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Three Strikes and You're In - Supreme Court Decides Three ERISA Cases, with More to Come

PLI [Practising Law Institute]

June 25, 2020
Recorded Online

This has been yet another busy term for the Supreme Court in the world of ERISA.  In Retirement Plans Committee of IBM v. Jander, the Court again revisited the applicable standard for pleading a claim of a breach of the duty of prudence where a retirement plan is invested in publicly-traded employer stock.  In Intel Corporation Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma, the Court held that “actual” knowledge may really mean actual knowledge in the context of whether knowledge of an ERISA violation is sufficient to commence the running of the statute of limitations.  And in Thole v. U.S. Bank, the Court held (after whetting our appetites in the Spokeo case several terms ago) that participants in defined benefit pension plans may be constitutionally barred from bringing a claim for breach of fiduciary duty.  There are also other ERISA cases this term, and lurking next term is no less than the fate of the entirety of Obamacare.

Our panelists for this session include two attorneys with a role in several of these cases.  Thomas Tso of the U.S. Department of Labor has had a role in formulating the Department's approach regarding a number of applicable issues.  Radha Pathak of Stris & Maher LLP assisted on behalf of the plaintiffs in preparing the Thole case for the Court, as she has done over the years regarding numerous other cases for which her firm has appeared before the Court.  The session will be moderated by Andrew L. Oringer of Dechert LLP, who has served as our expert moderator for our series on Supreme Court cases in the ERISA area, and who here will also be giving the employer's and fiduciary's perspectives on various issues.

Topics to be addressed will include:

  • A discussion of the ERISA cases before the Supreme Court in 2020
  • Multiple perspectives on the cases, including from the vantage point of a representative of the U.S. Department of Labor and an attorney whose firm has consistently been in cases before the Court
  • A discussion of upcoming cases on the docket

Moderater: Andrew L. Oringer, Dechert LLP


  • Radha Pathak, Stris & Maher LLP
  • Thomas Tso, U.S. Department of Labor

Program Attorney: Amy Taub, Practising Law Institute

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