Moderator: Howard Shapiro, Proskauer Rose LLP; Robert W. Rachal, Proskauer Rose LLP; Todd Jackson, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson, P.C.; Catha Worthman, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson, P.C.; Madeline Chimento Rea, Proskauer Rose LLP
Moderator: Howard Shapiro, Proskauer Rose LLP
Howard Shapiro is a partner in the Employee Benefits, Executive Compensation & ERISA Litigation Practice Center of his firm, resident in the New Orleans office. He is a nationally known ERISA litigator, listed by The National Law Journal as one of the top 40 benefits lawyers in the country in the category of litigators representing management. Mr. Shapiro is ranked in the first tier of ERISA litigators by Chambers USA, which commends him as “a top class national player” with an “excellent practice with both breadth and depth.” He has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1997, where he is one of the few lawyers listed in two separate categories: ERISA and Labor/Employment.Mr. Shapiro’s national ERISA litigation practice has focused on defending matters raising sophisticated preemption issues; fiduciary issues; fiduciary misrepresentation claims; ESOP litigation issues; 401(k) plan issues; blackout period cases; plan asset diversification issues; prohibited transaction allegations; directed trustee issues; cash balance cases; independent contractor litigation; “serious consideration” cases; retiree rights litigation; severance pay cases; executive compensation/“top hat” litigation; Section 510 cases; benefit claims cases; ERISA class actions; and class-wide challenges to health plans that do not offer contraception benefits. He has appeared in federal courts from coast to coast, maintaining an active national ERISA litigation practice. In addition, Mr. Shapiro was an author and editor of the first two editions of Bloomberg BNA’s Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, with Fall Cumulative 2013 Supplement. He has written law review articles, outlines, and other publications and speaks frequently at national seminars and other programs on ERISA litigation topics.Mr. Shapiro earned a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, where he served as Comment Editor for the Loyola Law Review; an M.A. from McGill University; and a B.A. from Tulane University. He is admitted to practice in Louisiana, before the U.S. Supreme Court, and before several U.S. Courts of Appeal and District Courts.Robert W. Rachal, Proskauer Rose LLPRobert Rachal, Senior Counsel with Proskauer Rose, focuses on complex ERISA and labor and employment litigation, and he also advises employers on ERISA benefit and fiduciary issues. Mr. Rachal has assisted clients in the defense of numerous class actions under ERISA. Some recent examples include Hans v. Tharaldson (representing trustee fiduciary against claim ESOP paid more than fair market value for company’s stock); Allen v. Honeywell (representing company and plans against claims plan merger illegally cutback benefits, and that plan terms entitled class of participants to greater benefits); In re EDS ERISA Litigation (represented company and its officers and plan fiduciaries against claims they breached their fiduciary duties regarding investments in employer stock); and Hastings v. Wilson (represented group of pilots against claim they breached their fiduciary duties regarding investments in the company’s stock).Mr. Rachal is a prolific writer and lecturer on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues. He co-authors several chapters of Bloomberg BNA's ERISA Litigation, Fourth Edition, with 2013 Cumulative Supplement, including Chapters 29 “Fiduciary Duty as a Basis for Recovery for Misrepresentation and Nondisclosure,” 33 “Fiduciary Duties Regarding 401(k) & ESOP Investments in Employer Stock,” and a forthcoming chapter to be entitled “The Affordable Care Act and ERISA Litigation.” He has served as an associate senior editor of Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, with Fall Cumulative 2013 Supplement and also co-authored the article "Cigna Corp. v. Amara and ERISA’s Equitable Remedies: Revolutionary Overthrow or Doctrinal Clarification?” 25 Benefits L.J. 37 (Spring 2012). He speaks regularly on ERISA fiduciary, preemption and ethics issues.Mr. Rachal earned a J.D., summa cum laude, from Tulane University Law School, where he served as Senior Articles Editor for the Tulane Law Review; and a B.S. from the University of New Orleans. He is admitted to practice in Louisiana and before several U.S. Courts of Appeal and District Courts.Todd Jackson, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson, P.C.Todd Jackson is a named shareholder with Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C., where he represents employees in class action cases involving overtime pay, pension benefits, and employment discrimination. He has served as lead or co-lead counsel in numerous class cases, including overtime cases on behalf of technology workers, chicken processing workers, construction workers, insurance claims representatives, and overseas defense contractors and has represented classes in ERISA cases, including ESOP litigation and breach of fiduciary duty cases, and employment discrimination cases for restaurant workers and retail workers.Mr. Jackson is the Plaintiffs’ Co-Chair of the ABA’s Employee Benefits Committee; a chapter editor of Bloomberg BNA’s Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, with Fall Cumulative 2013 Supplement and The Fair Labor Standards Act, Second Edition, with 2013 Cumulative Supplement; and the co-author of the “Mediating Wage and Hour Disputes” chapter in the Continuing Education of the Bar-California’s California Wage and Hour Law and Litigation. He is also the author of numerous other articles on class actions, ERISA fiduciary rules, and wage and hour litigation. Mr. Jackson frequently speaks at legal conferences on class actions, employee benefits law and wage and hour law.Mr. Jackson is a graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California at Berkeley and Johns Hopkins University. Prior to joining his firm, Mr. Jackson served as a law clerk to the Honorable Judith Keep of the United States District Court for the Southern District of California.Catha Worthman, Lewis Feinberg Lee Renaker & Jackson, P.C.Catha Worthman is a shareholder at Lewis, Feinberg, Lee, Renaker & Jackson, P.C. in Oakland, California. She represents employees and retirees in class actions and other multi-plaintiff actions, as well as in individual benefits litigation and administrative claims. Ms. Worthman’s practice focuses on enforcing workers’ rights, including recovering unpaid wages and overtime; securing pensions, disability, and other promised employee benefits; and challenging breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA.Ms. Worthman is a rewrite and contributing author to Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, with Fall Cumulative 2013 Supplement and a co-editor of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section’s Employee Benefits Committee newsletter. She is also the co-author of an article entitled “Have You Got What It Takes for Federal Court? CAFA’s Amount in Controversy” and the author of a chapter on California’s Private Attorney General Act in the Continuing Education of the Bar-California’s Employment Damages and Remedies.After graduating from Boalt Hall School of Law, Order of the Coif, Ms. Worthman served as a law clerk to Judge William A. Fletcher of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. She also worked for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for more than 10 years before and after law school.
Chimento Rea, Proskauer Rose LLP
Madeline Chimento Rea is an associate in the New Orleans office of Proskauer
and a member of the firm’s Labor & Employment Law Department. She works on
a variety of litigation matters and has experience in research, motions,
depositions, and discovery. Ms. Rea also represents financial institutions,
counsels business entities, and has assisted clients in the defense of class
Ms. Rea is a contributor to Proskauer's Government Contractor
Compliance & Regulatory Update blog, which tracks developments in the
compliance arena for government contractors and sub-contractors, with a
particular focus on developments involving the Office of Federal Contract
Compliance Programs (OFCCP) and related agencies and departments. She is also a
member of her firm’s Pro Bono Initiative Committee.
Ms. Rea earned a J.D. from Loyola University New Orleans School of Law, from
which she graduated first in her class and where she served as Casenote/Comment
Editor for the Loyola Law Review, and a B.A. from Loyola University
New Orleans. She is admitted to practice in Louisiana.
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ERISA Litigation, Fourth Edition, with 2013 Cumulative Supplement