Legal Protection Plan
of the greatest benefits to a
union member is the
Legal Protection Plan. If your union does not have one, you
as an individual can enroll in the plan, even if
your union does not. Just have your union delegate sign the enrollment
form and mail it in with your
yearly dues. This is highly recommended as you will almost
certainly be sued through the course of your career and/or be the
target of an internal investigation.
your Department will pay for
coverage in a
false arrest or use of force case, you can be assured that you will not
be covered under their policy for the defense of disciplinary
charges. With attorneys fees ranging between $200 - $400 an
one would be foolish not to purchase a plan which runs between $125
and $175 per year, or $10 - $15 a month. An average attorney
fee for the defense of a minor (under 5 days) discipline/administrative
charge will start around $2000. It is not unusual for an
attorney to request a $5000 retainer fee. Over a 30 year
career, the plan will cost approximately $5250.
many officers purchase the
plan, few are familiar with how to use it. They frequently
ask "am I covered?" and
"which attorney can I use?". This article will feature the
benefits of the NJ PBA Legal Protection Plan which EdPDLaw rates as the
major misconception with the plan is the officer's
belief that he must use his union attorney or retain an attorney on his
own. This is entirely
Members of the Legal Protection Plan
can use any of the 120+
that are enrolled in the plan (network) and any of the 3,000 attorneys
law firms. There is no retainer fee and the attorneys bill is
covered up to your policy limit of $20,000 or $40,000 per
occurrence. There is no deductible.
Expert fees are
Many times the
attorney may not
be comfortable representing the individual officer as it may
conflict of interest between the unions' goal as an entity and
individual best interest.
This leaves the officer feeling alienated and
abandoned by his union. Union Presidents
are encouraged to tell their officers that they have the ability to
attorney in the network and have the costs covered by
the plan. This is similar to using a PPO health plan.
for $132 dollars a year, PBA members have the
option of using any one of the 3,000 attorneys in the network.
If, for any reason, you are not happy with the attorney you choose,
another, change firms midstream. $132 a year for peace of
are covered up to:
$20,000 for administrative charges BOTH ON
& OFF- DUTY
$40,000 for criminal and/or civil actions in the Line-of-Duty
would you need additional
coverage for criminal/civil actions in the line-of-duty?
Because their may be instances when your Agency/Department will not
cover you. Don't forget to
your plan with the EdPDLaw
which manages the contents of your personnel file and affords your
union the database statistics it needs to assure your discipline is
"fair" and not excessive.
Protection Plan is a
self-funded plan that can be started in any state. If your
union is interested in starting a plan please contact EdPDLaw.
web site is designed for general information only. The information
presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal
advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship.