by Marty Hayes, J.D.
I have been writing this president’s message each month since our inception in 2008, meaning this is the 176th such message! I enjoy keeping our membership informed about the goings on at the Network, and I hope you enjoy reading these columns. This personal contact is what makes the Network different from the other companies selling after self-defense legal plans. I guess this effort would be considered “old school” and that label fits me to a “T.” Someday I will be replaced when the corporation moves into a different phase, but we do not expect that to occur for some time. For now, you are stuck with me!
Come Visit us in Indy!
We will be at the Indiana Convention Center April 14-16 for the NRA Annual Meeting. Despite the leadership issues the NRA faces, I believe all gun owners should be a member, as it is the political clout of the NRA that’s kept the anti-gun politicians away from the door (at least up to now). The leadership issues of the NRA will eventually get resolved, so joining is not a waste of your hard-earned dollars. If you are not a current NRA member, you can join right at the Annual Meeting and get into the exhibit hall.
The Network will put up its normal booth, this year in exhibit space #3320. If you are nearby on Saturday afternoon, the advisory board, Massad Ayoob, John Farnam, Dennis Tueller, Manny Kapelsohn (Tom Givens can’t attend) and our two new board members, Marie D’Amico, and Karl Rehn. We will all be in the booth at 5 p.m. (at least that is the plan two weeks out, when we need to publish this journal). If you haven’t met these folks yet, this would be a grand time to shake their hands and get a selfie (if you are into those kind of things). If you do, be sure to post it on Facebook to give us a little free publicity. We hope to see you there.
[Photo shows Advisory Board member Massad Ayoob signs a fan’s book in the Network booth at an earlier NRA Annual Meeting. Look for us at the April 14-16 event.]
Good News from the Network!
Recently, we reached a milestone in our membership numbers, topping the 20,000 mark! Our original goal was 5,000, so you can see that as the years go by, we re-evaluate our goals and set new ones. Our next goal for the Legal Defense Fund is to go over 4 million dollars, and at present rates of renewals and new sign-ups, we should reach that goal by summer!
How Did the Hearing Go?
On March 13 we argued ACLDN v. Office of Insurance Commissioner in front of a 3-judge panel of the WA State Court of Appeals, Div. II. We were ably represented by attorneys Dennis Polio and Ed Wenger, two pro-gun appellate attorneys from the law firm Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak, PLLC, from Washington, D.C. I was disappointed that the Insurance Commissioner attorney didn’t roll over and expose their underbelly after the hearing, but then, I am easily disappointed! Actually, I think their attorney also did a professional job arguing the merits of their case, although I also believe they have the weaker case.
The good news is that the judges must find in favor of the Network or the OIC, and if they decide for the OIC they will have to write an opinion as to why they believe the act of self defense is not a voluntary, intentional act, but instead a contingent act, meaning you acted without intentionality after being presented with a set of circumstances that warranted the use of deadly force.
I could go on and on, but let’s wait for the ruling before we go down that rabbit hole. According to Spencer Freeman, our local attorney who was also at the hearing but sitting in the audience with me, it will likely take a couple months until we get the ruling. What is interesting is that this legal issue has never been presented to the court, meaning that the opinion they come forth with will be a “Published” opinion, and will become Washington case law, and will have binding precedent here in WA. When we discuss “case law” in our legal writings, this is exactly what we are referring to.
[In Photo, L-R – Our local attorney, Spencer Freeman, Marty and Gila Hayes, Ed Wenger and Dennis Polio from the Washington, D.C. firm of Holtzman Vogel Baran Torchinsky & Josefiak, PLLC.]
“Hello, this is Marty.”
That is the greeting when you call the after-hours emergency phone number in order to request assistance after a self-defense incident, or to discuss an incident with me. That phone is on 24/7, but since it exists as an after-hours emergency line, many times it does not get answered during normal business hours when the office staff can cover phones.
If you need to contact me during normal business hours, please dial 888-508-3404. If it is a self-defense case, the office can get a hold of me quickly, and I can call you back. But most of the time 888-508-3404 is used for renewals, new member sign-ups and general questions about the Network. We have thought and thought about a better way I can remain accessible to help our members 24/7, but in 14 years, we have not come up with a better way.
And with that explanation, I will sign off for now, and hope to see you in Indy.