by Marty Hayes, J.D.
The other day, we received an email from a member who had contacted an attorney on our Network Affiliated Attorney list. The member wanted to do as we recommend, that being to meet the attorney, chat for a few minutes and have the attorney agree to be available in the event of the member using force in self defense. That is all well and good. But according to our member, the Network Affiliated Attorney’s staff told him that the attorney had a program through which the individual puts the attorney “on retainer” for $350 a year! The attorney has a website dedicated to this, so we know this wasn’t some sort of miscommunication between the member and the law firm staff.
We told the member he should look for another attorney to meet, as paying a yearly fee to the attorney is not what the Network Affiliated Attorney list is all about. We have since disaffiliated with that attorney, and removed him from our list.
It’s not the first time this has come up. Over the past several years, we have had attorneys who, after they were part of the Network for a time, started their own “legal aftermath” service, usually in the form of a pre-paid legal scheme. When we discovered this, we disaffiliated with those attorneys, too. It would be nice if an attorney who decides to do this sort of thing, would let us know what they are doing and voluntarily leave the Network, instead of attempting to sell their program to the Network members who learn about the law firm through us. But I suppose that consideration is too much to ask for.
When we accept an attorney into the Network, we spell out for them what the working relationship is to look like. We ask that the attorney be available to meet with our members ahead of time (whether or not that attorney wants to charge for that meeting is up to their firm) and then after that meeting, the attorney is free to choose to be available to a member after a self-defense incident, and the member is free to choose to have that attorney’s phone number in his or her wallet for use if needed. If you, as a member of the Network run into something other than this when contacting a Network Affiliated Attorney, then please let us know. And attorneys, if you want to start your own “legal aftermath” service, please let us know and we can part as friends.
Another Rangemaster Tactical Conference is History
Each year Network Advisory Board Member Tom Givens and his wife Lynn host many of the nation’s top firearms trainers, who volunteer their time to teach another 150-200 people over the course of three days. Held at the Memphis Police Academy for the last several years (it has moved around from time to time), the Tactical Conference is truly a world-class training event.
In fact, it was at the 2008 Tactical Conference that I first introduced the concept of the Network to the instructors and students in attendance. Many of those attendees signed up for the Network and are still members today. On this trip I discovered that there were MANY, MANY more Network members in attendance than in years past. It was pretty cool to have people come up to me and want to introduce themselves to me, saying they were Network members who wanted to thank me for what I started.
Of the 200 attendees this year, I would estimate that half were Network members. One such introduction came from Network Affiliated Attorney George Lyon, Jr. from Arlington, VA. He practices firearms law in Virginia and Washington, DC. His website is www.arsenalattorneys.com, and here is a link to a good article on his blog, about self defense and the law. (https://www.arsenalattorneys.com/firearms-blog/self-defense-case-study-frank-trujillo)
The 2017 Tactical Conference is already being planned and I expect to be there again. Just one really great thing is getting to meet literally hundreds of people who share the same values, having decided to NOT be a victim of criminal attack, and if they are selected, being able to fight back and win. That alone is worth the price of admission. Gila had this month’s lead article already prepared, but expect to see a lead article on the value of training and the legal aftermath in the May edition of the journal, using this conference as a backdrop for the article.
Us v. Them
As the years go by, more and more companies spring up to address the legal aftermath of a self-defense shooting. More than I can keep track of. The dozens of calls we receive each month from prospective members trying to sort out all the options in the marketplace tells me it is confusing and frustrating for the consumer, and I find it frustrating, too. I think that’s why so many first-time callers seem to voice their questions in an “Us v. Them” approach, although we do our best to educate the caller about the different plans.
You will always get a human being to answer your questions when you call the Network. Even if you initially need to leave a recorded message because it is outside business hours or all lines are busy, leave a message and a human being will call you back. But one thing I want members to know: if you want to speak to the President of the Network (me), then I will either take your call or call you back as soon as I can. That I promise. There are no layers of screening you have to work through, there is just you and me. If there is anything I can ever help you with, don’t hesitate to call.
Click here to return to April 2016 Journal to read more.