Legal Plans are offered by Companies to provide group members or individuals with legal services from participating plan attorneys at no additional cost, or a reduced cost, or both. Additional benefits may also be offered.
Legal plans involve the practice of law, which is regulated by the courts. In some states, disciplinary rules for lawyers can influence the form of a plan and the plan might have to be registered with the state bar association or some other authority. Similarly, plans which resemble insurance arrangements may be regulated by the state insurance commissioner. If an insurance company operates the plan in the form of an insurance policy, regulation by the commissioner is a certainty. If a plan is operated as an employee welfare benefit plan, it will be regulated under the federal Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). Those interested in starting a plan must be familiar with the relevant federal and state laws and regulations to ensure that they are in compliance.