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Queen v. Schultz

Queen v. Schultz - USCA, D.C. Circuit, April 4, 2014 - Defendant Ed Schultz is a radio and television personality currently hosting “The Ed Show” on the MSNBC network. Plaintiff Michael Queen is an NBC employee who...more

Supreme Court Expands Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Protection to Employees of Private Companies

In 2002, after corporate fraud at Enron led to the company's collapse, Congress passed the Sarbanes-Oxley Act (SOX). Under SOX's main whistleblower protection provision, an employee of a publicly traded company who claims...more

Employer Failed to Establish Tortious Interference by Current Employees Who Were Secretly Operating a Competing Business

An employer failed to show that its former employees tortiously interfered with its current and prospective customers, even though they had been secretly operating a competing business while working for the employer. In...more

U.S. Appeals Court Affirms Judgment Against 401(k) Plan Fiduciaries for Excessive Recordkeeping Fees

On March 19, 2014, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eight Circuit (the “Appeals Court”) issued its highly anticipated ruling in the case of Tussey v. ABB, Inc., affirming a Missouri trial court’s $13.4 million judgment...more

The Teflon Fiduciary: Could Your U.S. Adviser Avoid Responsibility For Bad Advice?

Ronald Reagan was referred to years ago as “the Teflon President” because voters never seemed to hold him responsible for his administration’s missteps. A significant decision on fiduciary status has just been issued by the...more

Massachusetts SJC Rules on Fiduciary Duties Owed to and By Shareholder-Employee in Closely Held Corporation

A recent decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC), Selmark Associates v. Ehrlich, illustrates the complex web of fiduciary obligations owed to and by shareholder-employees in a closely held corporation under...more

Lawson and Doral Expand Whistleblower Protections

Two recent decisions interpreting the Sarbanes-Oxley Act have significantly expanded the protections available for federal whistleblowers and increase the potential liability for public companies and private companies that...more

District Court Relies on Fee Disclosure Regulation to Dismiss Complaint

A federal district court in New York last month dismissed a class action complaint brought by a company sponsoring a 401(k) plan. The plaintiff, in Skin Pathology Associates v. Morgan Stanley, alleged, among other claims,...more

In Fuller, Eleventh Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Claims Challenging Financial Services Company’s Use of Proprietary Products in...

In a recent Eleventh Circuit case challenging, under ERISA, the use of proprietary funds in a financial services company’s own retirement plan, the court affirmed dismissal of the claims. It held, in Fuller v. SunTrust...more

Despite Upholding A $13.4 Million Judgment Against Plan Fiduciaries, The Eighth Circuit Gives Plan Sponsors A Lot To Like In...

On March 19, 2014, a three judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit issued its decision in Tussey v. ABB, Inc., No. 12-2056 (8th Cir. Mar. 19, 2014). The case came to the Eighth Circuit on an...more

"Inside the Courts: Supreme Court Agrees to Review American Pipe Tolling Issue"

This morning, the Supreme Court granted the writ of certiorari in Public Employees Retirement System of Mississippi v. IndyMacMBS, Inc. The petition raises an issue regarding the application of American Pipe tolling to claims...more

Retaliation Exposure Tipping Point? Supreme Court Extends SOX Whistleblower Protections to Private Company Employees

The Supreme Court in Lawson vs FMR, LLC (delivered March 4, 2014 after a 6-3 vote) has ruled that employees of private companies engaged by public companies are covered by the whistleblower protections of Sarbanes Oxley Act...more

This Week In Securities Litigation (Week ending March 7, 2014)

The Supreme Court was the focus of securities litigation this week. Oral argument was presented in the long running Halliburton case where the Petitioners are seeking to rewrite the rules for bringing securities fraud class...more

New York District Court Dismisses Putative ERISA Class Alleging Illegal Kickbacks

Sometimes in the rush to meet Rule 23(a) and (b)’s requirements, what gets overlooked is whether there is any underlying claim in the first place. In a refreshing opinion, the Southern District of New York disposed of a...more

ERISA: 10th Circuit — How to Win Two Frequent Challenges to ERISA Benefit Denials

How do you defeat two arguments frequently used to challenge an ERISA-governed disability claim denial? Argument (1) the rationale for the claim denial changed, or Argument (2) the denial letter failed to tell...more

Supreme Court Expands Scope of Sarbanes-Oxley Whistleblower Liability

Yesterday, the Supreme Court of the United States issued its opinion in Lawson v. FMR LLC, No. 12-3, holding that the whistleblower protections of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 protect not only the employees of regulated...more

Fiduciary Breach Claims Barred by ERISA’s Six-Year Statute of Limitations

The Eleventh Circuit recently dismissed a participant’s fiduciary breach claims against SunTrust’s 401(k) plan fiduciary committee members on the ground that the claims for imprudently selecting certain investment options was...more

View From McDermott: Conflicting Review Standards in Executive Retirement Plan Benefit Claims—Is There Really a Difference?

Under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, retirement plans generally come in two flavors – (i) retirement plans qualified under Section 401 of the Internal Revenue Code (the Code) and (ii) executive retirement plans,...more

U.S. Supreme Court to Review “Presumption of Prudence” that Favors Fiduciaries of ERISA Plans that Hold Employer Stock

The Supreme Court has agreed to hear the case of Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, in which the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals, in response to a motion to dismiss, declined to adopt a presumption of prudence in favor of a...more

Trends in New Jersey Employment Law - February 2014

Appellate Division Roundup - In recent months, New Jersey's Appellate Division has rendered three significant employment law decisions. State v. Saavedra, No. A-1449-12T4, 2013 N.J. Super. LEXIS 185 (App. Div....more

For Whom The Whistle Tolls In 2014

Momentum for the SEC’s Dodd Frank whistleblower program is growing, and 2014 can be expected to bring continued expansion of the program and the number and types of whistleblower actions initiated by the SEC. The SEC’s...more

New Mass Termination Claim Certified in Ontario

On January 2, 2014, Justice Perell certified a class action alleging that, among other things, a group of over 500 putative class members had been wrongfully dismissed by their former (now insolvent ) employer. Justice...more

Court’s Award of $3.8 Million Raises Questions About the Scope of ERISA Remedies

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit has affirmed an unusually large award of $3.8 million in a case involving the denial of long-term disability benefits. In Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No....more

Complete Versus Conflict Preemption In ERISA Cases

Both state and federal courts have original jurisdiction over ERISA benefits actions. See29 U.S.C. § 1132(e)(1), ERISA § 502(e)(1). But litigants (and defendants in particular) have historically preferred the federal courts,...more

Fee Award to Prevailing Employer in Certain Actions Requires Employee Bad Faith

Existing law, with certain exceptions, requires a court in any action brought for the nonpayment of wages, fringe benefits, or health and welfare or pension fund contributions, to award reasonable attorneys' fees and costs to...more

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