Using the Plan

How to use the plan most effectively

How to use the plan1.      All requests for Legal Services in connection with each new legal matter must be directed to the  Legal Plan Office.  Call 855-560-1010 to arrange an intake.  The Plan does intake in various locations.

2.      Call the  Legal Plan Office before you sign any document or make any decision that may affect your conduct and have any legal consequences.

3.      Always obtain a copy of anything you sign.

4.      Always keep copies of contracts, bills, receipts and other documents in a safe place so they are available if you need them.

5.      If you receive legal papers in the mail, call the  Legal Plan Office immediately for advice and an appointment.

6.      If you have any doubts about the advice given to you by someone who sought to gain some benefit from you, call the Legal Plan Office, before you enter into any commitment.

using the plan7.      If you cannot keep your appointment with the Plan’s attorney, please call the office to reschedule so that others may see the attorney at that time.

8.      Before you leave your house to keep an appointment with the attorney, check to see if you have all the documents the Plan attorney will need to help you. If you are unsure about which ones will be necessary, call and ask before you leave.

9.      Have patience! The legal process sometimes moves slowly. Rest assured, although you may not receive results as quickly as you might desire, your attorney is doing all that is possible within the legal system and will keep you informed periodically of the status of the matter.

 National Legal Office Hours and Telephone Numbers

The  Legal Office is located in the Offices of Stuart Salles, 225 Broadway, Suite 1900, New York, NY 10007. The law office can be reached by telephone, Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. The office is closed on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays. The telephone number for the l Legal Office is 855-550-1010 (toll-free nationwide). An attorney can be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, for emergencies.

1.      Unlimited Telephone Advice and Consultation With a  Legal Plan Office Attorney – Simple Legal Letters Written (Gold Plan)* and Telephone Calls Made on Behalf of a Covered Individual. If, in the opinion of the Legal Plan Office, the subject of the legal matter is of such scope and sufficient simplicity to lend itself to a clear understanding between attorney and Covered Individual and, in the opinion of the  Legal PlanOffice, the best interest of the Covered Individual is served, the Staff Attorney in his or her sole discretion may dispense counsel and advise Covered Individual through telephone consultation and/or initiate telephonic or, for Gold Plan participants, written communication to third parties. [Note: This benefit only applies to the  Legal PlanOffice. It does not apply to any Participating Referral Attorneys.]

All contact between a Covered Individual and the  Legal Plan Office must originate by way of a telephone call from the Covered Individual to the Legal PlanOffice. The  Legal Plan Office can be reached from any point within the continental United States by dialing the telephone number(s) listed on the back of the Legal Service Plan Identification Card.

2.      Personal Consultation. Covered Individual is entitled to two (2), one-hour, free initial office consultations with the  LegalPlan Office or Participating Referral Attorney. The consultation coupon(s) shall be valid only for the time period indicated thereon and shall be presented to the Attorney during the consultation. [Note: The consultation coupon(s) cannot be used to reduce “Plan Maximum Fees,” or for the preparation of a Will, Health Care Proxy, Living Will or Durable Power of Attorney, or for estate planning. Nor can the coupon be used for any services provided under the optional Elder Law and Business Protection Riders. Coupons may not be combined for any one particular legal matter.]

3.      Representation by the  Legal Plan Office and Referral to Participating Attorneys – Guaranteed Hourly Legal Fees – Limited Document Review. If, in the opinion of the  Legal Plan Office, the subject of the legal matter is unclear, complex, or telephone consultation would not be in the best interest of the Covered Individual, the National Legal Office may:

a.      refer Covered Individual to a Participating Referral Attorney who will have agreed by contract with the Legal Plan Office to charge or bill Covered Individual no more than two hundred twenty-five dollars ($225) per hour (Standard Plan) or two hundred dollars ($200) per hour (Gold Plan), or a twenty percent (20%) reduction from the attorney’s usual hourly rate, whichever is lower, for legal work related to covered matters, except for Workers’ Compensation, Pension Disability, Social Security Disability, Probate matters, and Personal Injury cases, which have fee schedules stated in this section under Items #5 through #16, respectively, and also except for all other contingent fee matters and all matters for which attorney fees are established by the court, and all other exclusions set forth herein; or

b.      act in the capacity of a Participating Referral Attorney, if the Covered Individual is in the general geographical area in which the  Legal Plan Office is located; or

c.       in response to specific limited questions regarding simple documents, three (3) pages or less (e.g., purchase agreements, loan agreements, lease agreements, real estate documents and written warranties), direct the Covered Individual to forward a document to the Legal PlanOffice for review and a follow-up telephone consultation.

4.      24-Hour Emergency Hotline. If Covered Individual is confronted with a situation that requires immediate legal advice or representation (after an arrest), he or she may call the emergency hotline to talk with an attorney after regular business hours. This emergency service may only be used in situations that cannot wait until the next business day, such as arrest, accident or assault. The Legal Plan emergency hotline number is 855-560-1010.

National Legal Office Declination

The National Legal Office may decline to accept any matter for a Covered Individual if the National Legal Office determines the matter:

1.      is lacking sufficient merit to warrant pursuit.

