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The Network Track Record of Assistance to Members
by Gila Hayes
With nearly 3,000 new members coming on board in 2016, an overview of the Network’s support of members should prove useful to our newer friends. In addition, renewing members will be happy to recognize their familiar membership benefits hard at work in a review of the Network’s payment of legal expenses on behalf of members.
The Network pays members’ attorney fees in the aftermath of self defense to assure that members have vigorous legal representation, provides assistance with bail, pays expert witness fees and funding for all the other professional services a fully-fledged trial team needs. Before any of that ever becomes necessary, however, all Network members also receive our in-depth member education package of lectures and a book by the recognized experts in the field of legal defense of use of force in self defense.
Real Life Experience
How has the provision of membership benefits played out in real life? Since the Network opened in 2008, we have paid attorney fees on behalf of thirteen members. In most situations, early representation by aggressive attorneys staved off protracted litigation in either civil or criminal court and to date, no member-involved case has had to be tried in court. Several have come close to going to trial, including one in which the State filed charges twice after losing track of its key witness the first time, then upon finding the supposed victim, it filed charges again.
State of the Network
by Network President Marty Hayes
I always enjoy writing these messages to our members, primarily because each year, the Network gets stronger, and the members receive more and more value for their membership dues. For example, our Legal Defense Fund has now topped $900,000. That money, set aside in several credit union and banking institutions to keep each account below the deposit insurance limit, is ear marked to pay members’ legal fees.
Of all the competing products now in the marketplace that purport to pay their client’s legal fees, the Network is the only organization that does not put a cap on the amount we will pay toward the member’s defense, with the proviso that we have always said, and continue to say, that we will not drain the Legal Defense Fund below the half-way mark for the defense of any given member. At this time, that equates to a soft cap at $450,000 for legal fees and bail. By comparison, for criminal defense, our largest insurance-based competitor’s top tier program will only pay up to $125,000 for legal fees provided in advance of a verdict and only $10,000 toward bail. Their cost for that much coverage is over $300 per year.
by Marty Hayes, J.D.
What have you done for your community lately? I mean, what have you done other than obeying the law and paying taxes? I ask this as I begin writing this month’s President’s Message (my 97th such message in a row). Masonic Brother Mike Webb took the picture to the right as I relieved him from the Interstate rest area coffee stop put on by our Robert Morris Lodge #97 of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of WA State. The coffee stop is a small thing our lodge does once a year, and it raises money for college scholarships.
I make this my lead comment this month because if one of our members is prosecuted after a shooting AND that member testifies on behalf of themselves (most likely, elsewise how will the jury learn WHY the member felt his or her life was in danger) then the prosecutor might just try to paint that Network member as a “gun-nut” as did Pima County DPA Daniel Niccolini in the Larry Hickey trial (read about it at https://armedcitizensnetwork.org/images/stories/Hickey_Booklet.pdf).
Vice President’s Message
Legal Defense Fund – Review and Forecast
by Vincent Shuck
Now that we have celebrated another New Year for the Network and for ourselves, I offer a reminder of what the Legal Defense Fund has accomplished during the Network’s life, a review of where the money for this Fund comes from, and what will be happening in 2017 to enhance the Fund’s total. Some of this information may be old news to long term members, but please bear with me as I bring everyone up-to-date.
The Fund was created by the Network in order to have money, commonly called cash, to provide immediate financial assistance to a member for legal fees and bail support after a self-defense incident. It also funds expenditures for a trial, if required. The Network founders decided to provide the means to support members without any insurance-related contingencies.
Attorney Question of the Month
In this column, our Network Affiliated Attorneys contribute commentary and opinions about questions that bear on the legal defense of use of force in self defense. This month, we raised a question that comes up occasionally from members in different parts of the country. It is a good example of the variations in law and custom from state to state, and we appreciate the information our Affiliated Attorneys contribute here. This month, we asked–
If I am the legal owner of a suppressor that is kept on my defense gun, and I use that suppressed firearm in self defense, what if any additional legal issues might I face in the aftermath? Are you aware of any self-defense cases in which use of a suppressor was a factor in either the charging decision or in court?
News from our Affiliates
Compiled by Josh Amos
Greetings and happy 2017, everyone! We hope that you had great holidays and that the winter is mild wherever you are. We had a great year here at the Network and we couldn’t have done a large part of it without the help of our affiliates. As a year, 2016 had some real ups and downs. Perhaps most importantly, strident anti-gun presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was denied her bid for the White House. While that is generally good for the armed citizens across the USA, we cannot afford to think that the anti-gunners won’t be back. Regardless of who is president or what the anti-gunners do, as armed citizens, we still have plenty to do on our own: beginners to teach, self-defense laws to learn, and high standards to which we hold ourselves.
by Gila Hayes
I intend to write only a few brief thoughts for this closing column, having rather worn out the keyboard on the long lead article this month. That story was born from the need to show what I can only describe as “proof of concept” to answer questions about what the Network does on behalf of members, and whether or not membership benefits are provided as promised. It is surprising how often we are challenged to prove our integrity by folks who are considering becoming Network members. This works in the Network’s favor, since we are proud and happy to take the opportunity to highlight the Network’s reliable services to our members, and at the same time, we can encourage callers to ask the same of our competitors.