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LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement Policy Review

By Attorney Marc J. Victor

March 15, 2024

LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement Policy Review | Attorneys On Retainer

 

The Concept

The LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement is a service by LegalShield that is supposed to provide legal aid and peace of mind to gun owners across the United States. The LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement is a specialized add-on to LegalShield’s existing legal service plans.

I’m going to review this program and see how it compares to the Attorneys On Retainer Program. This is only a review of the gun owners supplement, and not the full LegalShield policy.

   

   

Key Points:

 

Who’s Your Lawyer?

It’s not clear by reading the contract who your lawyer will be. In sub-section (A) it says, “The Member may receive unlimited toll-free phone calls for legal advice regarding the using and carrying of firearms.” Which is unclear.

Then it continues, “These phone calls are available to the extent the provider law firm deems it needed to adequately advise the Member on the legal matter.” Who’s the provider law firm and why do they get to decide? It’s unclear how much time you get to talk to an attorney, if at all.

 

Can You Select an Attorney?

It is not clear if you will be able to select the provider attorney or if you will be able to talk to them. Subsection (B) states, “The Member may consult with a Provider Attorney immediately after use of a firearm in a firearm incident on a 24-hour per day basis by calling this emergency number, 1-877-825-3797. The phone access provided is subject to conditions imposed by the detaining or questioning authority, which may prevent a Provider Attorney from speaking with the member on an immediate basis. 24/7 Emergency Access does not cover legal services associated with the making, posting, or obtaining, bond, bail, or other security required for release. Such Services are provided under the Preferred Member Discount.

You get to talk to whoever the provider’s attorney is as long as they believe it needed to adequately recommend you on the legal matter.

 

Criminal Acts Are Excluded

“Gun Owner” services include any Firearm Incident, which is any incident where the Member lawfully discharges or displays a firearm for the purpose of using the firearm as a weapon to stop a threat, whether the Member discharges the firearm or not. Firearm incident does not include discharges or displays that are negligent.”

(C) “Trial Defense Services do not cover any lawsuit involving the Member’s use of a firearm, including a Firearm Incident, in the commission of a crime. Such Services are available under the Preferred Member Discount.”

So, it must be a lawful use of force, or it will not be covered. This requires someone to decide at the beginning whether it’s a lawful use of force or a criminal act, and if they determine it is a criminal act, it is not covered. Who decides this, and what if they guess wrong?

If you are charged with a crime, that means the prosecutor, and maybe the people on the Grand Jury decided that they think you committed a crime. Prosecutors generally don’t bring cases unless they conclude there’s a reasonable likelihood of conviction. If the prosecutor thinks a crime has been committed, and LegalShield agrees, there is no coverage for you.

What happens if you take a plea? You have now admitted to a criminal act because you have taken a plea. Does your coverage end? If so, what happens at sentencing and who is going to represent you? It’s not clear how they would represent you.

All these questions arise but one thing that is clear from this provision, is if it’s a bad shoot and you tried to act in self-defense, and it’s an illegal act, from the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement there will be no coverage.

 

No Coverage for Negligent Discharges

From the policy: “Firearm Incident does not include discharges or displays that are negligent.”

This is a standard exclusion in most insurance-backed plans. These plans do not cover accidental or negligent discharges. As a reminder, the Attorneys On Retainer Program does not exclude criminal acts or negligent discharges.

 

No Coverage in Prohibited Areas

If your incident happens in a place where firearms are prohibited, such as sensitive areas (which are being expanded to include more areas) LegalShield will deny coverage. Reading from Section C of the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement: A Covered Lawsuit is a criminal or civil lawsuit filed in a state or federal district court arising from a Firearm Incident involving a Member in good standing, if the Member is in a place where he/she is legally permitted to possess and carry (concealed or open) his/her firearm.

It seems clear that there is no coverage for prohibited or sensitive areas. But for further clarification, it also says in Section D of the agreement: *“Trial Defense Services do not cover any Firearm Incident that involves taking a firearm to a location that is prohibited by Federal, State, or local law. Such Services are available under the Preferred Member Discount.”

