FOP Legal Defense Plans- 2 Options


The MN FOP Legal Defense Plan


By now, you realize how police incidents are national news. That's why you need the resources of a national organization. The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police offers the MOST COMPREHENSIVE legal defense plan, with NATIONAL resources.

 

This latest case is a perfect example. A video goes viral on social media.  Within hours, protestors are marching in the streets.  In less than a day, politicians are condemning your decisions, before you have even had a chance to tell anyone what really happened.   National and international news media are calling you and begin questioning everything you have ever done. Politicians, local and national, begin pushing to eliminate your Constitutional protections.

 

This is why we provide a Legal Defense Plan (LDP).  You need an advocate willing to push back against the nonsense.  You need lawyers whose practices are focused on police representation in your corner, guiding you through the process, defending your livelihood, defending your liberty.  With one of the most comprehensive plans in the nation, the Minnesota FOP LDP has access to national media relations teams, local and national legal counsel, and of course the fraternal assistance of your fellow peace officers for the things you cannot imagine today.

The Minnesota Legal Defense Plan is administered through the Minnesota State Lodge. The cost is only $150 per year per member.  The Fowler Ditsch Law Firm, L.L.C., is our current contracted legal services provider. The Minnesota State Lodge has built a positive working relationship with the firm. Fowler Ditsch Law Firm has experience in criminal defense, civil, and labor matters. Under the plan, you will have the security of knowing exactly who your attorney is if an emergency arises, and not have to worry about finding an attorney on a list who will agree to represent you. A number is available to all plan members to contact the firm directly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Under the Minnesota Legal Defense Plan, more services are covered than under any other plans. Below is a schedule of exactly what will be covered.  For example, previously, only incidents that were "on the job" were covered for criminal and civil representation. Now, any incident, on or off duty that causes a criminal charge, a civil case, or employment discipline will be covered for 100% of attorneys fees, with no limits on the attorneys fees. Further, your spouse will also be covered for full representation for any criminal defense cases. In addition, your household family will have access to greatly discounted legal services for other services that are not covered by the plan.

The Minnesota State Lodge is pleased to offer, and strongly encourages all members to join, the plan to protect yourselves and your family. The investment of the low yearly premium is well worth the benefits of the Plan, and with its expanded benefits and local control by the Minnesota State Lodge, you will be well served and protected by a reputable law firm with ample ability and experience should you need it. The firm is available to answer any further questions you may have directly at 651-287-8883.  Please click on the link below if you would like to join.


http://www.mnfop.com/index.cfm?zone=/unionactive/form_page.cfm&formID=71008



Legal Plan Services:

 

 

 

EXHIBIT "A" (contract November 01, 2015-November 01, 2018)

 

The Firm's legal services to members under this Legal Defense Plan (LDP) agreement are as follows:

 

 

I.                     Criminal Charges - Trial & Defense: Complete legal representation (all attorneys fees paid) for criminal charges (including DWI and Criminal Traffic matters- meaning where jail time may be potentially be imposed), whether job related or not, within the States of Minnesota and Wisconsin.  Covers all attorneys fees for all stages of representation, from pre-charging to sentencing. All appeals, probation violations, and post conviction motions are excluded.

 

Additionally, all costs (costs are not attorneys fees- these are expenses the firm pays out of pocket or advances to the client's case) incurred by the Firm shall have a maximum coverage of $5,000 per case.  Cost may include, but are not limited to, online legal research fees, mileage, filing fees, copy expenses, fax expenses, obtaining police reports, expert witness fees and retainers, depositions, statements, fingerprints, collection of physical evidence, hiring private investigators, etc.  For costs in excess of $5,000, the Member shall be personally responsible.  The Firm has sole discretion in incurring any costs or not.

 

            Persons eligible: Member and spouse.

           

 

 

II.         Motor Vehicle Criminal and Traffic Violation representation: Complete legal representation (all attorneys fees paid) for traffic violations within the State of Minnesota, whether job related or not. Traffic violations in Wisconsin where o jail time may be imposed is NOT covered by this agreement.              

 

            Persons eligible: Member only. 

 

Includes court representation for traffic violations, from pre-charging to post trial sentencing. All appeals, probation violations, and post conviction motions are excluded. (Examples covered include, but are not limited to: Careless Driving, Inattentive driving, Misdemeanor traffic violations, and Petty misdemeanor traffic violations)

 

Additionally, all costs (costs are not attorneys fees- these are expenses the firm pays out of pocket or advances to the client) incurred by the Firm shall have a maximum coverage of $5,000 per case.  Cost may include, but are not limited to, online legal research fees, mileage, filing fees, copy expenses, fax expenses, obtaining police reports, expert witness fees and retainers, depositions, statements, fingerprints, collection of physical evidence, hiring private investigators, etc.  For costs in excess of $5,000, the Member shall be personally responsible.  The Firm has sole discretion in incurring any costs or not.

III.             DEFENSE of Administrative /employment or Civil proceedings, Job Related: Complete legal representation (all attorneys fees paid) for DEFENSE of Administrative or employment cases relating to termination, demotion, suspension or other disciplinary action by the Member's employer,within the State of Minnesota.  The plan does not cover dissolution of police departments via valid political process.   In cases where the FOP member is covered by membership in an exclusive collective bargaining unit (such as a labor union or association), that exclusive representative will have the responsibility to cover the member first in such a proceeding.  In such cases, the LDP will then cover the member only in a monitoring capacity, which may include if needed, the LDP providing the member with the service of negotiating with the exclusive representative; and/or assisting, to the extent the exclusive representative consents, with the preparation of the member's case; and/or persuading the exclusive representative that the member's case has merit.  The LDP cannot by law force the exclusive representative to waive its right to represent the member, or interfere with its right to represent the member.       

