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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 Doug Stansfield
Data mining is a relatively new practice in the legal space and the data profiles of firms are highly variable from one organization to another, so identifying the right tools and prioritizing initiatives can be challenging.
By Sharon Meit Abrahams
All lawyers want to be wanted and valued by their firms. It has become apparent that tomorrow’s legal talent requires even more hand-holding than previous generations. They want to understand why and what’s the payoff of their efforts. By creating a firm culture that addresses these concerns you will heighten your firm’s ability to retain precious talent.
By Timothy B. Corcoran
Smart business leaders compete by constantly seeking cost advantages. Yet law firm leaders compete by perpetually increasing associate compensation. As always, this will not end well.
By John F. Hollway
It’s Not the Number of Hours We’re Billing or the Number of Hours We’re Working; It’s the Way We Feel About How We Spend Those Hours That Matters
Working long hours, tracking those hours and feeling that we have to grind all year to hit a specific number of hours to meet a profitability target can make us feel like fungible, dehumanized automatons rather than highly trained providers of specific and thoughtful solutions to complex legal challenges.