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The Department of Labor (DOL) issued regulations that revise the ERISA claims procedure regulations for employee benefit plans that provide disability benefits (the New Disability Claims Regulations). They are based on the Affordable Care Act’s (the ACA) enhanced claims and appeals regulations for group health plans (the ACA Enhanced Regulations). The scope of the New Regulations are broader than you may realize and apply to any plan, regardless of how it is characterized, that provides benefits or rights that are contingent on whether the plan determines an individual to be disabled. This can include ERISA-governed short-term disability plans, long-term disability plans, qualified retirement plans (e.g., a 401(k) plan), nonqualified retirement plans, workman’s compensation and health, wellness and welfare plans. Importantly, the New Disability Claims Regulations would not apply if a plan does not make the determination of disability, but instead relies on a third party’s determination of disability, such as a determination of disability made by the Social Security Administration.
By Nathan Curtis
The Data Explosion vs. Recovery Model Stagnation
Firms are struggling with a legacy practice of writing off litigation support/e-discovery and related costs but have been challenged to identify and implement recovery models or managed services models that are both acceptable to the firm and to their clients. On top of all of this, many firms simply fail to dispose of the data at the matter closing and costs continue to accumulate year over year. Mattern has launched the first ever e-Discovery and Litigation Support Cost Recovery Survey to gather that needed data to help drive firms’ better business decisions.
By Silvia Coulter
There are a few things about being an effective leader that books and professors don’t seem to directly address. Here are some tips to help partners who lead operational teams, offices, practices, departments, or the firm itself, to implement for leadership impact.
By Marla Grant and Yuliya LaRoe
Why EQ Leads to Even Better Business Results
It is not uncommon for law firms to face negative business outcomes caused by the behavior of a star rainmaker who is unaware of the impact that they have on others. And that’s what emotional intelligence (EQ) is about and why it’s so important to lead to better business results. What can law firms do to help their star partners increase their emotional intelligence to avoid potentially disastrous business outcomes for themselves and their firms?
By Dylan Jackson
While the last decade has brought a revolution of global law firms employing thousands of attorneys and an army of professional staff — pricing executives, marketers and legal operation specialists, among many others — many professional law firm staff tell stories of a two-tiered system that minimizes their role and contributions. Observers said the caste system is a long-standing cultural mindset that stems from an age when firms were smaller and more informal, without hundreds of employees.