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Ask Our Lawyer - October 2006

Ann Schulteti

The Queen of American motorcycling has died. Together, she and her husband made up the first family of American Motorcycling. Almost six decades ago, they established the greatest Harley-Davidson dealership in this country. Southside Harley-Davidson saw the beginning of Harley, the good times of Harley, the bad times of Harley and the return of Harley-Davidson to glory. Ann raised the best children and grandchildren you can imagine and most of them are still involved in the day-to-day activities of Southside Harley-Davidson.

Most families have a black sheep; not hers. Every Schulteti you meet is just as wonderful as the next one. I know a lot of good Harley-Davidson dealers, but I wouldn't even think of buying a motorcycle from any other than a Schulteti. American motorcycling was lucky to have her and her influence for so long. Her contributions to the community and to motorcycling are legendary. I predict the Schulteti family will celebrate their 100th Anniversary with Harley-Davidson, and Ann Schulteti will be very proud of what she has created.

Why Doesn't my bike count?

Q: Is the insurance industry discriminating against motorcyclists? It seems we are not qualified for a multi-vehicle discount. According to my insurance agent, a motorcycle is not considered a second form of transportation by my insurance company for the purpose of qualifying for a multi-vehicle discount. On the other hand, some companies I've heard of won't sell us insurance for a bike unless we insure a car with them. What's going on?

A: Many things, probably, but it may be legal. Insurance is a contract, and the terms of the contract control the agreement. As long as the company doesn't promise to include motorcycles for purposes of qualifying for the discount, there's no violation in most states if the company doesn't consider bikes for a multi-vehicle discount. Also, it may be that if the motorcycle is on a seasonal policy, it won't qualify for the multi-vehicle discount.

While we agree that the better practice is to include bikes when calculating multi-vehicle discounts, I am not aware of any law or regulation that requires it. That means you should shop around to find a policy and an insurance company that meets your needs and is motorcycle-friendly.

To Trademark or not to Trademark

Q: Would it like to license or patent our "Christmas For Kids" name and logo? - Jeanette, from Freedom Riders A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois

A: This usually takes a Trademark Lawyer. They are costly. To save costs, you may want to get on-line to the Trademark office (Error! Hyperlink reference not valid.) and see if you can understand the filing on your own. It is straight forward. You may decide that the cost and time of a trademark attorney is not worth the effort, especially if you have an established use of the name in your area.

A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois and A.B.A.T.E. Legal Services Scholarship Winner

Levi Best, of Shelbyville, Il, is the 2006 A.B.A.T.E. of Illinois and A.B.A.T.E. Legal Services Scholarship winner. Levi is the son of Darrell & Lisa Best from the Old River Chapter. He turned 18 in July and is a 2006 graduate of Shelbyville High School. Levi has been employed since June 2005 at Shelbyville Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center in Shelbyville as a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), which he attained during his Junior year of high school.

Levi has started attending Lake Land College in Mattoon where he is studying the prerequisites for a Bachelor of Science Nursing Program. He is aspiring to attain his Bachelors of Science and Nursing Degree. Levi owns a 1979 Batavus moped but is most proud of the 1990 Mercedes Benz that he bought himself. Levi enjoys music and playing his guitars.

His essay, An 18 Year Old's View Of A.B.A.T.E., celebrates the freedoms that A.B.A.T.E. members have fought for, and continue to fight for, every day, and the struggle to educate riders and the motoring public. He closes with "I thank you for all the time and effort you put in to what you believe is worth fighting for. These type of actions are what America is all about." Wise, and winning, words from Levi.

Airshow started by bikers - An outstanding success

Short of joining the military, the most Patriotic act a citizen can do is to go to an air show where the men and women of our armed services are honored.

The 2006 Indianapolis Airshow was a remarkable event and a great success. The magic worked by the Airshow and its dedication to Riley Hospital for Children, much like the Miracle Ride, never ceases to amaze me. Judge David Jester, one of the army of volunteers for the air show, came to me with a story that demonstrates that magic. He reported that a young lady who works in a government office has two young children and requested for a ticket to the air show because she didn't think on her $16,000 a year salary she could afford to go. The Judge was able to wrangle her a free pass.

Recently, that same lady came into the office and couldn't contain her excitement over her and the kids experience at the air show. She was so impressed that she said she felt she should do more and handed over a check for $100 to contribute to the hospital! We tried to tell her that the money she spent on food and drinks were a sufficient contribution, but she insisted that with what we are doing for the kids at Riley she just felt she should do more and insisted we take the check.

Stories like that make me glad that we have the opportunity to do what we do.

The Post Office Scores Again!

Far be it for me to highlight the mistakes made by others, but some of you just can't pass it up. I saw this item on the news wires the other day:

The Postal Service recently, with great fanfare, issued a new set of stamps depicting motorcycles. Collectors who buy copies issued on the first day the stamps are available can get them with a special commemorative postmark. Unfortunately, the colorful postmark spells it "motorcyle."

Having discovered this, the post office announced Friday that new orders for first-day envelopes will have a corrected postmark.

Unless the buyer wants it spelled wrong. In that case they can still order the version with the incorrect postmark. Just include a note asking for the incorrect version.

Now, I believe that its high time that the government recognizes and celebrates motorcycles, but it would nice if they got it right at the same time.

Ride Safe and Free,

Rod Taylor

A.B.A.T.E. Legal Services

If you have any questions you would like to ask the lawyer, please submit them to: Ask Our Lawyer, P.O. Box 2850, Indianapolis, Indiana 46206_2850, or email rodtaylor@abatelegal.com. © 2005, A.B.A.T.E. Legal Services