• March 22, 2018

    DOL Told To Rethink Denial Of Benefits For Uranium Worker

    A Kentucky federal judge has revived a workers’ compensation benefit petition from a former painter and laborer who said he developed a respiratory disorder at a government uranium-production facility, saying a doctor’s report casts doubt on whether the U.S. Department of Labor gave all available medical records to the expert whose opinion torpedoed the claim.

  • March 22, 2018

    NJ Sick Leave Bill Advances Amid Health Worker Concerns

    A New Jersey Assembly panel on Thursday advanced legislation that would require employers to provide earned sick leave to their workers in the state amid criticism that the proposed measure would not cover per-diem health care workers and thus put patients at risk.

  • March 22, 2018

    Union Pacific Urges Justices To Preserve Win On Stocks

    The Union Pacific Railroad Co. urged the U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday not to overturn its victory in the Eighth Circuit that deemed its stock options for employees nontaxable, even if the high court rules against railroad companies in a similar and separate case before it.

  • March 22, 2018

    Elon Musk Could Rake In Billions Under Compensation Plan

    Tesla shareholders on Wednesday approved a gargantuan performance-based compensation package for the company’s leader, Elon Musk, but he would need to grow the carmaker to rival Google’s parent and other tech giants in order to receive all of its nearly $56 billion potential maximum value.

  • March 22, 2018

    Health Care System Must Face Some Claims In ERISA Suit

    A federal judge on Thursday refused to grant Providence Health & Services’ bid to toss the entirety of a proposed class action accusing the health care system of mismanaging a defined contribution retirement plan, denying its bid to dismiss investment management claims for lack of standing.

  • March 22, 2018

    9th Circ. Backs UnitedHealthcare Win In Mental Rehab Suit

    A Ninth Circuit panel on Wednesday backed a win for UnitedHealthcare in a suit alleging the insurer violated a LifeLock Inc. welfare benefit plan by denying coverage for a woman's mental health facility stay.  

  • March 21, 2018

    Goldman Sachs Floats Deal In Investor's Director Pay Suit

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and its board members have filed a proposed settlement to resolve litigation in Delaware court by a shareholder who alleged the company’s stock incentive program paid its directors too much, documents made public Wednesday reveal.

  • March 21, 2018

    Benefits Start When Judges Take Office, Calif. Panel Says

    Superior court judges elected in 2012 were not grandfathered into older and more favorable retirement benefits, a California appeals court affirmed Tuesday, since they took office after the California Public Employees’ Pension Reform Act of 2013 went into effect.

  • March 21, 2018

    9th Circ. Nixes Trusts' ERISA Suit Over Unpaid Contributions

    The Ninth Circuit on Wednesday refused to revive several employee benefit trust funds’ ERISA claims against two officers of a glass and glazing company in their suit seeking unpaid contributions allegedly owed under labor agreements governing benefit plans they managed for the company.

  • March 21, 2018

    Full Fed. Circ. Won't Review VA's Agent Orange Policy Tweak

    A majority of Federal Circuit judges declined Wednesday to revisit a decision rejecting Vietnam War Navy veterans' challenge to a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs manual tweak instructing adjudicators to deny certain Agent Orange-related benefit claims, after a court panel previously ruled that it lacked jurisdiction.

  • March 21, 2018

    Electrical Co. Execs Reach $1.75M Deal To End ERISA Suit

    Participants in an electrical contractor's employee stock ownership plan asked a California federal court Tuesday to grant preliminary approval of a $1.75 million settlement that would end allegations the company's executives manipulated its stock price to the detriment of plan participants, flouting the Employee Retirement Income Security Act.

  • March 20, 2018

    Navistar Wins Latest Round In Fight Over Ex-VP's Benefits

    A former vice president of truck engine manufacturer Navistar was struck a blow in Illinois federal court Monday in his fight for a larger benefits package after his termination when a federal judge found no evidence for his argument there was a "change in control" of the company prior to his exit.

  • March 20, 2018

    Tops Markets' Deal With Vendor Wins Bankruptcy Judge's OK

    A New York bankruptcy judge overrode objections from a Teamsters pension fund and approved a settlement between bankrupt regional grocery chain Tops Markets LLC and its chief supplier, saying there was no evidence of insider dealing and that the math was in the insolvent company’s favor.

  • March 20, 2018

    UnitedHealth Group Gets Pushback On Bid To Exit ERISA Suit

    A proposed class of beneficiaries accusing UnitedHealth Group Inc. and two subsidiaries of improperly denying claims for prosthetic devices urged a California federal court on Monday to reject the parent company's bid to exit the suit, arguing that it exerted control over its units' claims handling process.

  • March 20, 2018

    Justices Cut Through 'Gibberish' To Uphold Shareholder Suits

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday showed it could cut a direct path through difficult statutory language when it ruled that investors could keep bringing certain securities class actions in state courts — and issued a decision that defense attorneys warned will cause a flood of new shareholder suits before state judges around the country.

  • March 20, 2018

    Wells Fargo Reaches Confidential Deal Resolving ERISA Suit

    Wells Fargo told a Minnesota federal judge on Tuesday that it’s reached a confidential settlement resolving pension law claims brought by a slew of institutional investors who accused the bank of mismanaging a multibillion-dollar securities lending program they participated in.

