Start Up To Offer Incentives To Get Lawyers To Provide Veterans Free Services

This piece is from Jurbid, a legal start up. 

They serve and protect – the legal profession fails them. Veterans in need.

While today should not be the only day we honor the fearless and brave men and women who protect our great country and ensure that we can go about our lives safely, it is an important day to take note how we fail them at home.

Currently, there are nearly 40,000 homeless veterans. In fact, veterans make up nearly 20% of the male homelessness population.

Sadly, women veterans are the fastest growing homeless population in the US.

Women veterans are four times as likely to become homeless as male counterparts!

Per several sources, New York and Florida have among the highest veteran homelessness population in the country.

It is estimated that there are 3,500 homeless veterans in New York City alone! In Central Florida, there are about 4,500 homeless veterans.

Why are so many veterans homeless you may wonder?


They are often unemployed and disconnected from their families upon their return home because of mental illness and substance abuse.

They are simply not given the proper support to be re-integrated in civilian life.

They don’t know how to apply for social benefit programs that are designed to help them.

Lawyers are trained to provide such services and can ensure that veterans receive the benefits they deserve.

Currently, there is very little legal support for them.

How can we as proud Americans live with ourselves knowing that these veterans are in dire need of support and help and they receive none?

Jurbid will make a stand.

Starting today, Jurbid will provide the lawyers in its network incentives to provide pro bono services to veterans including free or discounted services.

Additionally, all veterans will receive a 5% discount off their paid legal service.

We are here for you because you have been there for us.

With much respect and love.

Your Jurbid Team.

Jurbid is your legal connection. Our innovative platform connects you with top quality legal counsel. From employment disputes to immigration. You can learn more at

This piece is part of the RISE NEWS Marketplace, a place where startups and other companies can post articles about what they are up to. If you would like your company to be included, please email

Cover Photo Credit: Embajada de los Estados Unidos en Uruguay/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Israel’s ex-PM Olmert Starts 19-Month Prison Sentence

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has begun serving his prison sentence, making him the first former head of government in Israel to go to prison. Olmert will enter Ma’asiyahu prison near Tel Aviv on Monday to start serving a 19-month sentence for bribery and obstruction of justice. Hours before entering the prison, Olmert released a… Read More

The I-95 Express Lanes Are Deadly And Need To Be Removed

By Mark Kaire

The I-95 Express lanes are literally deadly. Ineffective “delineators” — those flimsy orange plastic poles you see falling down like so many pins on a bowling lane — invite collision and abuse. They are obstructive more than instructive, and they do little to divide high-speed traffic from cars driving at more normal speeds.

As a result, Miami now faces a new phenomenon known as lane diving, in which drivers weave between express lanes and regular lanes as though there isn’t any difference in them at all.

It’s a dangerous habit, but one that has become commonplace — all on Miami leaders’ watch. Real people are suffering real injuries. I’ve seen it first-hand. My firm has represented some of these people. These are your neighbors. They could be your family members. They could be you. And all because Miami-Dade County rushed into an Interstate “improvement” project it wasn’t ready for.

The intentions were undoubtedly noble. The state needs revenue. Drivers want to get where they’re going quickly. One might reasonably argue that the fast traffic ought to be divided from the slow and assessed a fee for the privilege of efficiency. But when priorities are ranked, money and speed should never surpass safety. And moreover, if the goal is to divide traffic, division ought to be a keyword.

The I-95 Express lanes in Miami do not provide adequate division, nor have they advanced safety. On the contrary, they’ve introduced a new danger in our community, and our commuters’ lives are at stake.

It’s time to admit that, however, worthwhile the original aspirations might have been, the project hasn’t worked. And now it’s time to fix it.

It’s time for Miami and the State of Florida to own up to its error. It’s time to admit that, however, worthwhile the original aspirations might have been, the project hasn’t worked. And now it’s time to fix it.

I’d like to demonstrate just how dangerous the problem has become by looking at actual numbers. Consider the following, keeping in mind that these all pertain to just a short stretch of road right here in Miami (about 13 miles):

  • In 2014 alone, state troopers made more than 150 arrests for lane diving. That is an especially compelling number when you consider that, by their own admission, officers are increasingly reluctant to enforce the laws on I-95 because the traffic conditions are so dangerous there. They fear for their own lives. It is likely, then, that these 150 arrests represent only a very small portion of the amount of lane diving that actually occurs.
  • There have been more than 17,500 crashes on this specific stretch of I-95 between 2005 and 2014. That is an astounding total. No 13 miles of asphalt should be that dangerous.
  • The total number of crashes that have occurred on this section of I-95 has increased over 50% in the past eight years.
  • At least four people have died as a result of lane diving in Miami during just the last few years. Even more have been injured.
  • Crashes are most likely to occur during peak traffic periods (i.e. southbound in the morning rush hours and northbound in the evening rush hours).
  • Fatal crashes are most likely to occur between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m., and are more common when traveling southbound.
  • Serious injuries happen at all times of the day, with incapacitating injuries evenly distributed across the 24-hour driving period.
  • Road crews replace 11% to 15% of the plastic delineators on I-95 every single week. That’s how often cars hit them.
  • Each delineator is replaced between 6 and 8 times per year, on average.
  • When the Express lanes were installed, the average shoulder width shrank by 40%. As WLRN reports, the shoulder along I-95 in Miami is now 7 feet, 11 inches on average (about the size of a single parking space).