As a reminder, the Attorneys On Retainer program does not exclude prohibited or sensitive areas from representation. If your self-defense incident takes place in a sensitive area, AOR attorneys will still defend you.

 

No Coverage for Domestic Violence Incidents

Section E. “This Supplement does not cover any lawsuit, incident, criminal investigation, or prosecution arising from a Firearm Incident, by the Member, against the Member’s current or former family member, household, or dating relationship.”

This is a big exclusion because in numerous cases self-defense incidents occur between people who are familiar with each other, such as a current or former spouse or current or former girlfriends or boyfriends or other siblings. This means that if you are part of the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement, you will be denied coverage. If you are a member of the Attorneys On Retainer program, you will not be denied coverage for domestic violence incidents.

 

No On-Duty Coverage for Law Enforcement/Security Officers

Section F. “Services under this Supplement are not applicable for on-duty Firearm Incidents and/or the use of force by law enforcement and/or security officers.

So, if you are an on-duty officer or security guard, there is no coverage. But, if you are with Attorneys On Retainer, no problem, you will be represented.

 

No Appeal Coverage

“Trial Defense Services does not include any appeals of a trial court’s decision.”

The LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement does not provide coverage for appeals. The Attorneys On Retainer program does include coverage for appeals.

 

Section C. Trial Defense Services. If the Member is named defendant in a Covered Lawsuit the Member may receive 60 total hours of trial defense for any Covered Lawsuits filed during that Membership Year, A Covered Lawsuit is a criminal or civil lawsuit filed in a state or federal district court arising from a Firearm Incident involving a Member in good standing, if the Member is in a place where he/she is legally permitted to possess and carry (concealed or open) his/her firearm. These 60 hours consist of up to 20 hours Pre-Trial Time and 40 hours of Trial Time.”

Continuing with Section C. “Trial time is limited to up to 8 hours per trial day and may include attorney time both in and out of the courtroom.”

Even if you are covered and you have made it through all the exclusions, and your self-defense incident isn’t a criminal act, and it didn’t happen in a sensitive area, and it wasn’t domestic violence, then they are going to provide you services.

You will get 60 hours of total time, 20 hours pre-trial and 40 hours trial time. To be very honest, 20 hours pre-trial to prepare any kind of a felony case for trial, and then 40 hours total for trial is hugely inadequate!

When the Attorneys For Freedom Lawyers try a case, it’s not uncommon for the attorneys to work late into the evening, sometimes even until 11PM. Our attorneys start early because there are witnesses to talk to, and things that need to be accomplished.

So, what happens if you exceed your time? Does your attorney just leave you hanging and do nothing? No, the attorney has an ethical obligation to defend you. But what happens to you financially if you have the gun owners supplement?

E. The answer is in Section E of the Preferred Member Discount. “The Member will receive a 25% discount of the Provider Law Firm’s standard hourly rate for additional Services in a Covered Lawsuit or for Gun Owner Services not otherwise provided by this Supplement.

It seems clear that, whoever your lawyer is (and it does not seem like you get to pick or even know in advance) and whatever their standard rates are they are going to charge a rate equal to 25% off their regular rate. That’s going to be a lot of hours, if you have any kind of significant trial going on. Not just for the trial, but also for pre-trial. Because 20 hours for pre-trial isn’t very much to do major litigation.

Had you been a member of the Attorneys On Retainer program, you would not have any of these exclusions. You wouldn’t have to worry about whether or not you blew it, as long as you intended in good faith to act in self-defense, and you made that case for us. No problem, we will still represent you, if you meet our three criteria for coverage.

  1. You have been formally charged (or is reasonably concerned about being formally charged) with a crime (felony or misdemeanor); and 
  2. The Client reasonably and in good faith asserts self-defense or defense of a 3rd party as the defense to the crime; and 
  3. The criminal charge arises from events wholly occurring after the Effective Date of this Agreement.

As an AOR member even if you blew it, and it’s actually a criminal act, we would still handle it, without any of these exclusions and without any of these caps all the way through a jury trial.

