The Attorney Referral Program
NEA’s Attorney Referral Program provides members with legal advice on personal matters. Each eligible member is entitled to two 30-minute consultation sessions free during each membership year. And if you need additional legal help, NEA’s Attorney Referral Program lets you receive that help at rates below participating attorneys’ usual fees.
How does NEA deliver for members?
NEA has provided members with full legal protection in employment-related matters for years. In today’s complex world, simply having legal help for job-related matters isn’t enough. At one time or another, each of us needs legal counsel on personal matters that are important to our families and us.
That’s why NEA created the NEA Attorney Referral Program. This unique program is designed to make sure that every NEA member in participating states has access to affordable legal advice.
Who Can Participate
All Unified Members and their spouses and dependent children are eligible for the NEA Attorney Referral Program.
What does the program provide?
Your national and state associations have identified attorneys throughout the state who have agreed to handle certain personal matters at a substantially reduced rate. During any membership year (from September 1 to August 31), eligible members are entitled to two free 30-minute consultation sessions with any of these Association-approved attorneys. During the two free sessions, you may discuss any legal matter except income tax preparation. In addition to these free consultations, members may have specific legal work performed in the five “Core” areas listed below, at a 30-percent reduction of that attorney’s normal fee.
NEA is committed to making sure that qualified and competent attorneys participate in the NEA Attorney Referral Program. Before any attorneys can become a part of the program, they must be approved by both the NEA and NEA-New Mexico and they must agree to provide service to members at times that are convenient to members–times outside the normal working day. Participating attorneys must agree to discuss fees before they render services. They must be willing to accept payment of their fees by an installment payment plan. In some cases, that may even include credit cards. The NEA Attorney Referral Program is designed to deliver for NEA members.
NEA has identified five “Core” areas of personal legal service for coverage under the NEA Attorney Referral Program:
1) Consumer Protection: Participating attorneys will provide assistance at the discounted fee for disputes with creditors or finance agencies and proceedings with retailers concerning defective merchandise.
2) Domestic Relations: Representation in proceedings for annulment, divorce, separation, alimony, custody, child support, guardianship, adoption, paternity, and name changes–all are covered under the discounted rate.
3) Real Estate: Participating attorneys will provide assistance with the purchase or sale of residential property, disputes with landlords, property line controversies, and problems with zoning laws or land use regulations.
4)Traffic Violations: You can receive legal representation at the NEA Attorney Referral Program discounted rate to handle charges of operating under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving or other offenses involving the potential loss of license, a jail sentence, and financial liability in excess of $50.
Remember, if you are an eligible NEA member, your spouse and dependent children may also receive the NEA Attorney Referral Program discount rates from participating attorneys upon your request.
5)Wills and Estates: At a 30-percent discount rate, you can have a participating attorney prepare your will, assist with estate planning, provide legal assistance if you are named the executor or administrator of an estate, or offer legal counsel in guardianship proceedings.
Who can participate?
NEA’s Attorney Referral Program is open to any active, life, support, or retired member, and the member’s spouse and dependent children.
What isn’t covered?
While NEA and NEA-New Mexico provide additional programs to help with job-related problem you legal problems, the Attorney Referral Program covers almost every type of personal legal you might face. There are, however, a few areas where participating attorneys are not required to give members the 30-percent discount. Problems such as business dealings, bankruptcies, and preparation of a defense in Internal Revenue Service income tax matters are not covered under the 30-percent discount.
The discount does not apply to the defense of criminal violations, other than traffic violations, in which liability exceeds $50. Participating attorneys are not permitted to represent a member in any matter in which the adverse party is the NEA, an NEA affiliate, or another NEA member–except in separation or divorce proceedings. Court costs, filing and service fees, and attorney out-of-pocket expenses are not automatically covered. It’s also important to note that if you obtain your own attorney, you won’t receive the discount rate, even if that attorney later becomes a participant in the NEA Attorney Referral Program.
How can you take advantage of this program?
The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the NEA-approved law firms participating in the program in your state are listed below.
John Wertheim, The Jones Firm
Albuquerque, (505) 242-8994
The Blenden Law Firm
Carlsbad, (575) 887-2071
Richard A. Hawthorne, P.A.
Ruidoso, (505) 258-3483
The Jones Firm
Santa Fe, (505) 982-0011
Byron L. Treaster, Esq.
Scheuer, Yost, & Patterson
Santa Fe, (505) 989-7500
Rita Nunez Neumann & Dino Villani
Attorney at Law
Las Cruces, Phone/Fax 575-647-3778
Egolf, Ferlic, Martinez & Harwood, LLC
123 W. San Francisco St., Suite 200
Santa Fe, NM 87501
You may contact the attorney directly and identify yourself as an NEA member participating in the NEA Attorney Referral Program. Contact NEA-New Mexico or local UniServ office for more information. Discuss the fees you will be charged before the session begins with the attorney. You may contact any attorney on the list above for your free consultation and to investigate your need for additional services. The free consultation benefit allows you to discuss your problem with an attorney to determine whether you need additional legal services. Do not expect the attorney to draft or review documents during a consultation. If you ask the attorney to provide additional services, such as preparing a will, you will be billed at discounted program rates.
For further information about the Attorney Referral Program contact your local UniServ office or NEA-New Mexico headquarters at (505) 982-1916.
NOTE: Additions and deletions to the Attorney Referral Program law firms will be posted on this web site during the program year.
A Member Service Program Administered by NEA Legal Services for Your Personal Legal Issues.