MNPEA LDP

MINNESOTA PUBLIC EMPLOYEES ASSOCIATION

 

Public Employees Non-Sworn LDP, “PENS” LDP

 

The Firm’s legal services applies only to members under this PENS Legal Defense Plan (PENS LDP) agreement (all sworn law enforcement members are not eligible for this plan and must use the MN FOP LDP), and 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, on duty or off duty, within the State of Minnesota.  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, any criminal charges involving Methamphetamine are expressly not covered if the firm, in its sole discretion, believes there is evidence to support the charges.

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 (excluding Fowler’s 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 member’s 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, if the member’s job duties involve driving or require a driver’s license.

Persons eligible: Member only- If the member’s job duties involve driving or require a driver’s license

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 (excluding Fowler’s 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.  Appeals to Minnesota and Federal Appellate courts are not covered. Covered cases include: Veterans Preference Hearings, Unemployment Hearings, actions against licensure or certifications, etc. The plan does not cover dissolution of government positions via valid political process.

The Minnesota Public Employees Association has full responsibility for covering a member in cases of discipline and discharge under the collective bargaining agreement.

The LDP will also covercomplete legal representation for DEFENSE of civil proceedings, for “work related” incidents within the State of Minnesota. “Work related” means incidents occurring as a part of a member’s public employee employment, OR if it is outside the member’s public employee job duties, but is substantially related to their employment capacity. For example, if a member is engaging in activity while in employee uniform that is related to the employment, such as travel or the incident involves the member’s status as a public employee, the member will be covered. All civil cases are not covered- if for example, the Member has a dispute with a contractor making improvements to their house, and gets sued, it is not a “work related” incident and is not covered. Examples of types of cases covered would include, defense of excessive use of force complaints, civil actions for negligence, civil rights violations, property damage, etc., if they are “work related”

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.  Additionally, cases where the Member is a Plaintiff are not covered for free, only cases where the member is a Defendant in a civil action, but the member is entitled to a discount, see section V below.

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 (excluding Fowler’s 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.       Free phone consultation: on any personal legal matter, for any household member– via calling the Firm through its contact information.  Office: 651-287-8883; or 24 Hour cell number: 651-357-8877.  MEMBERS SHOULD USE 651-287-8883 for all emergency incidents

 

V.           Discounted Rate for other legal services.  A discounted rate of $150 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 merits of the case; and whether the Firm in its discretion, accepts the case.  The Firm’s normal rates are $300 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.  In family law cases, members will receive a referral to a participating FOP backup attorney who handles family law matters, at a rate close to the $150 per hour rate, but will vary depending on a case to case basis. 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.       Wills:   A member and spouse are entitled to a set of basic wills for one flat discounted rate of $250.  A basic will does not set up trusts or do extensive estate planning. Members should call and mention their MNPEA PENS legal defense plan membership and schedule an appointment.

 

VII.      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 criminal charges, litigation or an administrative proceeding which are alleged to have occurred prior to the Member’s enrollment in the PENS Legal 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 via dues deduction.

B.  Matters, claims or defenses pertaining to any matter listed herein or which the Firm and/or the Executive Board of the Minnesota Association of Public Employees 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 Executive Board of the Minnesota Association of Public Employees, in its discretion, directs the Firm not to pursue because the matter does not advance the principles and interests of the Minnesota Association of Public Employees.

E.  Under no conditions shall this Agreement be construed to provide a Member with legal representation in any action which the Minnesota Association of Public Employees, or any Member of the Executive Board of the Minnesota Association of Public Employees, or its officers may be an adverse party.

F.  The PENS LDP does not provide covered representation for breach of Duty of Fair Representation claims (DFR claims), as these are considered plaintiff’s cases.