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How does the Legal Defense Plan compare to other plans offered in Minnesota?

Legal Defense Plan Comparison: Plans Offered in MN         (last updated January 1, 2019)

Only Sworn Law Enforcement officers are eligible for LDP by FOP, Teamsters, and MPPOA

FOP State FOP National Team Legal MPPOA  
Cost per year- individual $175.00 $310.00 $????a $104.00
On Duty Coverage- Criminal YES YES YES YES
On Duty Coverage- Civil YES YES YES YES
On Duty Coverage- Disciplinary/administrative YES YES NO1 NO1b
On Duty Coverage- Traffic citations YES NO NO NO
Off Duty Coverage- Criminal YES NO1c NO2 NO
Off Duty Coverage- Administrative/Disciplinary YES NO NO NO
Off Duty Coverage- Traffic citations YES NO NO NO
Criminal Defense coverage for Spouse YES NO NO NO
Discounts on other personal Legal matters- whole family YES NO NO NO
Free consultation on any personal legal matter YES NO NO NO
Uses “attorney lists” NO2b YES YES YES
A Lawyer must take your covered criminal case YES NO NO NO
Level of Fees covered depend on use of “Plan attorney” NO YES YES YES
Uses 1 number for DIRECT 24-7 attorney consultation YES NO NO3 NO3
Coverage limits for attorney fees NO NO YES NO
Distinguishes between management positions NO NO YES YES
Must be a union member NO NO YES YES
Retirees eligible YES YES NO4 NO
Covers DUTY RELATED incidents outside MN NO5 YES YES YES
Covers NON DUTY RELATED incidents outside MN NO5 NO NO NO
Coverage determined by a plan administrator company NO YES YES6 NO6a
Administrated locally YES NO NO6 YES
Discount on Wills YES NO NO NO

a. This price is unknown. Teamsters has changed their plan, see footnote 6 below

1. Disciplinary and labor matters are covered by membership in Teamsters.

1b. Does cover POST licensure issues

1c. FOP National has an off duty supplement for extra $, limited to a maximum amount of legal fees for discipline only.

2. Does cover off duty situations related to employment status as police officer, but for example ordinary DWI is NOT covered.

2b. Both plans has several attorneys servicing the plan. State FOP and MNPEA uses Fowler Law Firm as primary contact.

3. Uses one central number, 24/7, but the person answering is NOT an attorney.

4. Retirees are eligible for HR 218 coverage nationwide, Teamster plan costs extra.

5. MN FOP does offer criminal on & off duty related criminal coverage for incidents occurring in Wisconsin, but officer must be employed in MN.

5a. MNPEA legal plan only covers off duty incidents in Minnesota. There is a proposal pending to the Board to add Wisconsin off duty coverage. As a union, they cover on duty incidents wherever they occur

6. Teamsters has changed how this plan is administered- it is no longer Team Legal, it is now Teamsters Legal Defense Fund administered by Teamsters nationally. They will not share information with FOP.

6a MPPOA decides coverage issues – THEY CAN DENY COVERAGE, see plan document. CAN ONLY CHOSE their plan or they will not cover, for example, if have FOP National or State they will make you chose, they don’t allow multiple plan coverages.

“Full coverage” means NO LIMIT on attorneys fees. State FOP plan and MNPEA have NO LIMITS on attorney fees.

However, both plans do have a limit on out of pocket expenses paid on your behalf (such as expert witnesses) of $5,000.

What are the benefits of using the FOP Legal Defense Plan?

Benefits for F.O.P. Members:

By now, you realize how police incidents are national news. That’s why you need the resources of a national organization. The Minnesota Fraternal Order of Police offers the MOST COMPREHENSIVE legal defense plan, with NATIONAL resources.
This latest case is a perfect example. A video goes viral on social media.  Within hours, protestors are marching in the streets.  In less than a day, politicians are condemning your decisions, before you have even had a chance to tell anyone what really happened.   National and international news media are calling you and begin questioning everything you have ever done. Politicians, local and national, begin pushing to eliminate your Constitutional protections.
This is why we provide a Legal Defense Plan (LDP).  You need an advocate willing to push back against the nonsense.  You need lawyers whose practices are focused on police representation in your corner, guiding you through the process, defending your livelihood, defending your liberty.  With one of the most comprehensive plans in the nation, the Minnesota FOP LDP has access to national media relations teams, local and national legal counsel, and of course the fraternal assistance of your fellow peace officers for the things you cannot imagine today.
The Minnesota Legal Defense Plan is administered through the Minnesota State Lodge. The cost is only $175 (2018) per year per member.  The Fowler Ditsch Law Firm, L.L.C., is our current contracted legal services provider. The Minnesota State Lodge has built a positive working relationship with the firm. Fowler Ditsch Law Firm has experience in criminal defense, civil, and labor matters. Under the plan, you will have the security of knowing exactly who your attorney is if an emergency arises, and not have to worry about finding an attorney on a list who will agree to represent you. A number is available to all plan members to contact the firm directly 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Under the Minnesota Legal Defense Plan, more services are covered than under any other plans. Here is a schedule of exactly what will be covered: https://www.mnfop.com/legal-defense-plan. For example, previously, only incidents that were “on the job” were covered for criminal and civil representation. Now, any incident, on or off duty that causes a criminal charge, a civil case, or employment discipline will be covered for 100% of attorneys fees, with no limits on the attorneys fees. Further, your spouse will also be covered for full representation for any criminal defense cases. In addition, your household family will have access to greatly discounted legal services for other services that are not covered by the plan.
The Minnesota State Lodge is pleased to offer, and strongly encourages all members to join, the plan to protect yourselves and your family. The investment of the low yearly premium is well worth the benefits of the Plan, and with its expanded benefits and local control by the Minnesota State Lodge, you will be well served and protected by a reputable law firm with ample ability and experience should you need it. The firm is available to answer any further questions you may have directly at 651-287-8883.  Please click on the link if you would like to join: https://www.mnfop.com/ldp-application

You must be a member of a local F.O.P. lodge in order to apply for this plan.

Click Here: LDP Application Form.pdf
What legal representation does MNPEA offer for Public Employees across the state?

Through MNPEA, we provide legal representation for Public Employees across the state of Minnesota. Click the link to find out more: http://mnpea.com/?page_id=15

This includes:

  • Attorney Representation at Internal Affairs and Employer Investigations.
  • Attorney Representation at Unemployment and Veterans Preference Hearings.
What is a Critical Incident?

Critical Incidents

If you think you need legal services, DO NOT HESITATE TO CALL, 24/7.  When in doubt, call.

A critical incident is any situation that involves a use of force that results in injury or death, a pursuit leading to injury, or any other action that could result in serious or immediate disciplinary action or criminal investigation.

In a critical incident:

1.  Remain Calm – legal help will assist you soon.

2. Call the number on the front of your card right away.

651.287.8883      All calls will forward directly to an attorney even if after office hours.  If you receive a voice mail message, leave a detailed message with a call back number and your call will be returned within an hour.

3. Do NOT write any reports, give any statements, nor sign or agree to anything until you have contacted your attorney.

4. Do NOT speak with anyone, even your fellow officers, about the facts of the incident until you talk to your attorney.

5. Obtain and review the applicable department policy on firearms and use of force.

What other services do you provide for law enforcement individuals?

Practice areas for law enforcement include: representation of critical incident use of force cases, including high media profile officer involved shootings, use of deadly force cases, officer involved vehicle fatalities, discipline and discharge cases, civil rights and related cases for police officer defense and more.

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