The Biggest Benefits Rulings Of 2020: Midyear Report

Create: 2020-07-01
Update: 2020-07-01
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The U.S. Supreme Court took up a bumper crop of ERISA cases this term, handing down both a major loss and a substantial win to employees looking to sue their employers over retirement plan mismanagement, as well as punting on two other benefits suits.
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The Biggest Benefits Rulings Of 2020: Midyear Report

The U.S. Supreme Court took up a bumper crop of ERISA cases this term, handing down both a major loss and a substantial win to employees looking to sue their employers over retirement plan mismanagement, as well as punting on two other benefits suits.

Read full article »

Ex-King & Spalding Atty Says Benefits Cutoff Violated Law

A former King & Spalding LLP global finance partner says the Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company violated federal law and ignored medical evidence when it cut off his benefits after he suffered blood and lung complications stemming from a gene mutation.

Complaint attached | Read full article »

Uber Wins Trim Of Sick Leave Claim From Wage Class Action

A California federal judge on Tuesday trimmed Uber drivers' sick leave claim from a putative class action alleging the ride-hailing giant deprived drivers of benefits by misclassifying them as independent contractors, but declined to dismiss other claims and gave drivers a chance to bolster the sick leave allegation.

Order attached | Read full article »

Musician Seeks Cert. For Over 30K In SAG-AFTRA Suit

A musician accusing the Screen Actors Guild‐American Federation of Television and Radio Artists of draining millions of dollars from an artists' fund set up by Congress moved Monday in California federal court to certify a class of 30,000 session musicians and backup singers whose royalties had allegedly been "skimmed."

Motion attached | Read full article »

Patient Loses Atty Fee Bid In ERISA Fight At 5th Circ.

The Fifth Circuit has refused to force Humana to foot a patient's attorney fee tab incurred in her suit over eating disorder treatment coverage, rejecting her argument that the appellate court's revival of her case meant she could collect those fees.

Opinion attached | Read full article »

POLICY & REGULATION

Coronavirus Regulations: A State-By-State Week In Review

As COVID-19 cases surged in multiple regions amid noncompliance with wearing face masks over the past week, governors of newly dubbed hot-spot states and their neighbors, even ones with declining cases and deaths, rushed to pause reopening activities such as indoor dining.

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LITIGATION

Del. Justices Reverse $18B Towers Watson Merger Suit Toss

A split Delaware Supreme Court on Tuesday reversed and sent back for reconsideration the Chancery Court's mid-2019 dismissal of a stockholder suit challenging the $18 billion merger of Towers Watson & Co. and Willis Group, saying the lower court mistakenly deferred too much to the combined company when it dismissed breach of fiduciary duty claims against Towers' CEO.

Opinion attached | Read full article »

Worker's Family Pushes To Keep Virus Death Suit In Pa. Court

The family of a Philadelphia-area meatpacking plant worker who died of COVID-19 wants its case against his employer moved back to state court, arguing its wrongful-death claims are not barred by workers' compensation law or a federal executive order governing the food supply chain.

Motion attached | Read full article »

EXPERT ANALYSIS

What You Say In Online Mediation May Be Discoverable

Mediation conducted online with participants in different states makes it harder to determine where communications were made, increasing the risk that courts will apply laws of a state that does not protect mediation confidentiality, say mediators Jeff Kichaven and Teresa Frisbie and law student Tyler Codina.

Read full article »

LEGAL INDUSTRY

2nd Circ. Frees Attorneys Accused Of Molotov Attack

The Second Circuit on Tuesday freed a pair of attorneys accused of torching a New York Police Department car during recent protests sparked by the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police, finding no clear error in the lower courts.

Read full article »

Kasowitz Faces 3rd Suit Alleging Partner Was Wrongly Fired

A former "rainmaker" for Kasowitz Benson Torres LLP followed two ex-partners in suing the firm over an allegedly wrongful firing, claiming Kasowitz brought him on with promises of lucrative business opportunities only to ditch him when he began suffering from mental illness.

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Bainbridge Of Pierce Bainbridge Sets Up Own Firm In Calif.

James Bainbridge, the last remaining name partner at Pierce Bainbridge Beck Price & Hecht LLP besides founder John Pierce, has set up his own law office in California but will remain affiliated with the struggling firm.

Read full article »

DC Bar OKs Cryptocurrency Payments For Legal Fees

The District of Columbia Bar has given lawyers the green light to accept cryptocurrencies in exchange for legal services, although the body's ethics opinion said attorneys should take care to ensure the arrangements are fair and that the payments are secure.

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NY Law Firm Hits Hartford With COVID-19 Coverage Suit

New York law firm Siegel & Siegel PC has hit Hartford Casualty Insurance Co. with a proposed class action alleging the insurer has wrongfully denied coverage of losses incurred thanks to the coronavirus pandemic, joining the ever-growing number of businesses across the country making similar claims.

Read full article »

Newsom Slashes $200M From Calif. Courts In New Budget

California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a state budget Monday that cuts $200 million in funding from the Golden State's court system, part of drastic measures taken to address an estimated $54 billion shortfall in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Read full article »

NY Courthouses To Check Body Temps: 100° Or Less To Enter

New York state court officials on Tuesday announced that attorneys and other visitors will soon be required to submit to a body temperature check by officers at courthouse doors — if the thermometer reads over 100 degrees, no entry will be permitted.

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Colo. Justices Say Courts Can Extend Speedy Trial Period

The Colorado Supreme Court has established criteria by which trial courts can grant requests for postponement and a tolling of speedy trial periods because of the COVID-19 pandemic, noting that the courts are facing a Catch-22 as they try to balance defendants' rights and scheduling concerns.

Read full article »

Legal Diversity Pros Urge Concrete Change From Leaders

Amid a recent push in the legal industry to commit to diversity and inclusion, experts on Tuesday said they worry momentum on the issue could slow down and urged legal leaders to make institutional changes, including tying money to diversity initiatives.

Read full article »

Key Senators Want To Add New Federal Judgeships This Year

The Republican chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee was joined by the panel's Democrats on Tuesday in calling to create new federal judgeships for the first time in nearly 20 years, but the idea needs broader GOP support to move forward.

Read full article »

Sedgwick Trustee Files Suit Over Unpaid Legal Fees

Defunct law firm Sedgwick LLP has accused the Los Angeles Unified School District, two California companies, and a private individual of failing to pay up a combined $675,000 for legal services the firm provided, plus interest.

Read full article »

Top US Trade Official Who Led China Talks To Rejoin Skadden

Jeffrey Gerrish, the deputy U.S. trade representative who played a lead role in brokering this year's hard-fought trade pact with China, will rejoin Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom LLP in August, the firm announced Tuesday.

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Procopio Boosts IP Practice In Calif. With 7 Arent Fox Attys

Procopio Cory Hargreaves & Savitch LLP said Tuesday that it has hired seven patent attorneys from Arent Fox LLP, including two partners experienced in 5G technology and medical devices, to expand the firm's intellectual property practice in California.

Read full article »

MSG Entertainment Hires First GC After April Spinoff

Madison Square Garden Entertainment Corp. has handed the job of general counsel to an attorney with years of experience in the entertainment industry, including at Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios Inc., the company said Monday, about two months after it became a standalone business.

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Sirius XM Radio Inc.

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