Excuses, Excuses, Excuses
We get at least one call a week from a federal agent who needs legal advice or representation but doesn’t have FEDS Protection in place. FEDS Protection is a defense-based insurance policy – it must be in place prior to an incident that could result in an allegation or claim. Your agency reimburses all federal law enforcement officers up to half the cost of this insurance – so please – no more of the following excuses. FEDS Protection works just like other insurance policies - if you don’t have coverage in place prior to an incident leading to an allegation, claim or suit, coverage will be denied.
- I really planned on getting the insurance, I just haven’t had time to enroll.
Enrollment takes 5 minutes – you have 5 minutes. Call from your office, your car, or the lunch line. FEDS staff can be reached at 866.955.FEDS (3337) between 8am – 6pm ET and enroll you over the phone. You can also enroll online anytime at www.fedsprotection.com.
- It’s too expensive.
Federal law enforcement officers are eligible for agency reimbursement up to half of the cost of this insurance – for a reason. The annual premium for FEDS $1,000,000 policy is $290 – or $145 after reimbursement. We even offer payroll deduction for as little as $12 per pay period. Hiring an attorney for one hour will cost you more than double the annual premium.
- My agency attorney said I didn’t need this insurance – she said the agency would protect me.
The agency attorney represents the agency – not you personally. It is the priority of the agency attorney to protect the agency. If the attorney takes a position that is adverse to your own to protect the agency – who’s protecting you? Don’t be naïve.
- DOJ will represent me if I’m named in a civil suit.
While the DOJ will represent you in most civil suits, and you have some level of immunity to avoid personal liability, this is not always the case. You can be sued in your personal capacity given your law enforcement responsibilities and powers. These lawsuits, commonly referred to as Bivens Actions, usually involve a tort arising out of an enforcement action or violation involving the 1st, 4th, 5th or 8th Amendment. The FEDS policy basically protects you from civil exposure in two major ways – defense and indemnification. The FEDS policy will provide you with an attorney to defend in the event that DOJ makes a determination that it is not "in the interest of the United States” to represent you. (This is a discretionary DOJ decision and can occur notwithstanding that you were clearly acting within the scope of your employment. This most often happens if you are being investigated for the very same reason that you are being sued—you can see that DOJ will not want to be on both sides of that). The FEDS policy also pays damages up to the one or two-million-dollar limit should you be found liable. You can be held liable and be forced to pay the judgment even when the DOJ is defending the case. In other words, if DOJ defends and loses, you can still be liable.
- I have an exemplary record and really thought I would never need an attorney.
It is generally the most productive and capable agents who get ground up in the disciplinary machinery of their respective law enforcement agencies. Almost always, allegations involve federal law enforcement officers who are carrying out legitimate and authorized business of the United States both conscientiously and in good faith. This does not prevent personal attacks and allegations putting the personal assets, reputation and sometimes, the career of the agent at risk. Ask around, many law enforcement officers have been shocked to learn the caliber of legal counsel necessary to salvage a career over what was thought to be a "minor” matter. Whatever you call it – a safety net or peace of mind – you simply can’t afford not to have FEDS Protection.
No more excuses. If you have questions, call and talk to us - 866.955.FEDS or visit our website at www.fedsprotection.com. FEDS Founder and President is a former federal law enforcement attorney and has a reputation for doing right by federal employees.
Posted in The Spotlight