ico gavel 200

In December, several Network members used their firearms to defend themselves. One incident took place in a large city where our member was robbed, shot at, and aggressively pursued by his attacker. He returned gunfire, killing the attacker. Responding police took our member into custody over night, but no criminal charges were filed and he was released the next day.

While in custody, our member called a Network affiliated attorney who went to the jail and in the words of our member, was reassuring and calming, which he found enormously helpful.

Network President Marty Hayes spoke with the attorney, to cover his fees, ask about any further legal needs from the incident, and to say thank you. The attorney told Marty that long before the incident, our member reached out to him to ask what to expect from the criminal justice system if he used deadly force to defend himself, and to find out how to contact the attorney if that need arose. The two men met for breakfast, had a pleasant discussion, and went their separate ways -- until the call for help.

This experience emphasizes why armed citizens should meet with an attorney and work out in advance how to contact them for help after self defense. When Network members contact attorneys, the responses range from “come by my office for a few minutes” to “buy me breakfast and we’ll talk” to “call us after something has happened.” Every law firm operates a little differently, so we alert members that attorneys may need to charge members for consultations, especially for more than a few minutes. Our February Attorney Question of the Month column focuses on how members can meet an attorney before a need arises. We asked our Affiliated Attorneys the following questions:

Do you speak with armed citizens who don’t have an immediate need for representation but want to be prepared? 


If an armed citizen wants to meet you briefly, do you prefer a phone call, Zoom or other Internet meeting, or to talk in person?


How should a member contact you for a brief meeting (telephone, in person, email)?

The response was among the largest we’ve enjoyed on an Attorney Question of the Month, and the variety ranged from “yes” and “no” answers to informative explanations. To avoid repeating the question for each response, we approach this topic using a different format than usual. In addition, we received so many responses that we will run the first half this month, and continue the discussion in March.

Question: Do you speak with armed citizens who don’t have an immediate need for representation but want to be prepared? 

Samuel Martin
Delli Bovi Martin & Reed LLC
34 W 6th Ave Ste 2E, Helena, MT 59601

Yes, we provide guidance and consultation for a fee whether or not someone has an issue. This fee may be waived for members, depending on the type of consultation they are looking for. 

Kevin L. Jamison
Jamison Associates
2614 NE 56th Ter., Gladstone, MO. 64119-2311

I charge a small fee for an in-person consultation. If in-person is not possible I will do it by phone or zoom. The consultation is as long as necessary and covers what gun is usually carried, what kind of ammunition, any unique security concerns and Missouri law on weapons and self-defense. Many people ask about knives and expandable batons. These are not covered by Missouri’s pre-emption law and laws vary from place to place.

I stress the first call is to 911, it is the emergency number and you just had an emergency. I stress the limited statement to 911 and the responding officer and how to behave when the officer arrives. Statements are limited by telling the officer “I Want A Lawyer” because I heard of a guy who acted in self defense and he was successfully sued (Bernard Goetz). I give out copies of the Western Missouri Shooters Alliance wallet-sized “Stay Out of Jail” card which summarizes the statements to give.

I give them my card to keep in their wallet, I take calls 24 hours a day. They need the physical card in addition to storing it in their phone because phones are confiscated as potential evidence. A lawyer’s card you can keep. 

John I. Harris III
Schulman, LeRoy & Bennett PC
3310 West End Avenue, Suite 460, Nashville, TN 37203
615-244 6670 Ext. 111

As an attorney in Tennessee, I often get calls from individuals who have researched the potential need for an attorney who is experienced with the self-defense laws that exist in Tennessee. Many of these individuals are members of ACLDN. Due to limits on giving legal advice to non-clients that apply in our firm, if the individual desires, I will offer them a client consult by office conference, conference call or video conference. However, I will also refer these individuals to scheduled public speaking events, most of which are free to attend, where I will be addressing Tennessee’s self-defense laws. I will also refer the individuals to the information that is available on the Tennessee Firearms Association’s website and free email updates from the Tennessee Firearms Association on Tennessee’s 2nd Amendment related laws and pending legislation.

