This is a discussion on How do you find an attorney for retainer? within the Concealed Carry Issues & Discussions forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; I've been pleased with their training DVDs and newsletters, as well as the benefit package. They seem to be a much better bargain than others ...
I've been pleased with their training DVDs and newsletters, as well as the benefit package. They seem to be a much better bargain than others I've seen - no snake oil salesmanship - and have a growing number of network lawyers. Their emphasis is on preparation - mental and legal. Seems the right approach to me.
I've never seen them offer CCW badges, and I've been with them a couple of years. Can't speak for before that time, but they don't seem like the kind of folks who'd go for something like that.
"To disarm the people is the best and most effectual way to enslave them"
- George Mason, American Statesman (1725-92)
They give you DVD's on self defense & the law, not a CCW badge.
Are they as good as they claim to be...Tactical Response instructor Larry Hicky used them for 2 trials (both criminal, went to a hung jury) for support and as experts, and he's a free man today.
I need to get in with one of these groups... can't afford a lawyer straight up <shrug>
They are not like life insurance. You will die someday, and the likelihood of you dying early from any number of medical-related causes far, far outweighs your need to pay for nebulous, ill-defined "services" in the remote event you shoot someone else.
With life insurance, I am reasonably assured of the promised payout to my family in the event of my untimely demise from unforeseen circumstances. The only thing you get from these guys new to the insurance business is a promise based on little or no experience. Simply look how long some have been around.
...and they certainly are not freedom insurance. If they could guarantee my freedom (like my life insurance guarantees payment), I'd consider it. They most certainly cannot.
You are the best insurance you have in this instance. Know the laws regarding firearms and their use where you are, and always look to avoid confrontations of any sort. If you do pull out your ccw, you had better be sure you need it as a last-ditch tool to save your life or those of your family.
These legal/insurance grifters cannot ensure your freedom, and their insurance is no more beneficial than paying some "expert" (who may or may not be available when you need them) to speak on your behalf if you are arrested and go to trial in Bumfark, Iowa.
However, if you believe you have a better than even chance of shooting someone in your lifetime, go for it.
I can't afford to pay for a lawyer. I CAN afford to put a couple hundred bucks a year into a "fund" that operates on the back-end much like an insurance policy. They take small payments from lots of people. Most of those payees won't ever need the services provided, so they won't take from the fund. That means that those few who might end up needing it are subsidized by all the ones that pay that won't use it.
So, while may not be "life" insurance, or "freedom" insurance, it certainly is "get a lawyer at a discount if you don't wanna get steamrolled by the DA" insurance.
A self-defense shooting trial will most likely not require an expert in firearms or self-defense. You'll need someone who knows the laws of the jurisdiction of where you are charged, the potential jury pool, the local judges, and has strong trial experience as a defense attorney.
you need to find a lawyer who specializes or at least is well versed in the gun laws of your state. while your cousin may be a good real estate lawyer he is not the guy you want to save your life in a court room after a gun related incident. Just like I wouldn't bring a lawyer who focuses on taxes to go to bat for me against a speeding I wouldn't want a general group of lawyers representing me in a gun case. do some research, find out who the experts are, who are the best gun lawyers in your state and get to know them, then hope you never have a need to use him.
From what I understand though, Armed Citizens' Legal Defense Network (based in my home state of WA) was founded with some big players that had seed money, and they were founded with some of their own expert witnesses. Of course, I haven't looked at their books myself, but in the end, that's who I'll probably go with [shrug]
I've been a lawyer for 23+ years, and have been a CHL Instructor for 15+ years. What I say here is not legal advice. You want that, contact me privately, we'll set up a file and bill you for my time. I know nothing about ACLDN, so I won't comment on them. I know a lot about "prepaid legal," and I've yet to see anyone who used it and was pleased. You might get lucky, but I've never seen it yet. I know of at least one "prepaid legal" business that is no more than a scam.
If you are ever involved in a self-defense shooting, you need a good criminal defense attorney who understands the law of self-defense in your state. There are lots of good criminal defense attorneys who spend a career and never represent a client who has justifiably shot someone, and self-defense is an affirmative defense; i.e, the defendant has the burden of proof. That matters. Most criminal defense attorneys rarely ever represent anyone who is genuinely "not guilty," speaking in any terms but constitutional ones, so representing a client who really is not guilty, much less one who has the burden of proof, may be a new thing to many. I've known a couple of excellent criminal defense attorneys who simply would not represent a client who would not admit his or her guilt to the attorney.
How do you find a good one? Ask the local CHL instructors, as a start. Martindale-Hubble rates lawyers, sure, but there is a lot of "good ol' boy" that indirectly goes into their ratings, since other lawyers and judges do the ratings. Tick off the wrong "ol' boys," and there goes your Martindale-Hubble rating. I know "AV" rated lawyers I wouldn't have represent me on a parking ticket, and "BV" lawyers who are the best in their field. If you have a CLOSE friend or family member who is a law enforcement officer, ask him or her about local CD lawyers. Don't just stop Officer Friendly and ask him; the police, in general, are not your friends while charges are or may be pending.
Does the attorney have to be a "gun guy" or "gun girl?" No, but a general understanding of firearms, ammunition and terminal ballistics is extremely helpful. Knowing when an expert is needed, and when not, is vital. I don't do criminal defense, but have been a consulting expert for a few criminal defense attorneys, and have testified for a couple, in shooting cases. Even some really good lawyers are surprisingly ignorant about matters that most people who post here would be likely to know.
As regards "retainers," there seems to be a general, widespread misunderstanding. Unless an individual is very wealthy, he or she is not going to have a lawyer "on retainer" when the lawyer has no legal work to do for the client. Only after the SHTF is a retainer paid. On the civil side, if you get sued after a shooting, once you notify your homeowner's or other insurance carrier, the carrier will generally hire a lawyer for you, even if there is a question about coverage.
Did I mention, none of this post is legal advice? Well, it's not legal advice, just the semi-random mental meanderings of an old lawyer...
Here's the definition from a Google search:
"A retainer fee is a form of pre-payment which is usually based on the lawyer's hourly rate. This advanced fee ensures that the lawyer will provide certain legal services on behalf of the client. Think of it as a down payment on the services the lawyer provides. The funds, which are usually non-refundable, are place in the lawyer's or law firm's business or trust account where they have access to it to pay any upcoming expenses associated with the services that are rendered on behalf of the client. If the fees go above the retainer amount, the client must pay that amount. The retainer fee is just an initial estimate and it prohibits the lawyer or his firm from representing a competitor of the client. Additional fees beyond the retainer are often required when a matter must go to court."
In other words, you basically have simply prepaid him/her for an hour's worth of their time they'll happily apply to your case when/if you need to go to court. In the highly unlikely event you need an attorney for a SD shooting, you can always get a good one just as quickly by contacting some of the people referenced in this thread.
I'm not trying to be a Richard Head, but I'm beginning to realize the internet lawyers here really don't know what they're talking about - except for the real lawyers posting here. IANAL, but I raised one.
I disagree with your assessment. Having a lawyer on retainer holds a lot of value. You've already taken the time to meet with the person, feel comfortable with them, and have agreed that they will represent you. The retainer means you have an agreement for them to represent you, when you need it. I strongly feel that I do NOT want to try to make these arrangements after the fact, or while sitting in a jail cell.
It's an old, tired analogy bit still valid- you wear seatbelts, correct? You do have fire extinguishers in your house, correct? What are the odds of actually needing either? Small, but if you need them they're lifesavers and can make all the difference.