This CLE webinar will guide employee benefits counsel for defending against wrongful denial of benefits claims involving ERISA plans. The panel will explain the administrative process required under ERISA before litigation may proceed. The panel will also discuss how courts are addressing critical procedural and substantive issues, including standing, contractual time limits, exhaustion of administrative remedies, discovery, standards of review, deference to the administrator's decision, attorneys' fees and preemption.
ERISA litigation remains steady, including cases brought by plan participants, beneficiaries and providers challenging denials of benefits. Defending benefits denial cases involves several procedural and substantive tactics.
Counsel must be vigilant in identifying removal opportunities and leveraging other effective defense approaches. Potential tools in the defense attorney's arsenal include lack of standing, preemption, failure to exhaust administrative remedies, expiration of the statute of limitations and claims-based limitations defenses.
Effective plan design, careful structuring of the administrative process, and informed guidance to those who administer claims can significantly increase the precision of claims administration and maximize the likelihood of success in benefits denial litigation. Advanced preparation by counsel may result in fewer disputes over discovery, conflicts of interest, standards of review, and deference accorded the administrator's decision, and may even reduce attorneys' fees.
Listen as our authoritative panel of ERISA litigators provides counsel with best practices for navigating key issues in defending benefit denial suits. The panel will also discuss key case law developments in benefits suits.
- Exhaustion of administrative remedies
- Standard of review
- State law preemption and removal
- Statute of limitations and other procedural issues
- Scope of conflict discovery and other discovery practices
- Attorneys' fee awards and remedies
The panel will review these and other key issues:
- How can plans preserve and maximize their procedural and substantive defenses through plan design?
- What has been the impact of recent case law on the review of claim administrators' determinations?
- What are best practices for preparing during the administrative process for responding to conflict discovery and protecting the administrative record?
- Robert M. Palumbi, Partner Of Counsel, Dinsmore & Shohl
- Nancy B. Pridgen, Attorney, Pridgen Law
- Steven J. Silver, Attorney, Ogletree Deakins Nash Smoak & Stewart
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