May 18, 2017 Procedures to be Followed When an Employee Requests Defense and Indemnification
KEEPING YOU INFORMED…
The Public Officers Law and Education Law provide for defense and indemnification of employees who are sued for acts or omissions occurring within the scope of their job duties. There are strict deadlines to which a board of education should adhere. If they are not followed, the employee may have the right to choose separate counsel at district or BOCES expense.
Within five days following service of the summons and complaint or other process, the employee must submit to the board of education a written request for defense and indemnification. Within 10 calendar days after receipt of the request, the board “has the right to designate and appoint the legal counsel to represent the…employee.” The employee may choose separate counsel if the board fails to do so within the 10 days provided. The district or BOCES may then be responsible for the employee’s attorneys’ fees.
Assuming that the district or BOCES has obtained liability insurance, the insurance carrier should be immediately notified of the employee’s request for defense and indemnification. The notice to your insurance carrier should include a copy of the employee’s written request and the underlying summons and complaint or other process. These documents should be immediately emailed or faxed to the carrier with a demand that counsel be designated for the employee within the 10 calendar days provided by the statute. Attached is a form of notice for this purpose.
If you have any questions regarding this memo, please contact Joel M. Markowitz, Esq. (firstname.lastname@example.org) or any of our other attorneys.
THIS MEMORANDUM IS MEANT TO ASSIST IN GENERAL UNDERSTANDING OF THE CURRENT LAW. IT IS NOT TO BE REGARDED AS LEGAL ADVICE. THOSE WITH PARTICULAR QUESTIONS SHOULD SEEK THE ADVICE OF COUNSEL.
© Lamb & Barnosky, LLP 2017