Benefits

  • March 06, 2024

    Insurer Says Mountaineer's Death Not 'Accidental'

    Reliance Standard Life Insurance Co. asked the Eleventh Circuit on Wednesday to reverse a decision saying it has to pay out an accidental death benefit to the family of a Harvard medical professor who died trying to summit a mountain in Pakistan, arguing that there isn't enough evidence to show that his death was an accident.

  • March 06, 2024

    Republicans Advance Bicameral Effort To Halt Contractor Rule

    Republican lawmakers in the U.S. Senate and House introduced legislation Wednesday that aims to pump the brakes on the U.S. Department of Labor's independent contractor rule a few days before it goes into effect.

  • March 06, 2024

    Epic Tesla Fee Bid May Blaze Extraordinary Chancery Path

    An unprecedented $5 billion-plus stock-based fee award sought by class attorneys who recently short-circuited Tesla CEO Elon Musk's 12-step, $51 billion compensation package has set up an equally unprecedented test for Delaware Court of Chancery fee guidelines and a potential award one law expert described as "dynastic wealth."

  • March 06, 2024

    Divided SEC Adopts Scaled-Back Climate Reporting Regs

    The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday adopted climate reporting standards that will require some of the nation's largest companies to publicly disclose their greenhouse gas emissions, and it was met almost immediately with a lawsuit despite the final rule scrapping a controversial proposal to mandate so-called Scope 3 disclosures.

  • March 05, 2024

    Amazon Workers Push For Class Status In Military Leave Suit

    Current and former Amazon employees urged a Washington federal court to grant them class status in their lawsuit accusing the company of demoting or firing workers who took time off for military leave, saying the 15,000 members of the proposed class have plenty in common.

  • March 05, 2024

    FTC Chair Decries PE's Healthcare Impacts As Probe Starts

    Federal Trade Commission Chair Lina Khan on Tuesday lamented what she deemed the "financialization" of healthcare resulting from private equity buyouts, in remarks coinciding with the launch of a multijurisdictional request for public comment on PE and other companies' growing control over the healthcare system.

  • March 05, 2024

    Express Scripts Gets Pharmacy's Contract Breach Suit Cut

    A Missouri federal judge tossed out two claims in a five-count suit accusing Express Scripts of conducting a faulty audit on a New York pharmacy and then wrongfully terminating their contract, saying the pharmacy can't sue under two laws it cited.

  • March 05, 2024

    KPMG Workers' $650K ERISA Fee Suit Deal Gets Initial OK

    KPMG and 44,000 of its workers have agreed to a $650,000 settlement in a class action alleging that the Big Four accounting firm weighed down the employees' $6 billion retirement fund with excessive fees and costly investments, according to court documents.

  • March 05, 2024

    4th Circ. Won't Let SC Medicaid Drop Planned Parenthood

    The Fourth Circuit rejected on Tuesday South Carolina's attempt to terminate its Medicaid provider agreement with Planned Parenthood, unpersuaded by the state's argument that a recent U.S. Supreme Court decision compelled a different outcome.

  • March 05, 2024

    Meta Tells Chancery It Didn't 'Utterly Fail' To Stop Exploitation

    Shareholders accusing Meta's leaders of "utterly failing" to eliminate pedophilia, human trafficking and child sexual exploitation on its social media platforms didn't ask enough about the company's efforts and haven't shown any "corporate trauma," an attorney for Meta's board told Delaware's Court of Chancery on Tuesday.

  • March 05, 2024

    Splunk Investors Get Final OK For $30M Deal, $7.5M Atty Fees

    A California federal judge has granted final approval to a $30 million settlement, including $7.5 million in fees for class counsel, to resolve a securities class action accusing software company Splunk of lying about strategies it used to meet cash flow goals.

  • March 05, 2024

    Aetna Accused Of 'Reprehensible' ER Services Underpayment

    Multiple Aetna health insurance entities were hit with a lawsuit in Ohio accusing them of "reprehensible systemic underpayments" to healthcare workers who provide emergency services, underpayments that the complaint said were damaging to the medical system.

  • March 04, 2024

    Puerto Rico Fiscal Board Argues For Utility Reorg Plan

    Puerto Rico's fiscal oversight board told a federal judge on Monday that it had the only plan to save the island's troubled electric utility, while bondholders claimed the board had created the plan specifically to shortchange them.