Not only that, but if there is a need for an appeal, we are going to oversee that as well, and if you get sued civilly, we are going to handle that as well, even if it goes all the way to a trial. You will not have to pay any expenses or investigator fees. All your trial-related costs are included with Attorneys On Retainer, which is very different than the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement.

 

24/7 Emergency Access?

From Section B of the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement. 24/7 Emergency Access does not cover legal services associated with the making, posting, or obtaining bond, bail, or other security required for release.

Don’t bother them with anything regarding your release or bond. With the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement, there is no help there. With Attorneys On Retainer, we are going to do everything we can to get you out of custody, up to and including putting $50,000 up towards your bond. If it’s a cash bond, and it’s $50,000 or less, we will just post that for you. If it’s a secure bond, and it’s over $50,000, you will need some collateral, but we will put up to $50,000 up to get you bonded out. In addition, there is no limit to the number of times you can talk to us, nor do you have to wait for us to call you, because you can call us.

 

Other Areas of Concern

What about illegal weapons? What if there is a knife being used, or what if there is no weapon being used? What if you are a prohibited possessor? It would seem like there is no help here from the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement, but I don’t know how LegalShield, or a court would interpret this contract. What if the weapon is illegal? It seems like there is a reading of this contract, that if your weapon is illegal for any reason (there are many reasons why) your weapon, that maybe you think is legal, could actually be deemed an illegal weapon. There seems to be a good argument, that you will not get any help from LegalShield if you have an illegal weapon. But you will need to ask them for a certain answer to that question.

 

Other Limitations

Under General Provisions, sub-section A. All General Provisions, services, limitations, limitations, and exclusions of your Contract apply to this Supplement.

These are not all the limitations that apply to your supplement, these are just the ones that were included in the supplement. It seems like there is also the general LegalShield policy which itself has other limitations and exclusions that would apply to anyone who has the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement as well.

You’re a competent and responsible firearms owner and what you are worried about is that time may come when you pull out your firearm and act in self-defense. What you want, whether you get charged or not, whether it’s a good shoot, a questionable shoot, or a bad shoot, is to have an attorney standing by to help you.

If you acted in self-defense, you are going to be covered without any costs or added expenses to you by the Attorneys On Retainer program. If what you are looking for is to make sure you have a team of lawyers who you know and trust, and who are experienced and pro-Second Amendment, pro-freedom and who are playing to win, Attorneys On Retainer is the best product on the market.

But check us out, don’t take our word for it. There are many other things that the Attorneys On Retainer client gets besides just self-defense. I see that the LegalShield Gun Owners Supplement gives you 25% off the “mystery lawyers” rates, but we give you a 35% discount off our published rates for non-self-defense matters.

Attorneys On Retainer does not just handle Self-Defense related matters, non-self-defense matters. Imagine you get charged with any felony, such as aggravated DUI or any other felony. What if you get sued for something that has nothing to do with firearms, such as breach of contract or defamation? Anyone can sue you for anything. What if you get involved in a personal injury matter? Instead of hiring one of those lawyers with the billboards and the commercials, you can hire us, we’re your law firm, and we will give you a 35% discount on all these types of cases that would be our amount of the recovery.

We want to be your law firm. We want you to know and trust and understand who it is that will be representing you. You can get more information about our law firm easily, just go to AttorneysForFreedom.com. We have been in business 27 years. Check us out and check our reviews out. Google us, do your own homework and get your information.

Want to get more information about the program that the Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm administers, called the Attorneys On Retainer program? Go to Attorneys On Retainer our entire fee agreement is there. Want to see a critique of our own program. You are going to see just as fiery and ferocious review, tearing apart the Attorneys On Retainer program, and exposing the weak points of our own program, check it out. We want you to know exactly what it is you get with Attorneys On Retainer and what you don’t get with Attorneys On Retainer. If you decide AOR is right for you, we would be honored to have you as a client of our law firm.

To learn more about our Attorneys On Retainer Program, please call 866-404-5112 to contact us today.

Criminal Defense Attorney and founder/owner of Attorneys For Freedom Law Firm, Marc J. Victor, specializes in major felony and self-defense cases. With experience as a legal commentator, he is also a long-time freedom activist and a former U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of Operation Desert Storm.

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