Attorney Referral Program from NEA
The NEA Attorney Referral Program provides members the benefit of discounted legal advice. During each NEA membership year each member has:
- Discounted rates below usual fees of participating attorneys.
- Access to certain legal assistance at rates below participating attorneys' usual fees.
- Five core areas for discounted legal services: wills and estates, consumer protection,
real estate, domestic relations, and traffic violations.
Legal services in other areas or by attorneys not participating in NEA's Attorney Referral Program are not provided at NEA discounted rates.
More About Legal Rights
Have you read the article An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure? Read valuable tips on how to protect yourself from legal hassles.
Legal Rights Information
Recently, public school district employees have faced an increasing number of charges of sexual or other criminal misconduct with students. District officials who investigate these charges often seem to believe only the students. Employees facing such charges need competent legal counsel immediately.
The CTA Department of Legal Services has prepared the following “Do’s and Don’ts” for CTA members charges with sexual or other criminal misconduct involving students. Remember: Even in you know you are innocent, district officials must investigate on the assumption that you are guilty.
1.) Do Contact your BTA/CTA Representative Immediately. The BTA representative may be your site representative or a member of the Executive Board.
- Public school employees are entitled by law to have, and should demand, representation in any meeting with district officials to discuss any complaint against them.
- If no representation is available, reschedule the meeting.
- Asserting your right is not insubordination. You do forfeit this right if you attend the meeting without a BTA/CTA representative.
2.) Do Seek Referral to a CTA/NEA Legal Services Attorney To Discuss The Situation.
- CTA and NEA jointly sponsor a legal services program for CTA MEMBERS which provides advice and consultation, as well as representation, in cases directly involving your employment. To access these services, please contact your BTA President. In addition, please check your status as a member of BTA. Just because “dues” are automatically deducted from your paycheck each month does not necessarily mean you are a member. If you have had a recent unpaid break in your employment, please check with your BTA Vice President, Membership, to confirm your status as a BTA/CTA/NEA member. This will affect your ability to access legal services through CTA.
- Initial consultations are paid for by CTA/NEA, and CTA members may be entitled to legal representation at CTA/NEA expense.
3.) Do Keep A Diary of All Communications From Anyone About The Situation, So You Will Have A Complete Record Of Everything That Transpired.
- Keeping a diary also helps you to “make sense” of what’s happening during a time which is usually difficult and often very emotional.
1.) Don’t Talk To Anyone Except Your Spouse About Details Of The Situation Until After You Have Talked To Your Lawyer.
- A legal rule called “privilege” prevents the police or school authorities from requiring your spouse to reveal what you told him/her in the confidentiality of your marriage. This “privilege” extends to the lawyer-client relationship as well. However, it does not extend to room mates, significant others, another employee, an Association representative, or district official.
- Remember, unless privileged, what you say about the problem to another person can be subpoenaed and used against you.
2.) Don’t Be Misled By District Officials Who Say That “Nothing Will Happen To You If You Just Tell Them About The Situation."
- District officials, even those you trust, have a mandatory legal duty to investigate student complaints about employees, and to follow the investigation wherever it may lead. Prudence demands you take all necessary precautions to preserve your employment.
3.) Don’t Take Any Action Affecting Your Job Until You Consult With A Lawyer.
- CTA members are entitled to, and should obtain, advice from legal counsel before taking any action which could jeopardize either their job or their credential.
- Remember: A “Deal” with the district does not prevent a student, parent, or the prosecuting attorney from filing criminal charges, suing for civil damages, or abusing your reputation.