  • March 04, 2024

    5th Circ. May Uphold National Block On ACA Preventive Care

    The Fifth Circuit appeared open Monday to striking down Affordable Care Act requirements forcing insurers to cover a range of preventive treatments such as mammograms and HIV prevention medication, homing in on constitutional problems with how members of a task force setting coverage mandates were appointed.

  • March 04, 2024

    Teamsters Request Discovery Stay In $137M Fight With Yellow

    A Kansas federal judge should decide whether Yellow Corp.'s $137 million lawsuit against the Teamsters can survive the union's dismissal bid before making the union produce more documents, the Teamsters said, looking to pause the discovery process in litigation accusing the union of holding up a corporate restructuring.

  • March 04, 2024

    Vax Refusal Doesn't Negate Benefits, Mass. Top Court Says

    Massachusetts' highest court ruled Monday that an employee's refusal of the COVID-19 vaccine for religious reasons can be grounds for dismissal, but not for stripping them of unemployment benefits.

  • March 04, 2024

    Musk Fired Twitter Execs To Avoid $200M Bill, Suit Says

    Elon Musk fired four top Twitter executives just minutes after he closed on his deal to buy the company, now called X Corp., to avoid paying them $200 million in severance benefits, they told a California federal court Monday.

  • March 04, 2024

    Carvana, Execs Beat 'Puzzle Pleading' Investor Suit, For Now

    An Arizona federal judge dismissed for now a consolidated investor class action alleging Carvana's promised "limitless growth machine" business model was a lemon that artificially inflated its share prices long enough for its executives to sell $3.9 billion of their own stock, saying the investors need to rework their "puzzle pleading."

  • March 04, 2024

    Christian Group Nabs Injunction In EEOC Trans Care Suit

    A North Dakota federal judge said Monday a Christian business group's members no longer have to provide coverage for gender transition care because it violates their religious beliefs, granting the group a key win in its suit challenging the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's take on federal anti-discrimination law.

  • March 04, 2024

    Catching Up With Delaware's Chancery Court

    A Swedish music producer's takeover, a proposed award payable in Tesla shares, Truth Social stock squabbles, and an unusually blunt slap-down from the bench added up to an especially colorful week in Delaware's famous court of equity. On top of that came new cases about alleged power struggles, board entrenchment, consumer schemes and merger disputes.

  • March 04, 2024

    Sodexo Nicotine Surcharge Suit Gets Backing From DOL

    The U.S. Department of Labor backed a proposed class action accusing food provider Sodexo of unlawfully charging employees who use nicotine $1,200 more per year for health insurance, telling the Ninth Circuit that the arbitration agreement the company wants to use to sink the case conflicts with federal benefits law.

  • March 04, 2024

    L3Harris Agrees To Pay $650K To Wrap 401(k) Class Action

    Defense contractor L3Harris will pay $650,000 to end a class action accusing it of running afoul of federal benefits law by saddling retirement plan participants with high fees and expensive investment options, according to a Florida federal court filing.

  • March 01, 2024

    McDermott Investors' Cert. Bid Should Be Denied, Judge Says

    Investors in energy industry engineering company McDermott International Inc. shouldn't be granted class certification in their suit over the company's $6 billion all-stock acquisition of Chicago Bridge & Iron Co., a federal magistrate judge has determined.

  • March 01, 2024

    Tesla Stock For Fees? Attys Who Got Musk's Pay Cut Say Yes

    The lawyers who convinced the Delaware Chancery Court to scuttle Elon Musk's proposed $55 billion Tesla compensation package on Friday filed a request for legal fees that came with a twist — they want to be paid in Tesla stock that rounds out to about $5.6 billion.

  • March 01, 2024

    Aetna Can't Escape Fertility Bias Suit From Same-Sex Couple

    A California federal judge has declined to toss a woman's case challenging Aetna's fertility treatment coverage as discriminatory, finding at this stage, she has sufficiently argued that the policy discriminates against LGBTQ couples in violation of the Affordable Care Act.

Expert Analysis

  • Why It's Time To Regulate Plan Data As An Asset

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    With cyberattacks on the rise and the availability of artificial intelligence technology to the public, now is the time for the U.S. Department of Labor to regulate plan data as a plan asset to help protect participants from cybertheft and misuse, say attorneys at Michael Best.

  • ABA's Money-Laundering Resolution Is A Balancing Act

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    While the American Bar Association’s recently passed resolution recognizes a lawyer's duty to discontinue representation that could facilitate money laundering and other fraudulent activity, it preserves, at least for now, the delicate balance of judicial, state-based regulation of the legal profession and the sanctity of the attorney-client relationship, say attorneys at Ballard Spahr.