Why the I-95 Express Lanes Are Dangerous

Before going further, it’s important to understand exactly why these lanes are dangerous. It isn’t just that they’re fast. Speed is indeed dangerous, but it isn’t the sole source of the problem.

The Express Lane situation is more complicated than that. A number of factors converge to create the danger here, and we can begin with the delineators themselves.

Lightweight as they are, the delineators still stand as obstructions to traffic. Every time a car hits one of these in-the-way wobblers, there is an increased likelihood that the driver will be distracted by the collision and/or lose control of his or her car, thus raising the risk for subsequent or multi-vehicle collision.

The simple fact is that the delineators make it more difficult to drive down I-95. Difficult driving isn’t anyone’s objective, so why did we pursue it?

Photo Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Photo Credit: Jimmy Baikovicius/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Drivers have historically shown little patience for obstacles, and many simply ignore them. Figuring that they can easily zip between the delineators with little risk of real damage to their own vehicles, many of Miami’s drivers — already known for an occasional proclivity toward recklessness — now pick the lane that suits their interests best in the moment.

“If I see a line at a grocery station that’s faster than the one I’m in, I’m liable to jump over there,” expert traffic analyst Scott Cooner recently told Miami’s WLRN. That same instinct kicks in on I-95.

To be clear: the standard and Express lanes are not intended to be interchangeable. Drivers aren’t supposed to hop between them. But with very little to prevent them from doing so, drivers do it anyway.

The problem with such “lane diving” is that higher-speed traffic is suddenly entering into slower-speed traffic without warning, and vice-versa. Different speeds don’t mix well, and sudden changes in acceleration often lead to unexpected impacts.

Without a Shoulder, Drivers Can’t Shrug Off Their Mistakes

Adding insult to injury (or, as the case may well be here, adding injury to injury), the diminished shoulder width on the Express Lanes leaves little room for error. So not only is driver error more likely on these roads but there is also a small margin for correcting those errors before they cause a crash.

The shoulder size poses other dangers too. Police officers say the small shoulder is the biggest reason they avoid enforcing the laws on I-95. They simply don’t have a safe space for pulling people over anymore.

Pedestrians are vulnerable too.

On March 5, 2011, five people were killed on the shoulder of an I-95 Express lane. They were standing on the side of the road after a series of accidents had forced them out of their cars. Then another vehicle — this one with a drunk driver behind the wheel — entered the Express lane and veered off course, killing all five. It was Miami-Dade County’s deadliest I-95 accident in a decade. And while the drunk driver is to blame, those bystanders might not have been in such peril had the Interstate not been so poorly redesigned.

The Proof Is in the Price Tag

The delineators aren’t just dangerous. They’re expensive too. The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) spends more than $1 million on replacing delineators that have been damaged or destroyed by vehicle impact every year.

If you need a sign that something isn’t working, a million-dollar annual repair budget is it. And again, we’re talking about a cumulative total of 13 miles here. That comes to about $77,000 in annual delineator repair-and-replace costs for every mile.

It’s Time for Change

It is not permissible for our leaders to recognize a dangerous condition and then simply do nothing about it.

We here at Kaire & Heffernan, LLC hold irresponsible parties to a basic duty of care every single day — hospitals, storeowners, insurance companies, vehicle and drug manufacturers, and more. We expect the same kind of care from the people who have a responsibility to keep our roads safe.

Our firm has called on county and state leaders to take immediate action to rectify the dangerous situation on Miami’s I-95 Express Lanes. We only hope that more people won’t have to lose their lives before we see real change.

Take a minute to sign our petition for Florida representatives to step up and fix the failed, deadly, and costly I-95 Express Lane.

Mark Kaire is a personal injury lawyer in Miami and a cofounder of Kaire & Heffernan, LLC.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in public affairs. Anyone can write for you us as long as you are fiercely interested in making the world a better place. 

Cover Photo Credit: Gaspar Torres/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Judge Orders Jail To Kentucky Clerk Who Denied Same-Sex Marriage Licenses

A Kentucky clerk who refused to issue marriage licenses to same sex couples was taken into custody for contempt of court earlier today.

“The idea of natural law superceding this court’s authority would be a dangerous precedent indeed,” U.S. District Judge David L. Bunning told Davis, according to the Washington Post’s report.

Rown County clerk Kim Davis harbored national notoriety over her refusal to comply with the Supreme Court order to allow same-sex marriage licenses. Davis said that issuing same-sex marriage licenses would violate her faith, so she ordered her employees to deny all marriage licenses, whether they were same-sex or not.

Her supporters applauded her decision, viewing the federal government’s legalization of same-sex marriage a violation of freedom of religion. However, others viewed her defiance as a violation of fundamental human rights.

In February, Davis issued a marriage license to a transgender couple despite refusing to marry same-sex couples. Camryn and Alexis Colen, who identify as pansexual, had their marriage license issued on February 26 by Davis, who did not ask for Camryn’s birth certificate. Camryn, a transgender man, still has female marked on his birth certificate.

Legislative leaders in Kentucky called for a compromise for same-sex couples to be married in Rowan County without asking Davis to compromise her faith, and not hold her in contempt until they found a resolution.

It is not immediately clear how long Davis will spend in jail.

Cover Photo Credit:David Goehring/Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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