Benefits

  • March 18, 2024

    Doctor Can't Yank NBA Fraud Plea, Feds Insist

    Prosecutors have told a Manhattan federal judge that a doctor accused of assisting a group of NBA players in creating false documents to defraud the league's healthcare plan shouldn't be allowed to yank his guilty plea, arguing evidence shows his guilt and that too much time has passed.

  • March 18, 2024

    4th Circ. Preview: Airport Mishap, Inmate Pay Launch March

    The Fourth Circuit's spring session will task the court with refereeing a power struggle between Virginia regulators and the authority that runs Washington, D.C.'s airports — stemming from a workplace amputation — and delving into the "honest belief" doctrine's role in a Family Medical Leave Act case.

  • March 15, 2024

    Texas Justices Side With Dallas In Retirement Fund Row

    The Texas Supreme Court on Friday handed a win to the city of Dallas in its fight against a retirement fund, saying the fund doesn't have veto power over city lawmakers in a dispute over an ordinance that enshrined term limits for fund board members.

  • March 15, 2024

    Cornell Workers Want High Court Review Of ERISA Fee Suit

    A group of Cornell University employees asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review their sweeping class action accusing the university of mismanaging its employees' retirement savings, saying the Second Circuit deepened a circuit split over what it takes to bring prohibited transaction allegations under federal benefits law.

  • March 15, 2024

    Sanderson Beats Chicken Buyers' Antitrust Retrial Attempt

    Direct chicken purchasers who lost a price-fixing trial against Sanderson Farms cannot have another shot at bringing their case to a jury because their first trial was fair, and their circumstantial evidence couldn't defeat the company's competing proof, an Illinois federal judge has ruled.

  • March 15, 2024

    9th Circ. Pauses Benefits Case Awaiting UBH Challenge

    The Ninth Circuit has told a trial court to halt what United Behavioral Health has called an improper revival of a proposed class action alleging the insurance company illegally denied coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment.

  • March 15, 2024

    Ohio Ambulance Co. Says HR Firm Botched Tax Returns

    An Ohio ambulance company accused its human resources management firm of failing to accurately prepare and submit amended tax returns that would have allowed the company to claim pandemic-era tax credits, according to a complaint filed in an Ohio federal court.

  • March 15, 2024

    GE Reaches Settlement Deal In Ex-Workers' Severance Fight

    General Electric Co. told a Kansas federal court it has reached a deal to resolve a federal benefits lawsuit from two former wind farm workers who alleged they were shortchanged on severance, a settlement coming after the energy giant lost a motion to dismiss the case in December.

  • March 15, 2024

    IRS Asked To Change Effective Date In Part-Time Worker Rule

    The effective date for proposed IRS rules on participation of long-term, part-time employees in retirement plans would violate administrative law if not changed in final regulations, an attorney speaking for a benefits organization told the agency and the U.S. Treasury Department at a hearing Friday.

  • March 15, 2024

    Apple, Investors Cut $490M China Sales Deal Ahead Of Trial

    Apple has made a $490 million deal to resolve a shareholder class action accusing the company and its top brass of misleading investors about iPhone sales in China in a legal fight that was slated for a September jury trial, according to court documents filed Friday in California federal court.

  • March 15, 2024

    DOL Says PBGC Overpayment Returns Don't Violate ERISA

    The U.S. Department of Labor's employee benefits arm says it won't take enforcement action against pension plans that return overpayments made by the nation's pension backstop agency during the COVID-19 pandemic, as Congress continues to probe an accidental $127 million overpayment to a Teamsters plan.

  • March 15, 2024

    $3B In Employment Tax Credits Claimed In Scheme, Feds Say

    Three New Jersey men who said they were leaders of religious and charitable organizations fraudulently claimed nearly $3 billion in employment tax credits from a federal pandemic loan program, according to a criminal complaint filed in New Jersey federal court.

  • March 15, 2024

    Biz Groups Back Yale Win In 2nd Circ. ERISA Battle

    The U.S. Chamber of Commerce told the Second Circuit that Yale University employees are trying to set a "wildly impractical" standard in their request for a new jury trial after they were awarded zero damages in their suit accusing the school of saddling their retirement plan with high fees.