  • Law Firm Professional Development Steps To Thrive In AI Era

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    As generative artificial intelligence tools rapidly evolve, professional development leaders are instrumental in preparing law firms for the paradigm shifts ahead, and should consider three strategies to help empower legal talent with the skills required to succeed in an increasingly complex technological landscape, say Steve Gluckman and Anusia Gillespie at SkillBurst Interactive.

  • Opinion

    9th Circ.'s Latest UBH Ruling Ignores Case's Core Issue

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    The Ninth Circuit’s recent decision to vacate its earlier opinion in Wit v. United Behavioral Health frustratingly disregards the case’s key issue of benefits coverage for mental health treatment, and illogically elevates an insurer's discretionary authority over the medically necessary needs of patients, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • The Basics Of Being A Knowledge Management Attorney

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Michael Lehet at Ogletree Deakins discusses the role of knowledge management attorneys at law firms, the common tasks they perform and practical tips for lawyers who may be considering becoming one.

  • $735M Tesla Settlement Drives Home Lessons For Boards

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    As one of the largest settlements of its kind, the recent $735 million deal between Tesla and 11 nonemployee directors highlights the increased scrutiny placed on compensation practices and director independence, and provides further caution to members of boards and their compensation committees, say attorneys at Cleary.

  • To Hire And Keep Top Talent, Think Beyond Compensation

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    Firms seeking to appeal to sophisticated clients and top-level partners should promote mentorship, ensure that attorneys from diverse backgrounds feel valued, and clarify policies about at-home work, says Patrick Moya at Quaero Group.

  • 2nd Circ. Goldman Ruling May Hinder Securities Classes

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    The Second Circuit's recent Arkansas Teacher Retirement System v. Goldman Sachs decision, decertifying a class of investors and seemingly resolving a decadelong dispute, makes it substantially more difficult for plaintiffs to certify securities classes based on generic misstatements — a significant win for the defense bar, say attorneys at Willkie.

  • Perspectives

    More States Should Join Effort To Close Legal Services Gap

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    Colorado is the most recent state to allow other types of legal providers, not just attorneys, to offer specific services in certain circumstances — and more states should rethink the century-old assumptions that shape our current regulatory rules, say Natalie Anne Knowlton and Janet Drobinske at the University of Denver.

  • Opinion

    10th Circ. Remand Of ERISA Claims To Insurer Is Problematic

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    The Tenth Circuit recently gave the defendant another bite at the apple in David P. v. United Healthcare by remanding Employee Retirement Income Security Act claims for reprocessing, but the statute lacks any provision authorizing remands of ERISA cases, says Mark DeBofsky at DeBofsky Law.

  • Identifying Trends And Tips In Litigation Financing Disclosure

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    Growing interest and controversy in litigation financing raise several salient concerns, but exploring recent compelled disclosure trends from courts around the country can help practitioners further their clients' interests, say Sean Callagy and Samuel Sokolsky at Arnold & Porter.

  • Series

    The Pop Culture Docket: Judge Elrod On 'Jury Duty'

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    Though the mockumentary series “Jury Duty” features purposely outrageous characters, it offers a solemn lesson about the simple but brilliant design of the right to trial by jury, with an unwitting protagonist who even John Adams may have welcomed as an impartial foreperson, says Fifth Circuit Judge Jennifer Elrod.

  • 4 Business-Building Strategies For Introvert Attorneys

    Excerpt from Practical Guidance
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    Introverted lawyers can build client bases to rival their extroverted peers’ by adapting time-tested strategies for business development that can work for any personality — such as claiming a niche, networking for maximum impact, drawing on existing contacts and more, says Ronald Levine at Herrick Feinstein.

  • Opinion

    3 Ways Justices' Disclosure Defenses Miss The Ethical Point

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    The rule-bound interpretation of financial disclosures preferred by U.S. Supreme Court Justices Samuel Alito and Clarence Thomas — demonstrated in their respective statements defending their failure to disclose gifts from billionaires — show that they do not understand the ethical aspects of the public's concern, says Jim Moliterno at the Washington and Lee University School of Law.

  • Caregiver Flexibility Is Crucial For Atty Engagement, Retention

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    As the battle for top talent continues post-pandemic, many firms are attempting to attract employees with progressive hybrid working environments — and supporting caregivers before, during and after an extended leave is a critically important way to retain top talent, says Manar Morales at The Diversity & Flexibility Alliance.

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