Broadcast Date: Tuesday, June 30, 2020
from 3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (ET)


Three significant Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) cases will be brought before the U.S. Supreme Court in its 2019-2020 term and ERISA attorneys are encouraged to gear up for an exciting year.

With complexities emerging in this significant area of law, it is imperative for companies to be well-versed of the latest developments and equipped with substantial strategies for the prevention, management, and defense of the significant ERISA issues they may encounter.

In this live webcast, ERISA litigation experts David R. Johanson (Hawkins Parnell & Young) and Woody Lay (O’Hagan Meyer) will offer a discussion on the important updates surrounding ERISA litigation, including the treatment of arbitration agreements with class action waivers in ERISA plans and the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma. As experts, they will also cover how to avoid common pitfalls and risk issues in in this ever-dynamic legal landscape and provide best practices.

Key topics include:

  • ERISA Litigation – Trends and Updates
  • ERISA Cases in the Supreme Court’s 2019-2020 Term
  • Opportunities and Challenges
  • Practical Tips and Strategies
  • What Lies Ahead


Course Level:



Advance Preparation:

Print and review course materials


Method of Presentation:

On-demand Webcast (CLE)



General knowledge of ERISA litigation


Course Code:



NY Category of CLE Credit:

Areas of Professional Practice


Total Credits:

1.5 CLE

Speaker Panel:

David R. Johanson, Partner
Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP

David assists clients in general corporate matters and in employee ownership, benefit, ERISA, and related business matters, with an emphasis on executive compensation, equity incentive plans, non-qualified deferred compensation, employee stock ownership plans (ESOPs), ESOP transactions, mergers and acquisitions (and related tax planning), and business succession and estate planning. David has served as outside general counsel to numerous corporate clients over the past 32 years. He also frequently appears on behalf of clients in business and employment-oriented defense litigation in state and federal courts throughout the country, before regulatory agencies (e.g., U.S. Department of Labor, California Labor Commissioner, and the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission), in tax controversies before the Internal Revenue Service and comparable state regulatory agencies, against felony criminal indictments in U.S. Federal Court, and in dispute resolutions of various kinds. David represents corporations in shareholder and non-competition disputes.

David has defended ERISA fiduciaries, plan sponsors, selling shareholders, and investment advisers in ERISA litigation matters involving ESOPs and business transactions in federal and state courts throughout the country in a wide range of controversies covering ERISA fiduciary responsibilities, ESOP valuation disputes, disclosure obligations, investment issues, and tax matters. He has extensive experience in negotiating ESOP, ERISA, and other issues with government regulatory agencies and in representing ERISA fiduciaries in litigation.

Recognized nationally for his experience and expertise in the ESOP and executive compensation field, David is a past chair (1993-1995 and 2005-2007) of the legislative and regulatory advisory committee of The ESOP Association. He also is a past chair of The ESOP Association’s advisory committee chairs council and is a former member of its board of directors. David was honored at the 17th annual conference of The ESOP Association as the outstanding committee chair for 1993-94. He also served for more than ten years as General Counsel to The National Center for Employee Ownership and on its board of directors.

Woody Lay, Partner
O'Hagan Meyer

With over 25 years of experience, Woody Lay focuses his practice on employment, ERISA, non-competition, trade secret, and commercial litigation matters.

Woody has extensive knowledge of ERISA litigation issues as he routinely advises and defends employers and plan administrators against ERISA denial of benefit and breach of fiduciary duty claims under all types of benefit plans, including claims involving executive compensation, pension eligibility and calculation issues, and elimination or modification of retiree health care coverage.

Woody also advises clients on the investigation, discipline and termination of all levels of employees; wage and hour issues; whistleblower allegations; joint employment and independent contractor issues; restructuring, layoffs, and shutdown of facilities, including advice on the WARN act and severance issues; harassment or discrimination complaints; employee attendance or leave issues under FMLA, ADA, state workers’ compensation laws, and ERISA benefit plans; workplace fatalities, OSHA investigations; and employment agreements, including severance, non-competition and confidentiality agreements.

Woody is recognized in Chambers USA and Best Lawyers in America, and is the Managing Partner of O’Hagan Meyer’s Charlotte, North Carolina office.  He obtained is law degree from Washington & Lee University School of Law, where he was Editor of the Law Review, and his undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia.


SEGMENT 1: David R. JohansonPartner Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP

  • Intel Corp. Investment Policy Committee v. Sulyma (U.S. Supreme Court February 26, 2020)
  • Thole v. U.S. Bank, N.A. (U.S. Supreme Court June 1, 2020)
  • Jander v. Retirement Plans Committee of IBM (recently remanded by the US Supreme Court)
  • ESOP Case Filings to Watch
  • EBSA Enforcement Trends
  • Recent Discovery Orders Against the U.S. Department of Labor
  • Recent Executive Orders and Potential limits on EBSA Enforcement

SEGMENT 2: Woody LayPartner O'Hagan Meyer

  • Class Action Waivers in ERISA Plans
    • The Ninth Circuit Surprises – Dorman v. Charles Schwab (9th Cir. 2019)
    • How We Got Here - Class Action Waivers Before the United States Supreme Court
    • Individual Relief v. Plan Relief and Other Unique Issues to ERISA
    • Is an Arbitration Provision Necessary for a Class Action Waiver to be Enforceable?
    • Drafting Considerations and Best Practices
  • Privileged Communications in the ERISA Context
    • The Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney-Client Privilege
    • Are Your Communications with Benefits Employees Privileged?
    • Some Surprising Case Results
    • Best Practices for Preserving the Privilege

Date & Time:

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

3:00 pm to 4:30 pm (ET)

Who Should Attend:

  • ERISA Attorneys
  • Retirement Plan Financial Professionals
  • Retirement Plan Sponsors
  • Human Resource & Benefits Personnel
  • Litigation Officers
  • Human Resource Executives
  • General Counsel


David R. JohansonPartner
Hawkins Parnell & Young LLP
Woody LayPartner
O'Hagan Meyer



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