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Same-Sex Spouse Has No Standing to Assert COBRA Notice Claim

A New Jersey federal district court held (in an unpublished opinion) that a former plan participant’s same-sex spouse who never enrolled in the benefit plan did not have standing to assert a claim alleging that his spouse’s...more

Update on Criminal Background Checks: Impact of EEOC v. Freeman and Ongoing Challenges in a Continuously Changing Legal...

The latest chapter in the ongoing saga of employment-related criminal background checks in the United States has been written, and one of the authors had some particularly strong words for the Equal Employment Opportunity...more

Employers Running Background Checks: Top 10 Tips to Avoid Joining the Fair Credit Reporting Act Litigation “Club”

What do Whole Foods, Chuck E. Cheese, Michael’s Stores, Dollar General, Panera, Publix, and K-Mart have in common? Each of these companies has faced lawsuits (including class actions) under the Fair Credit Reporting Act...more

Comcast, Superiority, Predominance and Injunctive Relief Addressed in Recent Second Circuit Class Certification Opinions

The Second Circuit recently addressed a panoply of class certification issues in two opinions. Both decisions ruled in favor of the plaintiffs, but will help defendants tailor their arguments in future cases....more

U.S. Supreme Court Describes “Ordinary Principles of Contract Law”

In a contract governed by federal law, does “The End” really mean “The End”? Some federal courts have said “no,” but the U.S. Supreme Court has just said “yes.” ...more

Supreme Court Rejects Sixth Circuit’s Yard-Man Inferences in M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

In M&G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 935 (2015), the Supreme Court of the United States addressed the interpretation of collective bargaining agreements (CBAs) that include post-retirement welfare benefits, such as...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - February 2015

The Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to collective bargaining agreements. For many years, the...more

Supreme Court Eases the Way for Eliminating or Modifying Retiree Benefits

As a result of a recent Supreme Court decision, employers gained substantial ground in the ongoing battle over whether retiree health and other welfare benefits can be unilaterally modified or terminated. ...more

Eight things we learned from the Detroit bankruptcy

Detroit’s historic trip through Bankruptcy Court ended in December 2014 with the confirmation of the City’s Plan of Adjustment, which trimmed $7 billion in debt from the city’s balance sheet and promised improved resident...more

ERISA – 9th Cir. Telephonic Beneficiary Designation Enforced — Beneficiary Designation Forms Are NOT Plan Documents

Can a participant designate a beneficiary merely with a phone call? You need to look at the plan documents. But are beneficiary designation forms ERISA “plan documents”? It depends, and it makes a difference....more

Bankruptcy Court Decides That The Bankruptcy Code Preempts California State Pension Laws

In a February 4, 2015 opinion, the bankruptcy judge presiding over Stockton, California's Chapter 9 municipal bankruptcy case approved Stockton's bankruptcy plan of adjustment. In re City of Stockton, 2015 Bankr....more

Appellate Court Notes

SC19216 - Sikorsky Financial Credit Union, Inc. v. Butts - Finally some clarity in rules pertaining to the award of post-judgment interest. Here the (consumer) loan agreement provided that interest would accrue at 9%...more

Nevada Supreme Court Finds No Jurisdiction In Suit By Nevada Client Against Texas Law Firm

In an opinion issued yesterday, the Nevada Supreme Court considered whether a Nevada client had made the requisite prima facie showing of personal jurisdiction over its erstwhile Texas-based law firm.  Fulbright & Jaworski...more

Florida Appellate Court: Open Meetings Law Applies to Collective Bargaining

In a crucial victory for transparency, a Florida state appeals court ruled that the state's open meetings law will not "condone hiding behind federal mediation" when municipal governments try "to thwart the requirements of...more

Supreme Court Update: TEVA Pharmaceuticals USA V. Sandoz (13-584); Department Of Homeland Security V. Maclean (13-894); Holt V....

Greetings, Court fans! While we in New Haven were more-or-less spared having to dig out from "Winter Storm Juno" (aka "snowbigdeal"), it's taken us a while to dig out from the Court's recent pile of opinions. With this...more

Illinois Supreme Court Denies All Ten Amici Requests in Support of State in Pension Appeal

Over four days in mid-January, no fewer than ten entities – public entities, charitable institutions and individuals – filed motions for leave to file amicus briefs in support of the State’s defense of the public pension...more

Nossaman Comment on Recent Court of Appeal Decision re Constitutionality of PEPRA

Much has been made of the recent Court of Appeal decision resolving a challenge to the Public Employees' Pension Reform Act of 2013 (PEPRA), Deputy Sheriffs' Assn. of San Diego County v. County of San Diego (Jan. 22, 2015,...more

Partial Plan Terminations: Recent Court Ruling Serves as a Reminder of the Risks

After what Judge Posner described as 19 "interminable" years of litigation, the latest round of Matz v. Household International Tax Reduction Investment Plan may be the last. In late December 2014, the 7th Circuit of Appeals...more

State’s Defense of Pension Reform: Constitutional Convention Couldn’t Make Pension Protection Absolute (Even If It Wanted To)

Today we continue our discussion of the centerpiece of the Illinois Supreme Court’s civil docket – the public pension reform case – with a look at the State’s Opening Brief, which was filed January 12, 2015. As we’ll see...more

BABC Attorneys Author Amicus Brief on Behalf of DRI Regarding Tibble Case in United States Supreme Court

In Tibble v Edison International, Plaintiffs brought fiduciary duty claims against Edison International for alleged mismanagement of Edison’s 401(k) Plan. Plaintiffs’ claims centered upon the fact that the Plan’s investment...more

"Dudenhoeffer: An Effective Tool to 'Weed Out Meritless' Employer Stock-Drop Claims?"

In Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 573 U.S. __, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court held that fiduciaries of an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) are not entitled to a special presumption that their...more

Lehman Brothers Pension Scheme - The treatment of pensions claims in a UK insolvency process

When the Lehman Brothers group imploded in September 2008, the impact of events on the Lehman Brothers UK pension scheme (the "Scheme") was not seen as a key concern for anyone other than the members themselves. Yet as time...more

Supreme Court Decides M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett

On January 26, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court decided M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, No. 13-1010, holding that ordinary principles of contract law govern the interpretation of pension and insurance provisions of...more

Supreme Court Announces “Wipe-Out” of Yard-Man Presumption in Advance of Storm

With storm clouds threatening in the northeast, the Supreme Court cast a ray of sunlight for employers today by rejecting the use of a problematic inference in adjudicating claims for retiree benefits brought pursuant to...more

Patent Infringement Lawsuit Reminds ERISA Fiduciaries to Monitor Service Providers

In August 2014, GRQ Investment Management, LLC (GRQ) sued Financial Engines, Inc. and Financial Engines Advisors, LLC (collectively, Financial Engines), alleging that Financial Engines’ sale of account management and advisory...more

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