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Yes, a Fiduciary was held personally liable

In my practice, I always talk about how plan fiduciaries can be held personally liable for any issues regarding their retirement plan. Many plan sponsors just don’t pay any attention to that threat until they see it happen to...more

What Can the Business Community Expect from a Trump Administration

As Donald Trump’s administration takes shape, the business community stands watch expecting a business-friendly White House. Trump’s promises of fewer regulations and lower taxes have small and large businesses alike feeling...more

Plan Sponsors Sued Over Fees on Multiple Plans and Vendors

In a very novel retirement fee lawsuit, a plan sponsor is being sued over the cost of multiple plans and the use of multiple record-keepers....more

Federal Court Rejects Defend Trade Secrets Act Whistleblower Immunity Defense on a Motion to Dismiss and Orders Employee to Return...

This past Spring, we reported on the recently enacted Defend Trade Secrets Act (“DTSA”), which provides a new federal civil cause of action to trade secret owners seeking to pursue claims of trade secret misappropriation. ...more

Proof Again That Small Plans and Their Fiduciaries Can Get Sued

I’ve heard of for years on how small 401(k) plans and their plan fiduciaries don’t get sued. While they are never going to be the target for a class action lawsuit because they don’t have enough assets to justify an ERISA...more

California UCL Standing Requirement — On This You Can Rely

The California Court of Appeal recently confirmed, in case there was any doubt, that plaintiffs must allege (and ultimately prove) actual reliance to adequately state a fraudulent prong Unfair Competition Law claim (Cal. Bus....more

DOL Issues (Some) Additional Guidance on the Fiduciary Investment Advice Rule and Best Interest Contract Exemption

The US Department of Labor (DOL) has issued its first set of FAQs under the fiduciary investment advice rule (the “Rule”) and related prohibited transaction exemptions. In general, the Rule provides that parties providing...more

Seventh Circuit Recognizes “Substantial Truthfulness” Defense to Tortious Interference Claims under Wisconsin Law

As we wrap up another election cycle that has kept “fact checkers” working overtime analyzing the many dubious claims by candidates of all political persuasions, the Seventh Circuit has issued a decision that reminds us of...more

Change in How SC Supreme Court Views Conspiracy Claims May be Coming

As our various courts decide cases, we watch to see if there are any trends that seem to be developing or whether a case signals that the courts are beginning to change how they view a particular issue or type of case. We've...more

Thoughts on the DOL Fiduciary Rule Q&A

The Department of Labor (DOL) issues the first of a few Q&As to help with financial advisors to cope with meeting the requirements of the new fiduciary rule coming down the pike in April....more

What Underlying Facts are Required to Assert a Valid CFAA Claim Based on “Exceeds Authorized Access” in Georgia?

The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”) gives rise to an actionable claim if someone “knowingly access[es] a computer without authorization or exceed[s] authorized access.” 18 U.S.C. § 1030(a)(1). The term “exceeds...more

The DOL Issues “Investment Advice” FAQs – Continues to Try to Find an Ideal Balance for the Brave New Fiduciary World

The U.S. Department of Labor (the “DOL”) released its first set of FAQs (the “FAQs”) regarding the DOL’s recently finalized “investment advice” regulation and various related exemptions (collectively, the “Final Rules”) on...more

"Department of Labor Issues Guidance on Conflicts of Interest Rule"

The Department of Labor (DOL) recently issued guidance on the Conflicts of Interest Rule it released earlier this year. The guidance, issued on October 27, 2016, is in the form of answers to frequently asked questions, which...more

Tortious Interference with Contract/Employment Relationship/Truthfulness of Statements/Defense to Tort Claim

A recent ruling from the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals extended the notion of “truth as a defense” to a tortious interference with employment claim under Wisconsin law. This establishes a sound defense to a claim by an...more

Employee Benefits Developments - October 2016

The Employee Benefits practice group is pleased to present the Benefits Developments Newsletter for the month of October, 2016. 2017 Benefits Limits Announced - The Internal Revenue Service and Social Security...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - October 2016

Editor's Overview - This month, we look at the implications of the two federal district court cases from California that applied the ban on discretionary clauses typically found in ERISA plans to self-insured plans. The...more

Mutual Fund Sales by Intermediaries – Fall-Out from DOL Fiduciary Rule and FINRA Enforcement

Mutual fund sales and distribution arrangements are once again under review. It has been reported that fund intermediaries are re-examining their practices relating to sales charges, share class structures and product...more

Owner/Trustee of 401(k) Plan Accused of Having Eyes Wide Shut on Fiduciary Duties

Last June I blogged about the trend of participant fee class actions moving down to smaller 401(k) Plans. Occasionally, class actions are brought based on other breaches of fiduciary duties, particularly those involving...more

The Problem With The BIC

The biggest hallmark for the new Fiduciary Rule is the best interest contract exemption and the need for brokers to get those signed with their retirement plan and IRA clients. Getting legalese written on paper isn’t going to...more

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Fall Term: the Internet Court?

The Supreme Court of Canada’s Fall term, which began on October 3rd, could probably be labelled the “internet term”, with major cases involving both Google and Facebook. The Court will also be hearing a number of other cases...more

$300,000 401(k) Plan Sued* (Note Asterisk)

A Florida optometry practice with a 401(k) plan with only $300,000 in assets is the latest plan to be sued for 401(k) mismanagement, with a newly filed lawsuit accusing the practice of over-investing in alleged “patent troll”...more

Courts Address Conspiracy, Knowing Participation, and Aiding And Abetting Breach Of Fiduciary Duty Claims

In Rhymes v. Filter Res., Inc., a former employer sued a former employee and the employee’s new business for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, and tortious interference related to the employee’s competition with...more

NEW UPDATE: Is Your Workers’ Compensation Program Unlawful?

In two previous posts, on April 19, 2016 and June 21, 2016, we reported on the EquityComp workers’ compensation program offered by Berkshire Hathaway subsidiaries Applied Underwriters (Applied) and California Insurance...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - September 2016

Editor's Overview - This month, we have re-published an interview of our colleague Seth Safra discussing the Department of Labor’s final regulation concerning fiduciaries and conflicts of interest. In this interview,...more

Hold on to Your (Top) Hat: ERISA Section 502(a)(3) May Be Used to Enforce the Terms of a “Top-Hat” Benefits Plan

Thanksgiving is typically a time for gratitude, gathering with family, and acts of kindness among fellow men and women. But in one recent case, a bank used Thanksgiving to force-feed a separation agreement to its outgoing...more

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