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Legal Defense Plan

LEGAL DEFENSE PLAN 

Fairfax Coalition of Police, IUPA Local 5000

Effective on April 1, 2012, the International Union of Police Associations is providing to members of the Fairfax Coalition of Police, IUPA Local 5000 an important new benefit: aLegal Defense Fund (LDF) that provides defense coverage for officers in criminal and civil cases arising from an act or omission in the course and scope of employment as a law enforcement officer. In criminal cases, the LDF provides full representation by an experienced criminal attorney from the outset of the investigation through trial, and in critical incidents. The LDF pays for all the costs arising in the defense of covered cases, including attorneys’ fees, expert witness costs, and court costs.

The LDF provides coverage to each member as an individual. The FCOP Executive Board does not review or approve providing Legal Defense Coverage, and members do not need to get approval from the FCOP Executive Board to get representation. If you are an FCOP member you will receive representation in covered cases.

The benefits of the LDF are in addition to the labor representation provided to you by your local. The LDF does not cover discipline or other disputes with your department.  Therefore, you should continue to contact your local union leaders on discipline and labor matters.

If you are involved in a critical incident or you believe that you may be entitled to coverage by the LDF you can either contact a local FCOP representative or you can call the LDF 24 hour hotline directly at 800-255-5610.  In critical incidents, a local attorney will be immediately contacted to represent the officer. 

 

The Plan Document of the LDF, which explains the operation of the LDF in detail, will be provided to you shortly.

LEGAL DEFENSE FUND PROVIDES:

  • The Legal Defense Fund provides an enrolled member with representation by an experienced attorney in both civil and criminal actions for incidents occurring while a member is enrolled in the LDF. The Legal Defense Fund pays all attorneys’ fees and costs for the representation. If there is a legal conflict between members, each participant gets separate counsel. Customary and usual services are also covered by the Legal Defense Fund, such as investigators, expert witnesses, court reporters, and court costs. There is no cap on benefits, no copayments and no deductibles for this benefit.

Criminal:  (act or omission within the scope of employment)

  • Full representation by an experienced criminal attorney from the outset of the investigation through trial.
  • This is available no matter which agency conducts the investigation: Local, State, Federal, FBI or DOJ.

Civil:  (act or omission within the scope of employment)

  • You will be provided with independent counsel by the Legal Defense Fund if: there is a legal conflict of interest between you and your employer; inadequate representation by your employer; a considerable likelihood that punitive damages could be awarded against you; or, if your employer refuses to represent you for an act or omission within the scope of your employment.

COST TO THE MEMBERS FOR THE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND:

  • Monthly cost is included in the monthly IUPA dues of participating locals.
  • No Cap on Benefits
  • No Co-Payments
  • No Deductibles

Examples of Coverage:

Deputy Sheriff charged with manslaughter and other crimes in the death of a resistive suspect.  Prosecution theory of death by “positional asphyxia” successfully rebutted by expert medical testimony. The LDF also provided a use of force expert, investigators and enhanced a video of the incident.

  • Defense Costs paid by the Legal Defense Fund:  over $211,000.

Four officers sued in a high profile shooting of teenager. City agreed to represent officers despite firing them. The LDF determined this constituted a conflict of interest and provided a defense. The case settled. The officers were not required to contribute to the settlement.

  • Defense Costs paid by the Legal Defense Fund:  over $476,000.

Three Police Officers charged with assault, battery, conspiracy and other crimes. Expert testimony required included:  Use of Force, Computer Forensics Medical, Discovery Referee and Investigators.  Two trials that took a combined time of about 22 months.  Not guilty and hung juries.

  • Defense Costs paid by the Legal Defense Fund:  over $4 million.

Police Officer charged with 2nd degree murder and child endangerment when he shot and killed a woman coming at him in a vehicle. Not guilty of both counts by the jury.  LDF provided among other assistance, a media consultant, pathologist, police psychologist, investigators, and a focus group.

  • Defense Costs paid by the Legal Defense Fund:  over $372,000.
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