  • March 20, 2018

    Stocks Can Be Taxed Like Currency, Gov't Tells High Court

    The U.S. government urged the country’s highest court to affirm a Seventh Circuit ruling in a $13.3 million lawsuit that nonqualified stock options are taxable, saying in a brief Monday that stocks are the “practical equivalent” of currency.

  • March 20, 2018

    Alcoholic Worker's Disability Benefits Cutoff Ruled Proper

    A Michigan federal magistrate judge on Monday ruled that an insurance company rightly cut off disability benefits for a former anesthesiologist, finding that his inability to work stemmed from mental illness and alcoholism and not physical injuries suffered from a fall after drinking.

  • March 20, 2018

    DOL's Health Plan Worries Overblown, Biz Advocates Say

    Concerns that the U.S. Department of Labor’s plan to make it easier for businesses to offer so-called association health plans will send costs surging for sicker workers are overblown, business advocates told a House of Representatives subcommittee Tuesday.

  • March 20, 2018

    Marriott Front Desk Workers Drop OT Suit

    A proposed class of front desk workers in Florida federal court on Monday dropped their Fair Labor Standards Act action claiming Marriott International Inc. and 10 related entities shorted workers on overtime and benefits, backing out after Marriott claimed the lead plaintiff has no standing to sue entities that didn’t employ her.

Expert Analysis

  • Opinion

    Companies Should Avoid The BigLaw Bonus Structure

    Michael Moradzadeh

    Since passage of the Trump tax plan last year, companies have been touting bonuses they’ve handed down to rank-and-file employees. This highlights the trend of employers favoring bonuses over pay raises in the belief that variable, short-term rewards are less risky to the business than permanent increases in labor costs. But law firms have been using this strategy for years — and there are dangers, says Michael Moradzadeh of Rimon PC.

  • Limitations Of Exclusivity Defense In Workers’ Comp Cases

    Pierre Grosdidier

    The Corpus Christi Court of Appeals' recent decision in Halferty v. Flextronics America is important because it confirms that the higher participants in the usual construction contractual chain cannot merely push workers’ compensation requirements down to the lowest-tier subcontractors and still enjoy the exclusivity defense, says Pierre Grosdidier of Haynes and Boone LLP.

  • Chief Innovation Officer — The New Star On Legal Teams

    Mark Williamson

    Over the past few years, forward-thinking law firms have expanded their talent pools to include a chief innovation officer, whose responsibilities include spearheading the implementation of technology. It is a smart move, says ​​​​​​​Mark Williamson, co-founder and chief technology officer at Hanzo Archives Ltd.

  • The First SEC Action Following Option-Grants Probe

    Michael Dicke

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s recent action against Credit Karma — the first enforcement action to result from a sweeping investigation that began in 2016 — reinforces comments from various SEC leaders that the agency is concerned about option-granting practices of late-stage private companies. It also demonstrates the SEC’s continued interest in Silicon Valley companies' governance procedures, say Michael Dicke and... (continued)

  • Opinion

    National Lawyers Need National Licensing For National Courts

    EJ Hurst II

    Just last month, a number of legal groups asked the Northern District of California to strike its rule requiring that, before seeking federal court admission, attorneys first be licensed by the state of California. It is irrational to exclude seasoned federal practitioners from general admission due to state bar approval while allowing raw state lawyers who have never been inside a federal courtroom, says attorney EJ Hurst.

  • Lawyering A La Carte: Unbundled Dispute Resolution Services

    David Wallace

    There's no reason for limiting unbundled legal services to family law or even pro se litigants. Wider adoption, especially by litigators, presents an opportunity to correct law's distribution and pricing problem, to make justice practically available to all, and to dethrone litigation as the "sport of kings," says New York-based trial lawyer David Wallace.

  • You’re Perfect, Now Change: Perfectionism Hurts Lawyers

    Peter Norman

    Like medical professionals, lawyers often resist policies to reduce errors due to the culture of perfectionism that permeates the industry. Autonomy is key to the legal professional's prestige and the outward demonstration of competence is key to maintaining autonomy, says Peter Norman of Winnieware LLC.

  • Opinion

    Grassley, Feinstein Debate Judicial Vetting, Obstruction

    Sen. Chuck Grassley

    It is undisputed that in his first year in office President Trump was able to confirm a significant number of judges to the federal bench. How it happened — and whether it's a good thing — are debated here by Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, and Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.

  • Inside The High Court's Take On Interpreting CBAs

    Steven Swirsky

    The U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in CNH Industrial v. Reese, reaffirming that collective bargaining agreements must be construed according to ordinary contract principles, shows that the court will brook no outliers with respect to the mandatory application of traditional rules of contractual interpretation, say attorneys with Epstein Becker Green.

  • No Bright-Line Rule For 'Telework' As ADA Accommodation

    Alexis Ronickher

    As technology has evolved to make telecommuting possible in more types of jobs, so too has the answer to the question of whether it's a reasonable accommodation under the Americans with Disabilities Act. However, as demonstrated by two recent Sixth Circuit decisions, at least one pattern can be discerned in these types of cases, say Alexis Ronickher and Mehreen Rasheed of Katz Marshall & Banks LLP.