  • March 14, 2024

    NC Tells Appeals Court Worker Was Transferred, Not Demoted

    The state of North Carolina has asked a state appeals court to uphold a state agency's determination that a Department of Health and Human Services employee was not unlawfully demoted, arguing that the facts indicate that the worker was merely reassigned.

  • March 14, 2024

    Extended Workers' Comp Needs High Bar, NC Justices Told

    The North Carolina Department of Public Safety told the state's top court Wednesday that injured workers must clear a higher hurdle to keep collecting disability benefits after their initial workers' compensation runs out, saying an appellate court got it wrong by applying a more lax standard.

  • March 14, 2024

    Mass. High Court Says Tufts Win In Tenure Case 'Premature'

    Tenured professors at Tufts University whose salaries were slashed under a newly enacted requirement that they bring in at least half their income through research grants will have another chance to prove those pay cuts undermine academic freedom, Massachusetts' highest court said Thursday.

  • March 14, 2024

    8th Circ. Questions Patient Standing In ERISA Claims Dispute

    An Eighth Circuit panel appeared skeptical Thursday of reviving a suit from patients insured by UnitedHealth Group alleging a billing practice known as cross-plan offsetting violated federal benefits law, with judges questioning whether the patients sufficiently established injury.

  • March 14, 2024

    NFL Had Ample Cause To Deny Disability Benefits, Court Says

    A Texas federal judge has tossed a former NFL player's suit against the league for denying him permanent disability benefits, following the recommendation from a magistrate judge who determined that, although injuries ultimately ended his football career, eight different doctors had said he was capable of working.

  • March 14, 2024

    NBA Ref Fired Over COVID Vax Refusal Can Get Benefits

    A Manhattan federal court ruled that an NBA referee who was fired for refusing to get the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons can get his retirement benefits, rejecting the league's contention that the prospect of his reemployment made him ineligible.

  • March 14, 2024

    Ex-Mass. Pol Says Federalism Bars COVID Fraud Cases

    A former Massachusetts state senator charged with collecting CARES Act-funded unemployment benefits while being paid for consulting work said in a motion filed Thursday that the 10th Amendment prohibits the federal government from prosecuting him for actions that occurred at the state level.

  • March 14, 2024

    Lockheed Offloaded Pensions In Risky Deal, Retirees Say

    A group of retirees claim aerospace defense company Lockheed Martin committed an "egregious act of disloyalty" when it passed off $9 billion in pension responsibilities for 31,000 beneficiaries to a risky annuity provider, according to a suit filed in Maryland federal court.

  • March 13, 2024

    9th Circ. Unsure If Abortion Pill Suit Harms Red States

    Two Ninth Circuit judges on Wednesday challenged Idaho and other Republican-led states' bid to intervene in Washington's lawsuit seeking to expand access to the abortion pill mifepristone, asking if the states could back up their claims of economic harm.

  • March 13, 2024

    Cherry IP Deception Claims Would Inflame Jury, Canada Says

    The Canadian government has told a Washington federal judge that jurors should not hear allegations that its IP licenser deceived the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office in a trial against Washington fruit growers it claims rebranded a unique Canadian sweet cherry variety as their own, citing the "inflammatory" nature of the growers' counterclaim.

  • March 13, 2024

    Pa. Energy Co. Workers Secure Class Status In 401(k) Suit

    Current and former employees of a Pennsylvania energy company were granted class status Wednesday in their suit alleging the business loaded its employee retirement plans with expensive, underperforming investment options for years, after a federal judge ruled the company couldn't escape the suit.

  • March 13, 2024

    Google Ordered To Turn Over Docs In Discrimination Suit

    A Texas federal judge ordered Google to hand over additional documents Wednesday as the tech giant continued to spar with a former employee, settling the latest spat between the parties in what has become an increasingly contentious battle over the ex-worker's discrimination claims.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Judicial Independence Needs Defense Amid Political Threats

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    Amid recent and historic challenges to the judiciary from political forces, safeguarding judicial independence and maintaining the integrity of the legal system is increasingly urgent, says Robert Peck at the Center for Constitutional Litigation.

  • How Law Firms Can Use Account-Based Marketing Strategies

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    Amid several evolving legal industry trends, account-based marketing can help law firms uncover additional revenue-generating opportunities with existing clients, with key considerations ranging from data analytics to relationship building, say Jennifer Ramsey at stage LLC and consultant Gina Sponzilli.

