• Welcome to ScubaBoard


  1. Welcome to ScubaBoard, the world's largest scuba diving community. Registration is not required to read the forums, but we encourage you to join. Joining has its benefits and enables you to participate in the discussions.

    Benefits of registering include

    • Ability to post and comment on topics and discussions.
    • A Free photo gallery to share your dive photos with the world.
    • You can make this box go away

    Joining is quick and easy. Login or Register now by clicking on the button

New Dive Club (Phoenix, AZ) Discussion

Discussion in 'Southwestern Region' started by shark.byte.usa, Nov 30, 2006.

  1. shark.byte.usa

    shark.byte.usa Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    1,487
    0
    0
    Kevin,

    We're not talking about expanding AZScuba in this thread nor an 'online' club. This is to discuss and gauge interest in a NEW diving club, emphasis on diving, as the title and OP explains. If you want to discuss AZScuba do it in it's forum or [thread=168239]this thread[/thread]. We'd appreciate it.

    Thanks,
    Garrett
     
  2. scubajcf

    scubajcf Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Arizona
    1,092
    12
    38
    I love the idea of a diving club. When we do our thing on Thursday nights, we get as few as 6 and as many as 40 (ok, once we had 40).

    In any club, there are organizers. It looks like several of the SBers in the AZ forum are shaking out to be the leader.

    A little advice:

    Hope for the best, plan for the worst. When things go wrong, they go very wrong. My experience with a dive club that actually dives is that it becomes a great place for new divers to find dive buddies. Often, many of the people getting in the water are on dive number 5. Should something ever happen (to a new or experienced diver; doesn't matter) the organizers will get dragged into court and be held liable ... sometimes when they weren't even present.

    So, my suggestion, is incorporate the club (as a non-profit). The corporate veil will provide some layer of protection (unless there is negligence). But, it will protect organizers (officers) who aren't present. An LLC is probably enough. The club needs to be insured. An umbrella policy with at least $3 Million should be good enough. Talk to an insurance agent and get his/her opinion. Anyone getting in the water must sign an excursion release. Another note; any "black cards" or "professionals" who are members of the club and present at the scene of incident will probably be named to a lawsuit. Remember that just in case you are "socializing" too much. It won't win friends with a jury. Also, when club meetings are held, remember liability doesn't necessarily end when everyone is out of the water. If you organize a trip to pleasant and someone trips and falls, you could be held liable from some fancy pants lawyer who claims you organized a trip for an unsafe meeting. If there is drinking and someone gets in an accident while drinking at the meeting ... OK, you get the gist.

    Check your dive insurance, it may not cover you if you were NOT conducting dive activities. In which case you would need to depend on some sort of personal umbrella policy, homeowners insurance or the corporate insurance.

    Again, I love the idea of a dive club that dives. But, don't go at it cavalierly. No one likes all this bureaucratic crap, but we live in a litigious world. If you have an open club that anyone can show up at ... you will get anyone. No matter who shows up; you as an organizer are at jeopardy. You as a professional member may be at jeopardy, depending on how you were representing yourself. Yes, I know about the business relationship, but if you are acting in the capacity, even without compensation, the responsibility may be implied.

    Don't risk your house, your assets, your retirement over a dive club. No matter how fun!

    I guess my advice is organize it correctly; take care of all the hard working people and act defensively at all times!!!!!

    I feel like I am raining on your parade; sorry.

    jcf



    PS - The author of this post is not acting in a legal capacity nor offering legal advise. The reader of this post takes sole responsibility for any actions taken as independent actions and is not relying on the author's expertise or advice. The author is strictly offering an opinion and should not be constituted as a legal opinion. The author has not been compensated for said opinion and the reader acknowledges that this reading and/or following said advice does not constitute a business relationship. It is strongly recommended that the reader seek legal advice whenever considering acting on opinions mentioned herein.

    CYA Brother!

    jcf
     
  3. krcollins

    krcollins Dive Con

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Seattle, WA
    92
    0
    0
    I read and understood the OP and rest of the thread perfectly. My thinking was that the NEW club would probably be comprised of the active members of this forum and the OLD club with an added emphasis on organized dive/social activities. Call it what you want but essentially it is an expanded AZScuba possibly with a new name.

    My question about the next AZScuba meeting was probably misplaced (but no more so that dogs peeing on drysuits). For that I apologize but you could probably lighten up a bit.
     
  4. shark.byte.usa

    shark.byte.usa Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    1,487
    0
    0
    Apparently you didn't understand cuz it's right in the first paragraph and the title, I don't know how I could have been any clearer. Yes it would be comprised of active members of THIS forum and beyond hopefully, but this is not the AZScuba forum, this is the Scubaboard Arizona Scuba forum, The AZScuba club has it's own subforum, confusing perhaps but I didn't make the names up. AZScuba will not be "the OLD club", they will still do, what they do, how they want to do it, and I'm sure continue to fill the needs and charter of their active members well no matter if this new club comes to be or not. This is to explore an entirely NEW dive club, not just a new name and has absolutely nothing to do with AZScuba. Will we take bits and pieces from other clubs and perhaps modify them, probably, that's what's being discussed here. But these things are certainly nothing any one club is unique for.

