Under Benefit B, the Plan will — for each subpoena or suit — pay up to $20,000 or an Insured Participant’s retention/deductible amount (whichever is less) of the Counsel’s and Local Counsel’s fees to:
1. Respond or resist a subpoena issued by a court physically located within Oklahoma to a participant, its agents, servants and employees acting within the scope of their employment while gathering or publishing news or advertising to be published in the participant’s newspaper or on the participant’s Internet newspaper website; or
2. Defend a suit brought in a court physically located within Oklahoma against a participant, its agents, servants and employees acting within the scope of their employment while gathering or publishing news or advertising in the participant’s newspaper or on the participant’s Internet newspaper website when the cause of action alleged is for:
(a)Libel or Defamation
(b)Invasion of Privacy
(d)Restraint of Trade
In this section, “employee” includes, at the discretion of the publisher, former employees named as defendants in a suit alleging liability arising out of actions by the former employee when employed by the publisher and acting within the scope of this employment. The publisher’s discretionary authority under this section extends to limit or assign the amount of financial support under the Plan that will be allowed for the former employee.
Out-of-Pocket Expenses for Benefit B
In addition to Counsel fees, the Plan shall pay one-half and the participant shall pay one-half of the following out-of-pocket expenses incurred by retained Counsel and local Counsel in the defense of an action. The out-of-pocket expenses shall be limited to the following:
(2) Photo duplication (20 cents per page)
(3) Telephone charges
(4) Court fees and deposits with prior written consent of the participant
(5) Deposition and court reporter fees with prior written consent of the participant
All other expenses, such as witness fees and expert testimony, shall be paid by the participant.
Participants carrying insurance for benefits under Benefit B
If a participant has insurance coverage for an action for which the participant is entitled to under Benefit B, the participant shall timely file a claim with the Insurer.
If the Insurer selects an attorney to defend the participant other than the Plan’s retained Counsel, the Benefit B payments will not be made to the Insurer’s selected attorney, but rather shall be made to the retained counsel to provide such assistance to the Insurer’s selected attorney as same shall request.
If no such assistance is requested, the Plan will make no Benefit B payments except to the Plan’s retained counsel to monitor the litigation and provide timely reports to the Committee.
The participant agrees to timely apply for any monies due from its insurer and to forward any such monies to the Plan.
Retention of Local Counsel
When necessary or desirable in the defense of an action covered in Benefit B, the Administrator — subject to approval of the Legal Services Plan Committee — may hire local Counsel in the jurisdiction where the action is filed only with approval of the Participant.
Criminal Defense Reimbursement
Under Benefit B, the Plan will reimburse up to $2,500 to a Plan member in good standing who expends attorney fees to defend a current Plan member’s employee who is arrested or charged with a crime or crimes where the alleged crime or crimes arose as a result of publication in the Plan Member’s newspaper or website of news (e.g., criminal libel, 21 O.S. § 773) or of advertising (e.g., violation of federal or state discrimination laws).
The Plan member newspaper shall notify the Legal Services Plan Administrator, in writing, of the arrest or formal filing of a charge within 30 days of such arrest or filing, whichever comes first. Written notification shall include a statement setting forth the details of the arrest or formal filing of a charge, and be mailed or delivered to: OPA Legal Services Plan Administrator, 3601 N. Lincoln Blvd, Oklahoma City, OK 73105-5499. Reimbursement requests may only be submitted by the Plan member newspaper. Requests submitted by third parties will not be accepted or processed.
The initial determination of whether the request meets the criteria of Benefit B (Criminal Defense) will be made by the Plan Administrator. If the request for reimbursement is not submitted within the 30 days as heretofore set forth, Benefit B (Criminal Defense) is not available.
If the Plan Administrator determines that the request meets the Benefit B (Criminal Defense) requirements, the Plan member must submit within 180 days of the determination evidence that the Plan Member has expended attorney fees subject to reimbursement. If this evidence is not submitted within the said 180 days, Benefit B (Criminal Defense) is not available. An additional 180 days may be allowed with approval of the Plan Administrator.
The reimbursement provided herein: (a) applies to a single event and not to each charge arising out of a single event and (b) is the only part of Benefit B applicable to defense of a criminal matter.
Exclusions from Benefit B
1. Any area of law not specifically listed in Benefit B is excluded from this Plan.
2. No legal defense of any action filed outside the state of Oklahoma will be undertaken and is specifically excluded from this Plan.
3. Any cause of action, claim arising, or subpoena served while a participant is not in good standing with the Plan is specifically excluded from the Plan.
4. Any claim or cause of action arising earlier than six (6) months after the participant's effective date is specifically excluded from the Plan.
5. The Plan is for participants only. Thus, websites not wholly owned and controlled by the LSP Participant are excluded.
6. The phrase “newspaper website” means a website, published by an LSP participant, with the purpose to republish and augment news and advertisements. All other websites are excluded.
7. A participant newspaper website’s unique online content (content prepared, edited, or posted by the newspaper staff specifically for the website) is covered, but material posted to the website by third parties is excluded