Broadcast Date: Tuesday, April 07, 2020
from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm (ET)


The fiscal year 2020 continues to be a dynamic year for employee retirement plans as changes and cases continue to shape the area. Primarily, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review three cases relating to the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), which involves a range of significant issues. Whereas at the circuit court level, several high-profile lawsuits are emerging that could attract the attention of judges.

With the emerging changes and regulations, critical risks and challenges are expected to arise. And these challenges are expected to be exacerbated by the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that is escalating recession fears and drawing comparisons to the Global Financial Crisis. 

Listen as ERISA litigators Jahnisa Tate Loadholt (Alston & Bird) and Jason S. Cowart (Zuckerman Spaeder) provide the audience with an in-depth analysis of the recent developments in the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). As experts, they will also provide practical tips and effective strategies to mitigate potential issues and pitfalls brought by an ever-evolving body of case law.

Key Issues:

  • Employee Retirement Income Security Act – Enforcement Review
  • Trends, Updates, and Recent Developments
  • Notable Court Decisions and Cases
  • Enforcement Plans and Significant Changes
  • Critical Risks, Issues, and Challenges
  • COVID-19 Implications
  • Tips and Strategies
  • Outlook


Course Level:



Advance Preparation:

Print and review course materials


Method of Presentation:

On-demand Webcast (CLE)



General knowledge of employee benefits law


Course Code:



NY Category of CLE Credit:

Areas of Professional Practice


Total Credit:

1.0 CLE

Speaker Panel:

Jahnisa Tate Loadholt , Senior Attorney
Alston & Bird LLP

With both federal district and appellate court clerkship experience, Jahnisa tailors her practice toward the needs of clients under government scrutiny or dealing with consumer litigation. Whether a company is impacted by disputes ranging from ERISA to insurance to privacy litigation, or dealing with government investigations, Jahnisa has the experience needed to help resolve such issues.

Jason S. Cowart , Partner
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Jason S. Cowart has a broad litigation practice, with a primary focus representing health care providers and their patients in high-stakes disputes with health insurance companies, ensuring that patients are not wrongfully denied treatment and providers are appropriately compensated.

By developing novel legal theories clarifying the rights and remedies provided by ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, Jason’s work has dramatically expanded the ability of providers and patients to successfully challenge insurance company claim determinations.

Jason is currently working to redress a number of widespread insurance company practices that exacerbate the financial pressures providers and patients face. These include improper denials due to overly restrictive internal coverage guidelines and coordination of benefit protocols, overbroad application of experimental or investigational exclusions, claim bundling and down-coding, and discrimination against mental health patients.

Jason recently won a landmark victory in a case challenging United Behavioral Health’s mental health and substance use level of care coverage guidelines. Former Congressman Patrick Kennedy, the sponsor of the federal mental health parity act, hailed the case as the “Brown v. Board of Education for the mental health movement,” and CNN identified it as “one of the most important and most thorough rulings ever issued against an insurance company, at the federal level, on mental health issues.”

Jason’s work uncovering and addressing health insurance company misconduct draws upon his extensive experience in complex securities fraud, derivative, and antitrust matters.


Jahnisa Tate LoadholtSenior Attorney Alston & Bird LLP


Jason S. CowartPartner Zuckerman Spaeder LLP

Your employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) and COVID-19 – perspectives from the plaintiffs’ and defense bar about what you should be doing to protect your ESOP as the COVID-19 recession looms

  • What must you disclose: Retirement Plans Comm. of IBM v. Jander (Supreme Court)
  • Practical considerations for complying with your fiduciary obligations within the bounds of securities laws.
  • What steps should you take, if any, to limit information available to ESOP fiduciaries?
  • COVID-19 implications

Excessive Fee cases

  • Plaintiffs continue to file these cases.
  • Disparate decisions leave more questions than answers.
  • Assessing “actual knowledge:” Intel Corp. Inv. Policy Comm. v. Sulyma (Supreme Court)

What does it take to be an ERISA fiduciary?

  • Analyzing your service agreements to determine if you are functioning as a fiduciary.
  • Teets v. Great-West Life & Annuity Ins. Co. (10th Circuit) vs. Rozo v. Principal Life Ins. Co. (8th Circuit)
  • What are your fiduciary duties in light of COVID-19?
  • How does this apply to your health and welfare fund?


  • Dorman v. Charles Schwab Corporation (9th Cir.)
  • What does this mean for ERISA class-action litigation?

Date & Time:

Tuesday, April 07, 2020

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

Who Should Attend:

  • Employee Benefits Lawyers
  • Labor and Employment Lawyers
  • Human Resource Executives
  • Benefits Managers
  • Retirement Plan Sponsors
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Jahnisa Tate Loadholt Senior Attorney
Alston & Bird LLP
Jason S. Cowart Partner
Zuckerman Spaeder LLP



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