A Gables Firm Wrestles with the Florida Bar
To water it down, Coral Gables-based TIKD is essentially an Uber for lawyers. Drivers who receive a ticket can upload it onto the app. They pay a flat rate and are assigned a lawyer to fight the ticket. TIKD makes a profit when the attorney’s fees are lower than the flat rate. If it costs more, the company eats the loss. If the case is lost, the driver receives a TIKD refund.
TIKD used to operate in 18 counties in Florida. Now they are only in four: Miami-Dade, Broward and two near Tampa. “We’re still operating, still providing services in Florida, but on a dramatically reduced scale,” says Chris Riley, CEO of TIKD.
The reason: The Florida Bar is threatening members who work with them, and the Ticket Clinic, which is staffed by lawyers, filed a lawsuit against TIKD for engaging in the “unlicensed practice of law.” Last November, Riley filed a federal anti-trust suit against the Florida Bar for $11.5 million in damages. Last month, he jumped that to a $20 million suit based on lost revenue.
Despite the lawsuit, TIKD is still growing outside of Florida. They now operate in four other states and 10 major metropolitan areas, where they have faced no legal issues. “It says a lot about how the Florida Bar does business,” Riley says. The case is set for the end of November.
–– Lizzie Wilcox