Interstate Regulations Can Hit Lax Taxi, Bus, even Uber drivers

By:  Justin Townsend

Justin is an associate with Allison MacKenzie Law Firm with primary practice in Business Law, Real Estate Law, Transportation Law, Commercial Transactions and Energy Law.

You can’t talk about the leading industries in Nevada without mentioning tourism and gaming. However, there are a number of ancillary industries in the state that offer critical support to Nevada’s thriving tourist trade. One such industry is transportation, much of which is generally regulated by the Nevada Transportation Authority, which was formed for the purpose of regulating and licensing motor carriers operating in the state. A motor carrier is any vehicle operating on the roads of Nevada for the purpose of transporting persons or property — anything from a taxi, to a limousine service, to tour bus operators, and even tow cars.

For obvious reasons, many key gaming and important tourist spots in Nevada are located near borders of other states — spots like Lake Tahoe and Reno on and near the Northern California border, Wendover on the Utah border, and Las Vegas near the borders of Utah, Arizona, and Southern California. Much of the Nevada transportation industry revolves around transporting tourists in and to these locations.

Commercial motor carriers who transport passengers in these border spots often have to deal with more than just NTA regulations. They may have to contend with neighboring state transportation agencies or even with federal agency regulations. Problems can and do arise for these carriers when they cross borders and inevitably have to navigate state and federal transportation agencies and potentially conflicting laws and regulations.

For instance, a limousine might be chartered to pick up a group of bachelor partygoers from Reno-Tahoe International Airport, take them to check in to their hotel in South Lake Tahoe, California, and then bring them to a casino just across the border in Stateline, Nevada.

The NTA employs several investigating officers with authority to detain commercial motor carriers on the road to ensure compliance with NTA regulations, which include requirements that such vehicles be marked with approved names and operating license numbers and that drivers carry NTA driving permits and medical cards. Like police officers, NTA investigators are authorized to issue citations to commercial drivers who fail to comply with applicable regulations.

In the previously mentioned South Lake Tahoe example, let’s say the limousine was based out of California and does not have authority to operate in Nevada. In such a case, an NTA investigator might notice that the vehicle does not contain the markings required by NTA regulations and might stop the driver after he has dropped the passengers at the casino in Stateline. A citation is issued for the lack of required markings and, perhaps, for the driver’s failure to carry an NTA driving permit.The owners of the California-based limousine would need to hire a Nevada attorney to represent them before the NTA and assist with getting the citations dismissed. Why? Because the limousine was operating in what is known as interstate commerce. However, the NTA is only authorized to regulate intrastate transportation — trips that occur entirely within the State of Nevada.

On the other hand, federal law provides that the federal government has jurisdiction over transportation of passengers between one state and another state or between two places in one state if such travel passes through another state at any point. Federal law trumps state law in such a case and the NTA citations must be dismissed.

Similar issues might arise in any number of different scenarios. Consider a tour bus operating between the Las Vegas strip and the Grand Canyon in Arizona or an Uber driver transporting a tourist from Wendover, Utah, to West Wendover. In all such cases, the lines often become blurred between Nevada and federal laws, which just might result in an NTA citation for one reason or another. When these or other transportation matters occur, transportation entities should consult with competent legal counsel that is experienced in transportation law to assist with the NTA and to obtain a just and fair result under whichever law applies. Understand your rights and responsibilities when it comes to federal and state transportation laws.

See the article at: Northern Nevada Business Weekly

Understanding Development in the Lake Tahoe Basin

Jordan Walsh, Allison MacKenzie Law Firm

In Jordan Walsh’s recent article Navigating Lake Tahoe Development, she explores changes in the area and what pitfalls potential developments should be aware of. Development in the region is complicated but not impossible and understanding how to “redevelop” and “revitalize” within current regulations is vital for individuals looking to develop sites within the Basin.

As visitor use has changed over the decades from gaming to experiential based adventures, the Basin is faced with new challenges in addressing projects that meet the needs of this new visitor while understanding and supporting the requirements of the community. Over the last decade, these communities have worked closely with the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and community leaders to ensure that environmental health of the Basin is maintained while making the area is more accessible to visitors. Specifically, changes implemented within TRPA’s 2012 Regional Plan Update (RPU), received unprecedented community support during its development. The updates fostered a new emphasis on “sustainable communities” while promoting increased development in “urban centers.”

While these changes make it an exciting time for communities, developers, and citizens in the Basin, it is important to ensure that your project is operating in compliance with the requisite guidelines. If you are seeking to develop sites within the Lake Tahoe Basin or have questions about the planning and permitting process related to a project, contact Allison MacKenzie Law Firm. Jordan Walsh or one of our many talented attorneys are available to assist you in navigating the intricate and complicated regulatory landscape of the Tahoe Basin.

Read the complete article at: Northern Nevada Business Weekly.

Jordan Walsh is an associate with the Carson City based law firm of Allison MacKenzie. Primarily, she practices in the areas of Civil Litigation, Real Estate Law and Land Use Law. Jordan was admitted to practice in Nevada and California in 2014 and is knowledgeable about the unique challenges facing the Tahoe Basin. Jordan can be reached at 775.687.0202 or JWalsh@AllisonMacKenzie.com.

Allison MacKenzie Partners Named Nevada Top Attorneys

Chris Mackenzie 200

Christopher “Chris” MacKenzie

James Cavilia

James Cavilia

 

 

 

 

 

 

Allison MacKenzie Law Firm Partners Voted as Two of Northern Nevada’s Top Attorneys by Peers

Nevada Business Weekly recently announced the 2016 Legal Elite. For the past nine years, Legal Elite has highlighted Nevada’s top attorneys as selected by a community of their peers; only 3.7 percent of attorneys in the Silver State receive this coveted recognition. This year, over 6,000 nominations were received in four categories: Northern Nevada, Southern Nevada, The Best Up and Coming, and Top Government Attorneys. Allison MacKenzie Law Firm partners Chris MacKenzie and James Cavilia were voted as two of Northern Nevada’s Top Attorneys.

Chris and James are native Nevadans and received their undergraduate degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno. After graduating from the University of Idaho School of Law in 1993, Chris MacKenzie joined Allison MacKenzie and has been practicing law for 23 years. His practice primarily focuses on Business Law, including the areas of Contracts, Real Estate, Water Law, and Administrative Law. James Cavilia was admitted to practice in both Nevada and California after obtaining a law degree from Santa Clara University School of Law. He joined Allison MacKenzie Law Firm in 1992 and focuses his efforts on Real Property, Land Use, and Business Law.

The Legal Elite 2016 election process is complicated and thorough, ensuring that exceptional attorneys are recognized for their contributions to the legal field. After the nomination process is complete, all voting attorneys are vetted through the State Bar of Nevada to ensure eligibility and to confirm good standing within the state. Additionally, after final scores were tabulated, top nominees were verified with the State Bar of Nevada before final selection was announced.

To read the complete article, please visit: Nevada Business Weekly.