    Your post would have fit in perfectly with the discussion already begun in the thread linked in the OP. If you have thoughts or ideas about a entirely New club, suggestions, etc. Please by all means tell us here, I'd personally love to hear them. Fair enough?

    -Garrett

    Edit: Took out my apology cuz I re-read my 1st reply and I thought I was polite! Maybe you could lighten up a bit too.
     
  5. shark.byte.usa

    shark.byte.usa Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    1,487
    0
    0
    Thanks for the informative reply, those are some of the things that I've thought of and need to be discussed and looked into definitely. Guess we need a lawyer and insurance agent as perspective members :D. I know a non-profit corporation takes awhile to get approved.

    I know some club officers or people who know club officers, I'll dig for information.

    Thanks,
    Garrett
     
  6. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
    113
    There's more than cave diving near that rental, too. Merritt's Mill Pond

    How about Borat swim suit carwashes? :confused: Ok, need to get that mental picture out of my head! :11:

    Better than peeing in your drysuit. :D

    Where are you diving? You need to get out more! :D


    Based on John's (scubajcf) post, we might want to consider just announcing when and where we'll be diving, including trips and let divers make their own reservations. Then it just turns into a bunch of divers showing up at the same site at the same time. I'm not sure how the lawyers would interpret that, but it would certainly be more difficult to lay blame on anyone if no one actually organized the trip. There are a few lawyers on the Board. I'll pm someone and see if we can get some guidance.
     
  7. H2Andy

    H2Andy Blue Whale

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: NE Florida
    29,646
    376
    0
    i think this is good advice.

    incorporating the club will be cheap, and there are many do-it-yourself kits available (depending on the state).

    insurance: this is a double edge sword. if the club is insured, it will attract attention that it may not without insurance if the lawyer on the other side knows there's "money" to be had ... that said, if you can get some relatively cheap insurance that members can cover with dues, this is probably a good idea.

    anyone JOINING the club should sign a general release releasing the club and all officers and members from any liability (consult a local attorney for requirements). anyone DOING ANYTHING with the club should sign ANOTHER liability waiver for that specific trip, outing, dive, etc.

    Professionals, unfortunately, will carry with them a greater "duty" towards other divers, and so will be bigger targets of negligence suits. however, there's nothing the club can do about this, other than the waivers as to the club, officers, and all members.

    best of luck guys

    this is not intended as legal advice. please consult a local attorney qualified to practice in this area of law.
     
  8. Dive-aholic

    Dive-aholic Dive Shop

    # of Dives:
    Location: North Florida - Marianna area
    8,872
    1,004
    113
    Thanks, Andy! Appreciate the insight.
     
  9. scubajcf

    scubajcf Dive Travel Professional

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Arizona
    1,092
    12
    38
    Following is a link to dowload the simple forms to start an LLC. Filing fees are generally cheap. http://www.cc.state.az.us/corp/


    Agree Insurance is a an attraction for ambulance chasers. But, in an incident, this may take the focus off personal assets and the lawyer will focus on going after the insurance. Additionally, people can sue for any reason. If you have an insurance policy, the insurance company will generally handle and underwrite the lawsuit. IMO, not an option.

    There are lots of opinions on this. General consensus is that they need to sign everytime. A good place to get an opinion on this (if you are a PADI Instructor) is to call up Pat Fousek or someone in her dept. at PADI Legal and ask her opinion on this. According to most dive professional insurance policiies, in order to have coverage, you need to have a signature everytime they touch water.


    Good safe diving practices, following published rules are the best defense. What you never want to do is put yourself in a position where you were not acting as a reasonably prudent scuba professional or club organizer. For a dive club, I would be concerned more about "non-diving" liability.

    My two cents, I just wanted to bring up the issue of liability. I am sure whoever puts the club together, will take care to cover their :mooner:

    Horse is beat dead ....

    jcf


    see previous disclaimer.
     
  10. shark.byte.usa

    shark.byte.usa Divemaster

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location:
    1,487
    0
    0
    Well I don't know if that's really a solution. Anybody can be sued anytime for any reason, even while engaged in a informal club. Without insurance you'll have to defend yourself and bear the responsiblitly of the legal fees. It's a double edged sword with insurance you more likely to get sued, but if you don't have it your more likely to go broke defending yourself or lose your assets. I don't think informal clubs are any less likely to be sued by having a blanket statement to CYA, PI attorneys can sift through the smokescreen and present a case, right or wrong you have to defend yourself and shoulder the costs. If a buddy or a bartender can be sued certainly a informal club's officers/members can.

    I'm not so worried about the participants/members suing, I would worry more about the 3rd parties, SO's, heirs, people looking for someone to blame or have an axe to grind if something did go wrong, and any members involved having to defend themselves.

    -Garrett
     

Share This Page