In those instances where the individual desires a client consult, these consults, which typically range from thirty minutes to more than an hour, address their questions which include not only the process for ACLDN to be involved with incident related legal services but the options to obtain legal advice independent of an incident based need. For example, we may discuss Tennessee’s statutory scheme which makes any possession of a firearm “with the intent to go armed” a criminal offense that puts the burden on the individual to establish an affirmative defense to that crime. We may discuss the statutory scheme in Tennessee where the concept of “self-defense” is not characterized as a right but it is instead classified as an affirmative defense to a criminal charge and, as a result, we discuss ideas that a person should consider doing to improve their training and awareness in the event that they are required to present that affirmative defense to a jury, district attorney or investigating officer. We talk about how it is never a good idea in Tennessee to try and explain, except through an attorney, to an officer or district attorney why a particular incident is self-defense.

In some instances, the consult may also address topics that should be considered long before a self-defense incident arises. These topics include planning for asset protection, strategies to improve the person’s “armed citizen” profile in the event of any incident, estate planning, and even weapon and ammo selection considerations. 

David Seiter
RileyCate, LLC
11 Municipal Dr Ste 320, Fishers, IN 46038

Of course. Part of being prepared is knowing who to contact before an emergency arises. I have met with many clients so they know who to contact in a crisis. 

Letitia D. Quinones-Hollins
Quinones & Associates, PLLC
1602 Washington Ave., Houston, TX 77007

Yes, I will gladly meet with an armed citizens prior to the need being realized. 

Marc Halata
The Law Offices of Marc Halata, LLC
818 Bobtail Drive, Greenfield, IN 46140

I’m always available.  

Jerold E. Levine
5 Sunrise Plaza Ste. 102, Valley Stream, NY 11580-6130

Occasionally I receive calls from ACLDN members who want to know what to do if they are arrested after using a gun in self-defense. I advise them to keep my phone number in their cell phone and wallet. Also, a close family member or friend also should have my number, in case the member cannot get to his/her phone or wallet (police confiscate those things upon arrest, and do not always allow the arrested person to access their belongings until release after arraignment). 

C.D. Michel
180 E. Ocean Blvd. Suite 200, Long Beach, CA 90802


Timothy A. Forshey
Timothy A. Forshey, P.C.
1650 North First Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85003

I meet with a great many folks who have questions about their legal rights and responsibilities as they pertain to home defense strategies/planning, self-defense scenarios and firearms selection, to mention just a few areas. I call these meetings “Prophylactic Defense Meetings” (my staff actually calls them “PDM” meetings) and they have proven to be very popular. I always remind people that is FAR better to STAY out of trouble than it is to GET out of trouble. Meetings like this help.  

Michael G. Romano
12725 SW Millikan Way Suite 300, Beaverton, OR 97005

 Yes, at my hourly rate of $360/hr. 

Craig Rosenstein, Esq.
Rosenstein Law Group, PLLC
8010 E. McDowell Rd. Suite 111, Scottsdale, AZ 85257

Of course. Educating is the best way to prevent tragedy.

Eric J. Bell
Attorney at Law
203 N. LaSalle Street Suite 2100, Chicago, IL 60601

I receive quite a few of these questions. I prefer to talk with the citizens over the phone. Usually the advice is fairly general, but many times following simple advice can make a huge difference. (For example, not talking to the police until their lawyer is present, even though many citizens feel they have nothing to hide and they want to cooperate.). I am always happy to talk with citizens about issues they have regarding their rights and obligations as gun owners. 

Alan J. Schwartz
Law Offices of Alan J. Schwartz, P.C.
840 Franklin Avenue, Garden City, NY 11530

Yes. On a regular basis. Years ago, my first call from an armed citizen came from a physician in New York City who was licensed to carry a firearm because he regularly carried narcotics in his medical bag, and he saw my name in one of our publications. The doctor was concerned about how crazy the world has become, and wanted to chat with me to get to know me, in case he ever need my services. He felt that was a 15-20 minute phone call worth its weight in gold, as we say.

Recently, a firearms instructor called to discuss some recent changes in the law here in New York and how they would affect her, and we had a 15-20 minute phone call, at the conclusion of which we agreed to exchange contact information.

