Labor & Employment Finance & Banking Civil Procedure

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Third Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Excessive Fee Claims Against Insurer

The Third Circuit has affirmed dismissal of all claims against the insurer in a 401(k) excessive fee suit, rejecting arguments that the insurer is an ERISA fiduciary for its product's fees, even where the service provider has...more

Supreme Court Establishes New Standard for Fiduciaries of ESOP Plans

The Supreme Court, in Fifth Third Bancorp v. John Dudenhoeffer (Dudenhoeffer), recently established new standards for determining when fiduciaries of Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) act prudently regarding a company’s...more

Withdrawal Liability - A Concealed but Potentially Devastating Assessment

During the past several years a hidden liability has been lurking in the shadows. This hidden threat is known as withdrawal liability and is a critical issue that any employer with a unionized workforce needs to be cognizant...more

Morgan Stanley Settles MBS Class Action with Pension Funds

On September 8, a stipulation and agreement of settlement was filed in relation to an action brought against Morgan Stanley & Co. by a group of pension funds led by Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi and the...more

ERISA: 2nd Circuit — Tough to Appeal District Court’s ERISA Remand Order

What happens when the district court orders a remand to the ERISA plan administrator? Can you appeal it? It depends on the circuit. FACTS: Mead sought ERISA-governed long term disability benefits, which were...more

ERISA Litigation Review

The courts have been busy in 2014, addressing a variety of issues in the employee benefits field in decisions that impact everyone from union travelers to ESOP fiduciaries. This advisory summarizes a selection of the 2014...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - As the summer draws to a close, no one would fault you if you missed the Fourth Circuit's decision in Tatum v. RJR Pension Investment Committee, which was published on August 4th. However, plan...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter

Editor's Overview - This month's newsletter focuses on repayment of pension plan overpayments. Our issue discusses pension plan overpayments to participants, a plan administrator's duties to seek repayment, corrections...more

Sixth Circuit Affirms Dismissal of Class Claims Regarding Disability Benefits

ERISA benefit claims are frequently of only modest size individually, but can become overwhelming in a class context. A decision this week from the Sixth Circuit affirms the dismissal of a putative class-wide disability claim...more

Insurance Industry Sweeps Retained Asset Account Doubleheader

On August 26, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held in Vander Luitgaren v. Sun Life Ass. Co. of Canada, No. 13–2090, 2014 WL 4197947 (1st Cir. Aug. 26, 2014), that an insurer, acting as a claims administrator,...more

Delaware’s Adoption of Garner — and Practical Ways to Respond

On July 23, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores Inc. v. Indiana Electrical Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW held that plaintiff stockholders, who make a showing of good cause, can inspect documents concerning a...more

Court of Appeals asked to clarify scope of Dodd-Frank Act whistleblower protections

A federal court of appeals has been asked to clarify the scope of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010’s (“Dodd-Frank” or “Act”) whistleblower protections. Specifically, the court has been...more

Fourth Circuit Adds Even More Complexity to Benefit Plan Fiduciaries' Role

The U.S. Supreme Court’s recent Dudenhoeffer decision demonstrated that benefit plan fiduciaries are definitely in the litigation spotlight, and that they should exercise caution to avoid fiduciary liability in garden-variety...more

District Court in Fourth Circuit Rejects Extension of Amara-like Remedies to Benefit Cases

The Honorable Martin Reidinger, sitting in the United States District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, declined Plaintiff’s invitation to extend the applicability of Cigna v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011), to...more

Delaware Supreme Court Permits Stockholders to Overcome Corporation’s Attorney-Client Privilege for “Good Cause”

On July 23, 2014, the Delaware Supreme Court in Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. v. Indiana Elec. Workers Pension Trust Fund IBEW held that plaintiff stockholders, who make a showing of good cause, can inspect documents concerning a...more

Divided Fourth Circuit Panel Rules On Burden of Proving Loss Causation in ERISA Fiduciary Breach Case

That was the sentiment expressed in a blistering dissent by Fourth Circuit Judge J. Harvie Wilkinson in the latest ruling in a lawsuit challenging the decision by the fiduicaries of the RJR 401(k) plan to liquidate two stock...more

Second Circuit Holds Dodd-Frank Whistleblower Provision Does Not Apply Extraterritorially

Last week, in Liu v. Siemens, AG, the Second Circuit held that the Dodd-Frank Act’s whistleblower retaliation provision (15 U.S.C. 78u-6(h)(1)) does not apply extraterritorially, in the first Second Circuit decision to...more

Righting a Wrong: The “Claim of Right” Doctrine and Other Tax Considerations for the Repayment of Pension Plan Overpayments

Pension plan overpayments to participants and their beneficiaries are an all-too-common occurrence. When overpayments occur, a plan administrator’s duties are fairly clear. Typically, the plan administrator must seek...more

The Reckless Fiduciary: When Are Imprudent U.S. Fiduciaries Liable For Plan Losses?

“A pure heart and an empty head are not enough.” This is a quote from an early case defining the scope of ERISA fiduciary liability. However, ERISA has always made fiduciaries responsible only for losses caused by their...more

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Important Decision Affecting Fiduciaries of ESOPs

In a recent decision, Fifth Third Bankcorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 189 L.Ed. 2d 457 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court vacated the “presumption of prudence” previously given to fiduciaries of employee-owned stock ownership plans (ESOPs)...more

SEC Waives Whistleblower Eligibility Requirements to Issue $400,000 Award

On July 31, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC or Commission) issued a $400,000 whistleblower award to an individual who provided information leading to a successful SEC enforcement action. The SEC’s...more

Combination Bonus and Deferral Plan Subject to ERISA

The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals held that a deferred compensation plan through which key employees received annual bonuses and were able to defer both bonuses and other income was an “employee pension benefit plan”...more

Fiduciary Notice Obligations Associated with Change of Carriers

This case discusses the fiduciary obligation of plan administrators to inform participants in advance of ERISA’s statutory notice periods regarding the potential impact caused by a change of life insurance carrier under a...more

Supreme Court Sets New Standards for ERISA Stock-Drop Cases

In the Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer decision issued June 25, 2014, the Supreme Court unanimously rejected the “Moench presumption”, a presumption of prudence for employer stock held in an ESOP or a 401(k) plan company...more

Supreme Court Rules No Presumption of Prudence for ESOP Fiduciaries

The United States Supreme Court clarified the duty of prudence that employee stock ownership plan fiduciaries owe to plan participants in its June 25, 2014 decision Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer 134 S.Ct. 2459 (U.S....more

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