2.      has been previously handled by retained legal counsel or matters where the individual represented himself or herself, or has been referred to a Participating Referral Attorney.

3.      has been raised to Staff Attorney an inordinate or unreasonable number of times without substantial change of circumstances.

4.      is in conflict with any third-party interest or other client interest.

Participating Referral Attorney Declination

A Participating Referral Attorney may decline to accept any matter for a Covered Individual that such Participating Referral Attorney determines:

1.      is out of the area of his or her usual and customary practice.

2.      is in the Covered Individual’s best interest to retain other legal counsel.

3.      is in conflict with any third-party interest or other client interest.

4.      is lacking sufficient merit to warrant pursuit.

5.      has been raised to Participating Referral Attorney an inordinate or unreasonable number of times without substantial change of circumstances.

6.      is a preexisting matter that has been handled by an attorney or where the individual has represented himself or herself.

Continuation of Coverage

 Any individual joining the Plan shall be entitled to the availability of legal services for the effective term of coverage. Upon termination of coverage, specific representation in progress shall be continued by the  Legal Plan Office for a period not to exceed ninety (90) days from the date of such termination; and by a Participating Referral Attorney to the conclusion of a specific matter already in progress, at the legal fees stipulated in this Certificate for any case, item, matter or service then being performed.

 Termination of Benefits

A Covered Individual’s eligibility will be considered to terminate:

1.      In the event the renewal contribution required for continued enrollment in the Plan has not been received.

2.      On the day following the expiration date noted on Covered Participant’s legal plan identification card, if the Covered Participant ceased to continue to qualify for participation in the Plan. A participant is qualified as long as the participant is a member in good standing of a participating union or participating organization.

Terms and Conditions

 Benefits are provided under the following conditions:

1.      All requests for legal services in connection with each new legal matter must first be directed to the  Legal Plan Office.

2.      All legal services must be for personal benefit as distinguished from business-oriented benefit of the Covered Individual. Business matters are all matters involving the pursuit of income. Business matters may be covered by purchasing the optional Business Protection Rider. (Refer to Business Protection Rider section for further details.)

3.      The  Legal Plan Office shall have absolutely no responsibility, liability or obligation whatsoever in relation to the quality or quantity of legal work performed by Participating Referral Attorney(s) nor in relation to any communication whatsoever between Participating Referral Attorney and Covered Individual.

4.      Participating Referral Attorney’s fees for legal services together with any costs, disbursements and expenses paid or advanced by Participating Referral Attorney on behalf of Covered Individual shall be paid in full by the Covered Individual directly to the Referral Attorney.

5.      Hourly fees may be imposed for all time that an attorney incurs while representing a Covered Individual, including: court time, office time, telephone time, travel time, etc. Attorney(s) may require a retainer fee prior to delivering services.

6.      Matters wherein Participating Referral Attorney(s) may bill at their usual and customary rates subject to agreement with Covered Individual(s):

a.       Any appeal, class action, intervention and amicus curiae filings, or where the fee is provided by statute from any fund subjudice, or where the Covered Individual’s attorney’s fees are paid or payable by a party other than the Covered Individual.

b.      Except as otherwise set forth in the Legal Benefits Section of this Certificate, any legal matter which, in the opinion of Participating Referral Attorney, is subject to such attorney’s usual and customary client-attorney contingency fee arrangement.

7.      Gold Plan benefits require a one-year irrevocable cerdit card or bank draft agreement (or equivalent payroll deduction).


 All Covered Participants should know that if the Plan’s attorneys have represented your spouse in any other matter during which any of the Plan’s attorneys have received significant information about your spouse’s financial interests, that may cause a conflict of interest to exist.

The following items are specifically excluded and shall not be interpreted as included benefits, and no Covered Individual shall be entitled to receive an excluded benefit or service.

1.      Any legal matter arising outside the continental United States.

2.      Exclusions applicable to both  Legal Plan Office and Participating Referral Attorneys –

a.       Any case, item, matter or service involving an adversary relationship between parties or implied parties to the Legal Service Plan Agreement, including, but not limited to: Covered Individual, Contract Holder, any organization affiliated with Contract Holder or any organization with which Contract Holder is affiliated, Staff Attorney, Legal Plan Office, Participating Referral Attorney(s), Administrator, Trustees of the Plan, Covered Individual’s collective bargaining representative, or Covered Individual’s employer, and any case, item, matter or service arising out of an employer-employee relationship where the employer is paying for the benefit.

b.      Any matters relating to proprietorship, partnership, corporations or any business venture. (Refer to Business Protection Rider section for covered business matters.) Matters relating to Federal patent, copyright, trademark, Securities Exchange Commission, tax matters, admiralty, foreign laws or other specialized areas of law.

c.       Fines, court costs, penalties, expert witness fees, telephone, postage, photocopy costs, disbursements and other related expenses are not covered by the Plan and shall be paid by the Covered Individual.

* Letters threatening litigation are excluded.  Such letters are included under the related plan benefit (employment discrimination, negligence, etc.).