Three Key Issues in the Yale Jury Trial Verdict

jury chairs

By Daniel Aronowitz The Mayer Brown ERISA team led by Nancy Ross deserves to take a victory lap in the complete jury verdict against the Schlichter law firm.  Whereas most excessive fee and imprudence cases settle, Mayer Brown is a rare defense law firm willing to take cases to trial to vindicate plan fiduciaries.  There […]

The First ESG Breach of Fiduciary Duty Lawsuits

investment documents

By Daniel Aronowitz The fiduciaries of America’s retirement plans are being dragged into the culture wars over ESG investments.  On May 11, the former Secretary of Labor for the Trump Administration sued three New York City governmental retirement plans for divesting billions of dollars from fossil fuel investments.  And then on June 2, a Kansas […]

The Barrick Gold Excess Fee Argument: Pleadings Stage and ‘Concrete Discount

lawyer pleading

By Daniel Aronowitz Key Points (1) Plaintiffs are seeking a pleading standard that allows them to state a share-class excess fee case even when the claim is objectively false.  Why?  Because they know that any case that proceeds to discovery has a 95%+ chance of a settlement. (2) The key question in the case is […]

Debunking the “Excess” Recordkeeping Fee Claims in the U.S. Bancorp Case

debunking myths

By Daniel Aronowitz Given the near record number of excess fee and investment imprudent cases filed in 2022 [88 by our count], it is not surprising that the pace of filings has been slower so far in 2023 [14 year-to-date], as plaintiff law firms digest the high volume of pending cases.  But the reduced number […]

The Right to a Jury Trial in ERISA Excess Fee Cases

jury pool

By Daniel Aronowitz   It sounds crazy, but the first jury trial in an ERISA excessive fee case is scheduled for next month.  That’s right – barring a last-minute settlement and inevitable scheduling delays, a jury of ordinary citizens from Hartford, Connecticut is going to decide if the Yale University plan fiduciaries committed fiduciary malpractice […]

Seventh Circuit: Northwestern Excess Fee Case Based on Obsolete Facts

northewestern university

By Daniel Aronowitz   Key Points The Seventh Circuit held that the Northwestern excess recordkeeping and investment fee claims were plausible under the ERISA plausibility motion to dismiss standard.  But the case involves an obsolete fee arrangement that even the Northwestern plan has replaced.  Read correctly, the case only finds plausibility for fiduciary imprudence claims […]

The First Circuit Denies Motions to Dismiss in CommonSpirit, Oshkosh-Like Cases

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By Daniel Aronowitz   Key Points The First Circuit has denied motions to dismiss in three cases with very similar excess recordkeeping and investment claims that were rejected as implausible in the Sixth Circuit’s CommonSpirit case.  Two of the cases – Mitre and Boston Children’s Hospital – challenge the same fees and performance of Fidelity […]