  • Wilderness Therapy Ruling May Deter Broad Policy Exclusions

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    A Utah federal court's recent ruling in M.A. v. United Healthcare that an insurance policy exclusion for the adolescent behavioral health treatment known as wilderness therapy was ambiguous shows that blanket rejections can go too far, and may preclude new rationales for claim denials, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Strategic Succession Planning At Law Firms Is Crucial

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    Senior partners' reluctance to retire, the rise of the nonequity partner tier and generational differences in expectations are all contributing to an increasing number of departures from BigLaw, making it imperative for firms to encourage retirement among senior ranks and provide clearer leadership pathways to junior attorneys, says Laura Leopard at Leopard Solutions.

  • Cos. Must Show Discretion In Public Statements When Sued

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    A recent securities class action ruling in Massachusetts federal court against software company Pegasystems shows that a boilerplate public denial of a lawsuit's merits can form the basis for a claim that the statement was false or misleading, underscoring the need to use discretion when responding to pending claims, say Brian Kearney and Stephen Kastenberg at Ballard Spahr.

  • Maximizing Law Firm Profitability In Uncertain Times

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    As threats of an economic downturn loom, firms can boost profits by embracing the power of bottom-line management and creating an ecosystem where strategic financial oversight and robust timekeeping practices meet evolved client relations, says Shireen Hilal at Maior Strategic Consulting.

  • 5th Circ. Ruling Reminds Attys That CBP Can Search Devices

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    The Fifth Circuit’s recent Malik v. Department of Homeland Security decision adds to the chorus of federal courts holding that border agents don’t need a warrant to search travelers’ electronic devices, so attorneys should consider certain special precautions to secure privileged information when reentering the U.S., says Jennifer Freel at Jackson Walker.

  • Avoiding The Ethical Pitfalls Of Crowdfunded Legal Fees

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    The crowdfunding of legal fees has become increasingly common, providing a new way for people to afford legal services, but attorneys who accept crowdsourced funds must remember several key ethical obligations to mitigate their risks, say Hilary Gerzhoy and Julienne Pasichow at HWG.

  • An Overview Of 6 PBM Bills Moving Through Congress

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    As legislators turn to pharmacy benefit manager reform as a potential next step in addressing the cost of prescription drugs, six congressional committees have recently advanced PBM-related legislation with generally high bipartisan support, suggesting that a final package is likely to advance through Congress, say Rachel Stauffer and Katie Waldo at McDermott+Consulting.

  • 10th Circ. ERISA Ruling Is Promising For Self-Funded Plans

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    Though some recent appellate decisions have seemingly narrowed application of Employee Retirement Income Security Act preemption, which generally helps protect self-funded health plans from state regulation, the Tenth Circuit's decision in PCMA v. Mulready takes a big step toward reaffirming preemption, say attorneys at Bass Berry.

  • What Large Language Models Mean For Document Review

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    Courts often subject parties using technology assisted review to greater scrutiny than parties conducting linear, manual document review, so parties using large language models for document review should expect even more attention, along with a corresponding need for quality control and validation, say attorneys at Sidley.

  • Series

    Participating In Living History Makes Me A Better Lawyer

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    My role as a baron in a living history group, and my work as volunteer corporate counsel for a book series fan association, has provided me several opportunities to practice in unexpected areas of law — opening doors to experiences that have nurtured invaluable personal and professional skills, says Matthew Parker at the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services.

  • Opinion

    Private Equity Owners Can Remedy Law Firms' Agency Issues

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    Nonlawyer, private-equity ownership of law firms can benefit shareholders and others vulnerable to governance issues such as disparate interests, and can in turn help resolve agency problems, says Michael Di Gennaro at The Law Practice Exchange.

  • Okla. Workers' Comp Case Could Mean Huge Shift In Claims

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    An Oklahoma appeals court's recent opinion in Prewitt v. Quiktrip Corp. may expand the scope of continuing medical maintenance orders in workers' compensation cases to unprecedented levels — with potentially major consequences for employers and insurers, says Steven Hanna at Gilson Daub.

  • How To Protect Atty-Client Privilege While Using Generative AI

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    When using generative artificial intelligence tools, attorneys should consider several safeguards to avoid breaches or complications in attorney-client privilege, say Antonious Sadek and Christopher Campbell at DLA Piper.

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