Marty Hayes

Major Goal Achieved!

by Marty Hayes, J.D.

I am pleased to announce that the Legal Defense Fund is now fully funded with over THREE MILLION DOLLARS safely reserved for the defense of our members after legitimate acts of self defense.

Over the years, members have asked how the Fund is protected and others have asked how it is invested. We have it spread out between different financial institutions (taking into account the FDIC limit of $250,000.00 on federally-insured deposits). We currently keep approximately one million in accessible accounts at banks and credit unions and the rest is in certificates of deposit. As they mature, the CDs are reinvested under the watchful eye of an investment broker whom we trust implicitly.

What is next for the Legal Defense Fund?

We will continue to add to the Fund, with the immediate goal of building up an additional liquid, working balance of about half a million for immediate payment of the normal legal fees that accompany member-involved incidents, and, of course, reserve the $3M for that extremely rare incident where the legal fees could run up to close to a million (think George Zimmerman, Kyle Rittenhouse).

Sitting here thinking about this, I vividly remember when we first started the Network, and what our goals were. I remember wondering if our goals were attainable. In fact, here is a paragraph I wrote outlining those goals from our February 2008 eJournal.

“We have lofty but realistic goals. Within the first year, we want to sign up at least 1,000 members, which will create a Legal Defense Fund of approximately $20,000. When it reaches this size, the Fund will become available to help, though on a limited basis. Within five years, we hope to have increased our membership to 10,000 members, which will swell the Legal Defense Fund to a quarter of a million dollars. At that time, we have some serious clout when it comes to defending a wrongfully prosecuted member.”

If you are one of the first 1,000 members, you can pat yourself on the back and feel satisfied that your contributions helped us reach and wildly exceed these goals. Gila, Vincent and I humbly thank you for your loyal support. If you are a relatively new member (and have not had the time to read the past eJournals), I hope you feel assured and comforted by our record of meeting our goals and keeping our promises to members.

As far as the future goes, we expect the Network to live long past Vincent, Gila and me. Currently, we are structured as a for-profit corporation, an entity with which I had previous experience as a corporation president. My legal education had provided a good understanding of the pluses and minuses of various legal entities, too.

As Vincent, Gila and I approach retirement age, we have been discussing how to insure the Network survives long past our hands-on involvement, and when we have all the details worked out, we will, of course, announce any structural changes we deem necessary to assure the Network a vital, thriving future. But be assured that our promise to you, our devoted members, is that we will (to borrow the immortal words of Captain Jean-Luc Picard) make it so.

No New News on the WA Insurance Commissioner Issue

Just to make sure we keep our members informed about this issue, I have absolutely nothing new to report! We are still going through the discovery process, which not unexpectedly is taking longer than we hoped.

“That Weems Guy”

Do you know the name Lee Weems? If not, you should. A friend and colleague of mine, Lee is a Network Affiliated Instructor who runs his own training school, First Person Safety. Lee’s shooting school is not the subject of this message, but instead, I wanted to mention the great work he is doing on YouTube. A few months ago he started posting short (30 minute average) videos on which he talked to other instructors around the nation, using Zoom to capture the conversations. From what I have seen these video segments are truly firearms instructor gold. I know and respect most of the guests he has on his channel and have trained with them or interacted with them in training venues, most notably at the RangeMaster Tactical Conference. Lee has been posting about one video a week from what I can see, and I anxiously await the weekly episodes.

I hope he will continue with the videos. I know he is busy with a full-time law enforcement job and his own training school, but what he is doing is very important work. To find his videos, simply search “Lee Weems” in the search bar on YouTube and start enjoying and learning.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.