, Phil, same. Yeah, I appreciate you spending time to talk to me and I love what you’re doing. For you, it’s a vocation and it’s the same for me. I come at it from a place of how can I help? For you, it’s kind of the same thing and that’s what matters. I really appreciate your time today.

Phil: Absolutely Scott. All right, man. Well, thanks for the episode. Thanks for your time and I guess we’ll see you in the next one, all right?

Scott: Yeah, thanks, sir.

Phil: All right.