Legal Defense Fund well past $700,000

In writing the history of KPA for our 150th anniversary, there are some things we have to get together for John Nelson. He’s moving decade by decade and with a question he posed this week, he’s getting pretty close to the end of those 150 years.

John wanted to know how much KPA has awarded newspapers through the Legal Defense Fund. Since that program was inaugurated on August 1, 1996, you can see he’s getting near the end of the 150 years.

To answer his question, we double-checked from the last updated report and then added in the last couple of years.

Altogether, KPA has given newspapers $722,624.13 in legal defense help in the nearly 22 years. The money for the LDF actually comes from newspapers, deducted through their advertising checks and then set aside for when they need it. Only newspapers participating in the funding aspect — contributing an amount of one quarter to one full page of advertising each year — are eligible to request funds from the LDF.

The LDF Committee considers applications from the participating newspaper for help in legal battles, allowing them to request up to 50 percent of their legal fees in cases “where the outcome of the case would have an effect on the industry as a whole.” Most reimbursements have been at the 50 percent level. John is a member of the LDF Committee, along with Taylor Hayes, David Hawpe and Dave Eldridge. Tom Caudill is chair and you might see a trend there. When it was established, the requirement was that committee members had to be a Past President of KPA.

Jon Fleischaker serves as the legal adviser on cases and considerations. Who better to be in that position than Jon himself?

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