ERISA Litigation in 2019 and Beyond
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) of 1974 sets forth the guiding principles of employee benefit plans for private and other non-governmental entities. By setting the minimum standards required, ERISA regulates administration and investment practices which have long helped and protected employees from issues and disputes relating to corporate plans.
However, despite its benefits, ERISA is an ever-growing area of law which oftentimes causes confusion among non-expert plan holders, as reflected by the increasing number of litigations every year. This reinforces the need for businesses and their counsel to keep themselves abreast of the recent ERISA litigation updates to put themselves in the best position.
In a LIVE Webcast, a panel of thought leaders and practitioners assembled by The Knowledge Group will discuss the significant and latest issues surrounding ERISA litigation. Speakers will provide an in-depth discussion of the law, guided by recent case laws and decisions. They will also offer important litigation insights in 2018 and beyond.
Key topics include:
- The Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974: Nuts and Bolts
- ERISA Claims and Preemptions
- Relevant Case Laws and Decisions
- Litigation Trends and Updates
- 2018 ERISA Litigations and Its Implications in the Upcoming Year
- Practical Tips
Robert M. Forni, Jr., Esq., Partner
Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC
- Recent decisions concerning claims for attorneys’ fees under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(1) since Hardt v. Reliance Standard Life Ins. Co., 560 U.S. 242 (2010), with particular attention to
(a) whether a claimant who succeeds in securing a remand of a claim to the administrator, but not an award of benefits sought, achieves “some success on the merits”;
(b) whether claimants who succeed in obtaining benefits following a remand may recover fees incurred during administrative proceedings; and
(c) limits on amounts claimed under 29 U.S.C. § 1132(g)(1).
- Recent decisions addressing whether administrators have waived, or are estopped from asserting, reasons or facts asserted for the first time during litigation.
- Recent decisions addressing pre-emption of state law claims under ERISA, with particular attention to claims by medical providers against insurers versus plan sponsors.
- Recent decisions addressing circumstances when the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege applies.
- Whether claimants are entitled to recover interest on previously unpaid, or “past due,” benefits absent plan provisions providing for interest.
David R. Johanson, Partner
Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP
- Arbitration Provisions in ERISA plan documents
Munro v. University of Southern California, Case No. 17-55550 (9th Cir. Jul. 24, 2018), cert. denied February 19, 2019
- Developments in ERISA Claims
U.S. Department of Labor Information Letter, dated February 27, 2019, regarding the designation of an authorized representative in ERISA claims procedures
- Statute of Limitations
Sulyuma v. Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee, Case No. 17-15864 (9th Cir. Nov. 28, 2018) (writ filed but not granted or denied) – “Actual Knowledge” component of the 3-year statute of limitations under Section 413 of ERISA, 29 U.S.C. § 1113;
- ERISA Pre-Emption
- ESOP Valuations
Brundle v. Wilmington Trust, N.A., Case No. 17-1873 before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit—oral arguments heard on December 11, 2018 – ESOP valuation issues (selection of appraiser, provision of accurate financial information and reasonable projections, review of valuation report, etc.);
Cook Technologies, Inc. v. Panzarella, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 212566 (D.C. Ed. Pa. 2018) – current ESOP valuation;
Who Should Attend:
- ERISA Counsel
- Retirement Plan Financial Professionals
- Human Resource & Benefits Personnel
- Litigation Officers
- Employee Benefits & Compensation Lawyers and Consultants
- Employee Benefits & Compensation Officers
- Employment Law Attorneys
- Private and Public Companies
- Other Interested/Related Professionals
Robert M. Forni, Jr. is a partner in Ropers Majeski’s San Francisco office. With two decades of litigation experience and expertise in ERISA, insurance coverage and bad faith litigation involving commercial and personal lines of insurance, Mr. Forni specializes in the representation of insurers, employers, employee welfare benefit plans and their fiduciaries in all phases of litigation, in state and federal court. Mr. Forni has also provided services as insurer-selected counsel for insureds, and independent representation of insureds as Cumis counsel. Mr. Forni is experienced in preparing comprehensive coverage opinions, counseling insurers and employee welfare plans throughout the claims and litigation process, and developing practical and efficient solutions for clients that achieve their business and legal objectives. Mr. Forni’s expertise extends to commercial and personal lines of insurance, including disability, health, commercial general liability, commercial property, homeowners and automobile.
Robert M. Forni, Jr. is a partner in Ropers Majeski’s San Francisco office. With two decades of litigation experience and …
David R. Johanson is Partner-in-Charge of the Napa office of Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP. He also has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and New York to cover his national practice.
Mr. Johanson assists clients in general corporate matters and in employee ownership, benefit, ERISA, and related business matters, with an emphasis on executive compensation, equity incentive plans, non-qualified deferred compensation, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), ESOP transactions, mergers and acquisitions (and related tax planning), and business succession and estate planning. Mr. Johanson has served as outside general counsel to numerous corporate clients over the past 32 years. Mr. Johanson also frequently appears on behalf of clients in business and employment-oriented defense litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country, before regulatory agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Labor, California Labor Commissioner, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), in tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service and comparable state regulatory agencies, against felony criminal indictments in U.S. Federal Court, and in dispute resolutions of various kinds. Mr. Johanson represents corporations in shareholder and non-competition disputes. Mr. Johanson is a member of the Southern California Mediation Association and a frequent Lecturer for the University of Southern California Mediation Clinic. Mr. Johanson has actively served as a Temporary Judge on a pro bono basis for the Los Angeles County Superior Courts since October of 2009.
David R. Johanson is Partner-in-Charge of the Napa office of Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP. He also has offices in …
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Method of Presentation:
General knowledge of employee benefits law
NY Category of CLE Credit:
Areas of Professional Practice
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About Ropers Majeski Kohn & Bentley PC
Founded more than 60 years ago as Silicon Valley began transforming into the world’s technology hub, RMKB is headquartered in Redwood City, California with offices in Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Paris, San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle and Hong Kong (affiliated). We conduct a broad, far-reaching practice offering expert litigation and transactional services to domestic and international businesses and individuals. The firm’s practice areas are structured to serve our clients’ vibrant industries and specialized areas of interest.
Our lawyers have extensive experience in business litigation and appellate law; class actions; construction defect litigation; corporate law and counsel; directors and officers liability; employment counseling and litigation; entertainment law; environmental, toxic tort liability; estate planning and wealth management; fidelity and surety bonds; insurance coverage, bad faith, ERISA; intellectual property; litigation management, cost control and fee disputes; mergers and acquisitions; personal and catastrophic injury litigation; product and premises liability; professional negligence; real estate; startup and emerging-growth companies formation and representation; and taxation.
We pride ourselves on client relationships, pragmatic results and exceptional value. Offering premier litigation skills and a complete spectrum of business-oriented services, we solve problems, structure deals, and deliver results with complete client focus.
For more information, visit www.rmkb.com.
About Hawkins Parnell & Young, LLP
Over the last half century, Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP has grown to include more than 160 lawyers in 10 offices located in Atlanta, Austin, Charleston, Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Napa, New York, St. Louis, and San Francisco. The team represents many of America’s largest corporations, small local businesses, and individuals in complex litigation and transactions. As national leaders in their fields of expertise, their ESOP, Employee Benefits, M&A, Tax & ERISA group brings extraordinary depth in perspective when advising clients in connection with retirement plans, equity incentives, executive compensation, shareholder issues, fiduciaries, mergers and acquisitions, and employment and benefits litigation throughout the country.