Fighting for Philadelphia Cyclists in Court

Street Law: Stuart Leon fights for Philly’s cyclists in court

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Jude still can’t recall the accident. One moment he was on his bike at the intersection of Broad and Spring Garden, waiting for the light to change. The next, he was waking up in a hospital bed with a broken leg, two broken ribs, a shattered shoulder, about eight head staples and a bill of $360,000.

Street Law: Stuart Leon fights for Philly’s cyclists in court

The driver, who’d sped through a red light, left Jude for dead and abandoned the car less than a mile from the scene. There were no police charges and no locatable witness, and Jude didn’t have health insurance. Luckily, he did have the name of Stuart Leon.

Leon is Philly’s bicyclist defender. He’s an avid cycler with 25 years experience in accident cases. After graduating from Widener Law, Leon gradually moved away from defending cars and construction and, for the past 10 years, has worked exclusively with bikes. His private Center City high-rise office vaguely resembles a college dorm, with degrees covered in Post-Its and family photos, a hanging electric guitar, a snowboard, a poster of James Dean and a photo of a North Philly youth drumming band that Leon helped fund. There are also pictures of busted body parts, including Jude’s new metal shoulder. “Everyone wants to be a sports agent nowadays,” Leon explains. “I represent people who are using their bodies—often couriers—to make a living. I’ve got a lot of respect for them.”

Read the whole story at Grid Magazine