Jennifer S. Lough
Schroeder & Lough, S.C.
300 2nd Street N, Suite 200, La Crosse, WI 54601

I do chat with any armed citizen who calls, even if there is not an immediate situation or necessary representation. 

Christopher H. Baker
The James Law Firm
1001 La Harpe Blvd., Little Rock, AR 72201

Absolutely! Learning what to say in an emergency is a trained skill – not one that you venture upon on the fly following a critical stress incident. Taking time to speak with someone who has similar values and understanding of protecting yourself is important for anyone exercising their Second Amendment rights.


Question: If an armed citizen wants to meet you briefly, do you prefer a phone call, Zoom or other Internet meeting, or to talk in person?

Samuel Martin, Helena, MT

We can meet however works best for a prospective client. 

John I. Harris III, Nashville, TN

Individuals who seek a consult or have a need for legal services should contact my office. 

David Seiter, Fishers, IN

I have talked with armed citizens using each of these forms of communication. It is most convenient if they schedule an appointment to make sure I am not in court.

Letitia D. Quinones-Hollins, Houston, TX

I would prefer an in-person or zoom meeting.

Jerold E. Levine, Valley Stream, NY

I prefer phone calls, but if necessary, I can meet the member for a brief discussion.

C.D. Michel, Long Beach, CA


Michael G. Romano, Beaverton, OR

Whatever is best for the client. I’m certainly flexible. Slight preference for Zoom or FaceTime so we can see each other and I can be shown important body language, facial expressions, and non-verbal cues, but if a client is being interrogated by the police, a phone call may be the only option.

Craig Rosenstein, Esq., Scottsdale, AZ

I utilize an escalating policy. I’ll answer questions by phone. If for some reason, a Zoom or an in office appointment is still needed, we would absolutely schedule one. Not sure about the breakfast, but in person, in the office, during business hours is absolutely on the table.

Alan J. Schwartz, Garden City, NY

I always prefer Zoom to telephone calls, since it’s the next best thing to meeting in person.

Jennifer S. Lough, La Crosse, WI

If they wanted to meet, I would accommodate their request, including an in person meeting. However, most initial conversations are accomplished over the phone.

Christopher H. Baker, Little Rock, AR

I am available for any method of contact, be it in person, phone, or zoom. I prefer methods where we can see one another, so either in person or video (Zoom, facetime, facebook messenger etc.).


Question: How should a member contact you for a brief meeting (telephone, in person, email)?

Samuel Martin, Helena, MT

Telephone and email are probably the best, but our door is usually open!

Kevin L. Jamison,  Gladstone, MO

I set appointments by phone.

John I. Harris III, Nashville, TN

Email is acceptable.

David Seiter, Fishers, IN

A member may contact me using any of these methods. 

Letitia D. Quinones-Hollins, Houston, TX

The best way for the armed citizen to contact me would be to call my office (713-481-7420) and request a meeting.

Jerold E. Levine, Valley Stream, NY

Telephone or email are best.

C.D. Michel, Long Beach, CA


Timothy A. Forshey, Phoenix, AZ

Members can reach me by phone at 602-495-6511 or by email at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Michael G. Romano, Beaverton, OR

They need to have an established relationship with me, or either have a retainer with my office or pay a consultation fee. After that, they can call my professional and personal cell 24/7. But I won’t accept calls from tire kickers and free loaders in the middle of the night, sorry.

Craig Rosenstein, Esq., Scottsdale, AZ

Email or phone first, if necessary, an in person meeting can be set. Walking in without an appointment is probably not the best option.

Alan J. Schwartz, Garden City, NY

How ever they prefer.

Jennifer S. Lough, La Crosse, WI

Reaching out by phone is the easiest, and creates a dynamic conversation where all questions can be answered, but I have been contacted by email as well.

Christopher H. Baker, Little Rock, AR

Individuals in Arkansas can reach out to me at 501-375-0900 (office) or by e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. I’m always down for wings if you want to have some lunch!

Thank you, affiliated attorneys, for sharing your experience and knowledge. Members, please return next month when we share the second half of our affiliated attorneys’ responses these questions.

Back to Front Page