Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter

Issue: Fall 2017

About This Issue

Between the lethal hurricanes’ devastation from Texas through Florida and the Leeward Islands, the lethal wildfires across the west, and the social and political turmoil, we could conclude that the ancient Chinese curse: “May you live in interesting times” had been visited upon us. Except, there is no record of the saying ever having been Chinese which would make it a fake news sort of thing and we strive to avoid that here. We could become reflective and go with a tune written by Jimmy Buffet and Matt Betton, “Breathe In, Breathe Out, Move On.” Perhaps instead we could celebrate what some would call the shattering of a “glass ceiling” as for the first time female professional sailors earned their way aboard each and every boat in the fleet for the start of the 2017-2018 Volvo Ocean round-the world sailing race. We table our musings on these issues and others because it is time for the final 2017 edition of the EBC Newsletter. Our continuing efforts to address a broad spectrum of issues and developments of interest bring you the following offerings in this edition:

  • Our annual fall feature “Circuit Round Up” is brought to us this year by Mark E. Schmidtke, Cristin J. Mack and Rebecca K. Bryant, of Ogletree Deakins who offer items of interest from the courts since our Mid-Winter Meeting;
  • In “Richard Posner, ERISA, and Me,” Mark D. DeBofsky of DeBofsky Sherman & Casciari P.C..commemorates the retirement of the prolific jurist by returning to his personal appellate experiences;
  • In “What Does de novo Review Mean Under ERISA? An en banc Fifth Circuit will answer that question for the 30+ million people laboring under its unique interpretation,” Brent Dorian Brehm of Kantor & Kantor LLP discusses the significance of the pending Fifth Circuit decision on the standard of review in ERISA benefit claims;
  • In “A Rule in Flux,” Karen L. Handorf and Daniel Sutter of Cohen Milstein Sellers & Toll PLLC provide an update on the litigation concerning the Fiduciary Rule in federal courts across the country;
  • In “Seventh Circuit holds forum selection clause enforceable,” Radha Pathak, Of Counsel, Stris & Maher, LLP discusses recent developments in the enforceability of forum selection clauses in ERISA cases;
  • Our new Committee Management Co-Chair, Russell Hirschhorn offers his thoughts on succeeding Al Holifield in that role;
  • Our new Union Co-Chair Ben Eisner also offers his thoughts as he takes on the new leadership role as he succeeds Judy Broach;
  • Sara Johnson returns to provide some insights into the culinary delights awaiting us all at the 2018 Mid-Winter Meeting in “Dining with Sarah,” and
  • The ever popular “As we go to e-Press” returns.

The members of the editorial board remain keenly interested in your feedback on whether we are capturing what you would like to see in your newsletter. They would also be delighted to discuss article ideas you may have. Those with thoughts on issues they would like to see addressed and/or thoughts on articles should contact one of the editors.

Editors

Jim Nelson, Greenberg Traurig LLP

Joanne Roskey, U.S. Department of Labor

Michelle Roberts, Roberts Bartolic LLP

Doug Selwyn, Conner & Winters LLP

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