ERIC Legal Committee Meeting
Washington, DC 20005
ERIC Legal Committee Meeting:
A special opportunity offered to Epstein Becker Green clients
Litigation and other legal issues are unfortunately at the forefront of benefit plan sponsor concerns. Potential for significant liability has grown in recent years because of a number of Supreme Court and appellate court decisions. The Department of Labor (through the Solicitor's Office) has taken an active role in filing amicus briefs and pursuing oral argument opportunities, while pushing its views to substantially expand sponsor and fiduciary litigation exposure and liability risks.
The sponsor community must remain diligent and active in fostering a reasonable interpretation of the ERISA fiduciary, disclosure, benefit claim and related rules. To that end, ERIC has scheduled an ERIC Legal Committee meeting to discuss recent issues, foster the development of appropriate interpretations, and explore protective steps to mitigate some of the emerging risks.
Epstein Becker Green's Kenneth J. Kelly and John Houston Pope will be panelists and we appreciate Miller & Chevalier for hosting the meeting.
The meeting will have an open forum discussion among members attending, as well as panel presentations by several of our participating law firm members. Discussions will include recent developments regarding claims procedures, the fallout from the Amara v. Cigna Supreme Court decision, and the issues and risks of other recent litigation and legal issues (e.g., fees disputes, employer shares funds, and preemption).
ERIC Legal Committee Meeting Agenda:
9:30 a.m. — Refreshments and Registration
10:00 a.m. — Introduction
10:15 a.m. — Benefit Claims: Risks, Traps and Dealing with Litigation
Although there are detailed ERISA regulations regarding claims procedures, there are many issues and emerging interpretations that can result in liability or invitations to the court house if not recognized and addressed. The panel will focus on identifying these issues and offering practical solutions for dealing with them. The panel will also address how to ensure a federal forum when a claim might reach a court, to limit discovery in court as much as possible, and to ensure deference to plan decisions in litigation.
11:45 a.m. — The Post-Amara Landscape & Lunch
Understanding the currently expanding ERISA equitable remedies is critical to the effective and efficient operation of benefit plans and to disclosure issues associated with benefit plans. Sponsors and fiduciaries are now exposed to increasing risks of litigation and liability, both with respect to individual claims and the threat of broad class actions. This open discussion, facilitated by our panelists, will discuss these risks, the latest developments, some possible protective steps, and member concerns during lunch.
1:45 p.m. — Major Cases and Threats at the Supreme Court and the Circuits
Panelists will review the latest developments and fallout from major and emerging cases at the Supreme Court and the various circuits. Discussion topics will include 401(k) fee disputes, ESOP and 401(k) employer stock drop cases, preemption, and other current noteworthy cases.