Labor & Employment Finance & Banking Civil Procedure

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ERISA — 9th Circuit: Plaintiffs Can Now Simultaneously Bring Benefit Payment and Equitable Claims

Lane Powell attorney Mike Baylous writes an excellent summary here on big changes to ERISA in the 9th Circuit. Remember that old argument that equitable claims should be dismissed because they are duplicative?...more

Client Alert: Supreme Court Holds Plaintiffs Must Allege "Concrete" Injury to Bring a Claim

"No injury" class actions based on technical statutory violations appear to have taken a significant blow today with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins. The high court held that plaintiffs who allege...more

U.S. Supreme Court Holds Not Every Violation of a Federal Statute is a Ticket to File a Federal Court Lawsuit

On May 16, 2016, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Spokeo, Inc. v. Robins, a case raising the procedural question whether any and all violations of a federal statute are sufficient for a plaintiff to...more

Fifth Circuit Decision Includes Important Holdings for ESOP Fiduciaries

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed on May 3, 2016, the holdings of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi on numerous issues involving the sale of closely held stock from a...more

Appellate Court Notes

Supreme Court Advance Release Opinions: SC19493 - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator, Unemployment Compensation Act - SC19493 Dissent - Standard Oil of Connecticut, Inc. v. Administrator,...more

Layoffs Without WARN-ing: How to Use the Unforeseeable Business Circumstance Exception

A recent federal trial court decision out of Delaware, In re AE Liquidation, Inc. v. Burtch, No. 14-1492-LPS (D. Del. Mar. 31, 2016), illustrates how, even in the context of a very troubled business, the Worker Adjustment and...more

Basic-Supplemental Life Insurance Plan Pricing Structure Upheld in ERISA Class Action

An employee benefit plan that includes an alleged subsidization component for its basic and supplemental options is neither prohibited by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA) nor a violation of the plan...more

A Compilation of Non-Enforcement Actions

Non-Enforcement - Amendments to the Venture Capital Fund Adviser and Private Fund Adviser Exemptions - Last month the SEC’s Division of Investment Management issued a guidance update (Update) addressing recent...more

Employee Benefits Developments - April 2016

Stock Drop Case Update: Settlement Reached in Dudenhoeffer Case; Dismissal of Lehman Brothers Lawsuit Upheld. Two recent developments in stock drop litigation are worth noting: Dudenhoeffer Settlement. In Fifth Third...more

Keeping Your (Top) Hat On

“Top hat” plans are plans employers maintain for a “select group of management or highly compensated employees.” These plans are exempt from many of ERISA’s protections, including eligibility, vesting, fiduciary...more

What Constitutes “Reasonable Efforts” to Inform Plan Participants of Plan Amendments, Which Include a Forum Selection Clause?

You know that many Plans have forum selection clauses. Are they enforceable? YES When a Plan participant claims they “did not know of a plan amendment,” how do you prove the Participant received notice of the...more

The ERISA Litigation Newsletter - April 2016

Editor's Overview - This month we feature three key developments. First, we review the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Gobeille v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 136 S. Ct. 936, 947 (2016) wherein the Supreme Court held that a...more

Is Your Corporation “Zeroing Out” Income at End of Year Through Bonuses? Watch Out!

For the last few years the IRS has warned taxpayers that it would look closely at year-end bonuses that resulted in “zeroing out” taxable income of a corporation by deducting the bonuses as salary rather than a payment of...more

Yes, Attorneys Too Can Blow the Whistle: But When and How Hard?

According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or the “Agency”), an attorney – or any individual, for that matter – should not have to first report misconduct to the SEC to fall under the protections...more

District Court Holds Private Equity Funds Jointly Liable for Portfolio Company's ERISA Withdrawal Liability

The U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts ruled on March 28, 2016 that two private equity funds were jointly and severally liable for the multiemployer pension plan withdrawal liability of their jointly-owned...more

District Court Applies Dudenhoeffer “More Harm Than Good” Standard to Closely-Held Corporation

A federal district court in Mississippi ruled for the first time that the “more harm than good” pleading standard established by the Supreme Court in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, 134 S. Ct. 2459 (2014), applied to...more

Sun Capital Decision Implicates Private Company Investing

On March 28, 2016, the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts (the District Court) delivered a controversial opinion in Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England Teamsters & Trucking Industry Pension Fund...more

District Court Rules Johnson Controls Retirees Not Entitled to Lifetime Health Benefits

A district court in the Middle District of Pennsylvania held that, notwithstanding the Supreme Court’s decision in M & G Polymers USA, LLC v. Tackett, 135 S. Ct. 926 (2015), the Third Circuit’s rule that clear and express...more

Court Enforces Forum Selection Clause in ERISA Plan

A federal district court in New York enforced an ERISA retirement plan’s forum selection clause and transferred the case to the District of New Jersey. The plaintiff argued that the forum selection clause was invalid because...more

Advising On Their Own: Financial Advisors’ Class Claims Defeated

Employers have a new tool for opposing conditional and class certification of overtime claims by financial advisors and other exempt employees—last week, a judge in the District of New Jersey denied conditional and class...more

Class Action Roundup: Winter 2016

Where the (Class) Action Is - This issue of Roundup wraps up 2015 with another slate of interesting cases spanning industries and subject matter. The running theme of ascertainability is now stretching into antitrust...more

Sun Capital Court Finds that Common Industry Practices Exposed PE Funds to Pension Plan Liabilities

A group of related private equity (“PE”) funds were found liable for a bankrupt portfolio company’s pension plan debts in the latest and most worrisome decision in the long-running Sun Capital Partners III, LP v. New England...more

SOX Whistleblower Receives $250,000 Award Related to State Wage Act Complaints

The ARB recently concluded that a former program manager was entitled to recover more than $250,000 in back pay and benefits under Section 806 of SOX based on his discipline and constructive discharge. The ARB clarified that...more

CFTC Announces $10 Million Whistleblower Award, Its Largest Award Yet

The Commodity Futures Trading Commission (“CFTC”) recently announced the largest ever award under its Whistleblower Program created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The whistleblower...more

A Review of Recent Whistleblower Developments

SEC Awards Bounty to Whistleblower, But Offsets Award for a Judgment Against the Whistleblower - The extent to which the SEC would reward whistleblowers, who themselves engaged in wrongdoing, has been the subject of...more

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