 

If the FOP member is not a member of an exclusive collective bargaining agreement, the plan will be the member's first line of defense in such cases and fully defend the member.

 

The LDP will also cover complete legal representation for DEFENSE of civil proceedings, for on the job related incidents within the State of Minnesota. Examples would include, defense of excessive use of force complaints, civil actions for negligence, property damage, etc.  This service is excluded if the employer, county, city or state indemnifies the officer and/or offers legal representation.  The service of determining whether an employee should be indemnified, and compelling an employer to indemnify, is covered.

 

            Persons eligible: Member only.

 

Additionally, all costs (costs are not attorneys fees- these are expenses the firm pays out of pocket or advances to the client) incurred by the Firm shall have a maximum coverage of $5,000 per case.  Cost may include, but are not limited to, online legal research fees, mileage, filing fees, copy expenses, fax expenses, obtaining police reports, expert witness fees and retainers, depositions, statements, fingerprints, collection of physical evidence, hiring private investigators, etc.  For costs in excess of $5,000, the Member shall be personally responsible.  The Firm has sole discretion in incurring any costs or not.

                       

 

 

IV.             Unlimited free phone consultationon any personal legal matter, for any household member via calling the Firm through its contact information.  Office: 651-287-8883; Toll Free: 1-877-709-8877; or 24 Hour cell number: 651-357-8877.            MEMBERS SHOULD USE 651-287-8883 for all critical incidents.

 

 

 

V.                 Discounted Rate for other legal services.  A discounted rate of $100 per hour, regardless of attorney assigned, or a contingency fee reduced to 25 % for all legal services not provided by the plan, subject to the firm's ability to provide these services based on subject matter area of practice and jurisdiction.  The Firm's normal rates are $180 per hour depending on the attorney assigned for hourly matters, and normally are 33 1/3 % for contingency matters.  By way of example, and not limitation, the firm does not practice bankruptcy, family law, workman's compensation, or taxation law.  However, the Firm will attempt to refer the member to a lawyer who will accept the discounted rate if Fowler Law Firm does not practice the desired area of law.                        

 

            Persons eligible: Member and household members.

 

VI.            Exclusions: Except as otherwise agreed, the Firm shall not be required to provide legal representation under the following conditions:

 

A.  For pre-existing conditions which are defined as those acts (or offense date) which give rise to charges, litigation or an administrative proceeding which are alleged to have occurred prior to the Member's enrollment in the FOP Defense Plan, even though the charges, lawsuit or administrative proceedings may have been initiated after such date.  However, if the employer initially indemnifies the member for an incident occurring prior to the member's coverage date, but then discontinues to indemnify or represent the member; the plan will cover the member if the date of the discontinuation of the employer's representation/indemnification occurs after the date of the member's joining the plan.  It is each member's affirmative duty to renew the plan each year in a timely manner.  Ultimately, regardless of the FOP's actions or lack thereof in reminding the member, it is the member's responsibility to renew in a timely fashion (Oct. 31), failure to do so will result in a gap in coverage.

 

 

 

            B.  Matters, claims or defenses pertaining to any matter listed herein or which the

Firm and the FOP Executive Committee determine to be frivolous, or otherwise non-meritorious including decisions to appeal any judgment or decision.  The Firm reserves the right to make independent professional judgments as required by the Code of Professional Responsibility, regarding the presentation of such claims or defenses.

 

            C.  Any matters which the Firm, by the Code of Professional conduct, is

                        prohibited from handling.

 

 

 

D.    Any matters which the FOP Executive Committee, in its discretion, directs the

Firm not to pursue because the matter does not advance the principles and interests of the FOP.

 

 

E.        Under no conditions shall this Agreement be construed to provide a

Member with legal representation in any action which the FOP, or any Member of the Executive Committee may be an adverse party.

 

F.         The LDP does not provide covered representation for breach of Duty of

Fair Representation claims (DFR claims), as these are considered plaintiff's cases. Specifically, for example, if an FOP member is a member of an exclusive bargaining unit as referred to in Exhibit A, section III above, and the exclusive representative declines to arbitrate or otherwise take the member's case to the next step or level, the LDP will not litigate against the exclusive representative



The National FOP Legal Defense Plan



The second available FOP plan in Minnesota is offered via the FOP Grand Lodge; the Grand Lodge plan is administered through the Hylant Group and offers members similar coverage options as the Minnesota specific plan. The National Plan offers both on duty and off duty coverage currently and price ranges from $68 to $282 annually. One of the main differences of the National Plan versus the Minnesota only plan is that fact the National Plan uses a list of attorneys that members can choose from. The list of Minnesota approved attorneys are listed for your review under the forms portion of this website. The National Plan also offers HR218 coverage for $50 a year

Active FOP members interested in additional legal coverage should familiarize themselves with the different options of legal coverage. Plan details can be viewed under the forms portion of this website or by viewing the following two links:

 

/Files/grandlodgeldp_booklet.pdf

National FOP Legal Plan Website:

http://www.foplegal.com/