Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter

Issue: Winter 2015

About This Issue

The days grow shorter and the holidays approach. Nature has blessed us all with unique local weather courtesy of El Nino conditions. The regular season of college football comes to an end and potential new New Year's Eve tradition of championship playoff games begins. All of which means that it is time for the final 2015 edition of the EBC Newsletter. Our continuing efforts to address a broad spectrum of issues and developments of interest bring you the following offerings:

  • Co-chair Margi Butler provides her thoughts as she begins her term as the Public Co-Chair;
  • Martina Sherman provides her thoughts on the ever present issue of benefit plan subrogation in her piece SCOTUS Revisits ERISA Reimbursement in Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit Plan;
  • Mary Ellen Signorille analyzes the recent Supreme Court argument in Gobeille v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company: Is Preemption Still Alive and Well?, addressing whether Vermont's healthcare data collection law is preempted or not;
  • Mayoung Nham offers us a glimpse of the wonderful world of multiemployer plan partition in Multiemployer Pension Reform Act of 2014: PBGC Guidance on Partitions;
  • The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel inducted its 2015 class of Fellows;
  • See below for a message from the Co-Chairs about the Midwinter Meeting;
  • We also have Sarah Johnson's Restaurant Review for the Las Vegas meeting for those inclined toward planning their culinary adventures ahead of time; 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.

Midwinter Meeting Highlights

The odds are great! Join us in sunny and warm Las Vegas, Nevada for the 2016 Midwinter Meeting of the ABA Employee Benefits Committee (EBC) from February 10-13, 2016 at the Four Seasons Las Vegas. The agenda is packed with substantive and practical presentations covering the most recent and significant developments in employee benefits with national experts in their fields. The panels present the perspectives of management, employee, union, in-house, government and academic counsel in an exciting and collegial manner.

The program will feature EBSA Assistant Secretary Phyllis Borzi and Professor Teresa Ghilarduccii of The New School's Retirement Equity Lab. The panels will provide insight to both litigators and transactional lawyers.  The panels include a Supreme Court Update, External Review Pros and Cons, Multiemployer Plan Reform Act: Implementation, Wellness Programs, ACA's Expansive Nondiscrimination Provisions and Transgender Benefits, Multi-Employer Plan Potpourri, Class Actions After This Supreme Court Term, Interaction of 502(A)(3) and 502(A)(1)(B) Claims After Rochow and Silva, Excise Tax on High Cost Health Plans, Fiduciary Update, Selection and Monitoring Service Providers Post Tibble and Retiree Health Claims After Tackett. In addition, there is a session on the priorities and initiatives of the Employee Benefits Security Administration and a session on ethical issues in employee benefits practice. There are also several advanced practice sessions, including the Anatomy of a Contract, Mock Mediation, and a Retirement Plan Merger Workshop.

We are excited about this year's diversity luncheon, which features a panel on diversity issues within law firms. There will be many networking opportunities throughout the meeting, including a women's luncheon, constituency meetings, and evening receptions.

The EBC prides itself on welcoming all sectors of the labor and employment bar, and that is reflected   in our panels and our many networking events. Our substantive subcommittees cover a wide variety of issues, and you are welcome to join a subcommittee and become as involved as you like in our work. Each subcommittee relates to a chapter of the Employee Benefits Treatise and provides an update for the meeting.

We look forward to seeing you in Las Vegas, to meeting new friends and reconnecting with old ones. We are betting on a great meeting.

Sincerely yours,

Marjorie Butler, Public Co-Chair

Judith Broach, Union & Employee Co-Chair

Al Holifield, Employer Co-Chair

Todd Jackson, Employee Co-Chair


Jim Nelson, Greenberg Traurig, LLP

Joanne Roskey, U.S. Department of Labor

Catha Worthman, Feinberg Jackson Worthman and Wasow, LLP

Doug Selwyn, Conner & Winters LLP

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