KR Files Ninth Circuit Amicus Brief on Behalf of Pension Rights Center and National Employment Lawyers Association

August 14, 2020

Two of the nation’s largest and most influential employee benefits advocates, the Pension Rights Center and the National Employment Lawyers Association, hired Keller Rohrback to draft and submit a “friend of the court” brief (“amicus” in Latin) in a recent Ninth Circuit appeal. The case is Bafford v. Northrop Grumman Corp., No. 20-55222 (9th Cir.).

Amicus briefs are submitted to help the court understand important policy issues that might be relevant to an appeal. In this case, the amici (plural of amicus) argued that the federal law governing employee benefits (called ERISA) should be interpreted to hold fiduciaries accountable for their failures to monitor appointees even if the internal monitoring process is not visible to the public; that a functional test should be applied to determine fiduciary status; and that not all State law claims against non-fiduciaries are preempted by ERISA.

The amicus brief was drafted and filed by experienced KR ERISA attorneys Jeff Lewis and David Preminger, along with Norm Stein, who is Of Counsel to Pension Rights Center. Jeff Lewis observed, “The Bafford appeal raises important policy issues concerning the ability of employees to protect their rights under ERISA’s civil enforcement provisions. Our clients have a valuable perspective on the damaging policy implications of any attempt to limit the rights of private litigants. We are honored to help the Pension Rights Center and National Employment Lawyers Association in this effort.”

Read the brief here.