A 2am text message from a guy who Raanan Schnitzer didn’t even know—a friend of a friend of a friend—convinced the paralegal to cofound eTicketbuster.com late last year. As a legal assistant for a small attorney’s office, Schnitzer had helped lead-footed pals contest their traffic tickets pro bono for years, but a text from a complete stranger was new. “He was like, ‘I hear you do this. Can you help me out here?’ ” Schnitzer recalls. Now everyone in Washington state can get Schnitzer’s help. Send a photo of your ticket to eTicketbuster.com, along with a deposit for half the fine amount plus a $6.50 processing fee. Using an option in state law known as “decision on written statement,” or DWS, Schnitzer and cofounder Steven

A. Hemmat, an attorney, go to work. “Let’s say it’s a speeding ticket,” Schnitzer explains. “We request the officer’s statement and all the tests that have been done on the speed measuring device.” They analyze the data, then draft an argument and send it to the court. If eTicketbuster successfully contests the ticket, Schnitzer and Hemmat keep the 50 percent deposit. If not, they refund it in full. Schnitzer hopes to expand the service to other states with DWS laws, and he’s working on an eTicketbuster app. Anything so people don’t text him at 2am. 

Published: January 2013

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