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January 2017

  • Mark DeBofsky was named one of the Top 10 Lawyer in Illinois by Super Lawyers and that Martina Sherman and Marie Casciari have been named Rising Starts by the same organization.

  • Marie E. Casciari was appointed as Employee Vice-Chair of the ABA Labor & Employment Law Section Membership Development Committee.

November 2016

  • Marie Casciari will be speaking at LITIGATING AN INDIVIDUAL HEALTH CLAIM. Health claim litigation presents unique challenges to the ERISA practitioner. What is required by the claims regulations? This panel will examine each phase of litigation of a denied health benefit, including best practices for settlement and dealing with subrogation issues. The midwinter meeting is February 8 – 11 in Austin. This session is tentatively scheduled for Friday, Feb. 10, at 11:45 am.

October 2016

  • Marie Casciari will be speaking at the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits ERISA Basics National Institute being held at the American Bar Association in Chicago, October 27-28, 2016 on the following panels: " ACA AND RELATED HEALTH CARE LITIGATION" and" DRAFTING ERISA COMPLAINTS AND MOVING TO DISMISS" .

July 2016

  • Bloomberg/BNA Comments on DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC ruling in Harris v. BP:

    On July 29, 2016, Bloomberg/BNA published an article as part of its Pension and Benefits Blog by Andrea Ben-Yosef titled, "Can an ERISA Plan Force You to Sue in the Court They Choose?" The article discusses the recent ruling obtained by DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC in Harris v. BP Corp. and the issue of whether an ERISA plan can impose a choice of venue on participants that would force them to litigate their disputes in remote, unfamiliar jurisdictions. A copy of the article can be found here.

June 2016

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC welcomes new employees

    DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC welcomes Lesley Gwam, a recent DePaul Law School graduate, as a contract attorney who is assisting the firm with legal research and writing. We also welcome summer associate Kaaren Fehsenfeld, a current DePaul Law School student.

  • Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at the 35th Annual Conference
    on Not-For-Profit Organizations
    on June 9, 2016, at Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago.

  • Marie Casciari will be speaking at the ABA JCEB webinar on June 7, 2016.

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Wins Case Following Trial - On June 2 2016, the federal court in Chicago issued a verdict in favor of DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC client Shellie Wonsowski following a bench trial that took place in March. The case was tried by DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC attorneys Mark DeBofsky and Martina Sherman and resulted in a ruling reinstating Wonsowski's disability benefits that had been cut off in 2014. A more detailed description of the case and the court's ruling, along with a copy of the verdict can be found at: http://www.debofsky.com/blog/2016/06/insurers-must-evaluate-cognitivemental-demands-of-an-occupation.shtml

May 2016

April 2016

March 2016

  • Martina Sherman was appointed to the nominating committee of the Chicago Bar Association to nominate officers and members of the board of managers of the Association for the upcoming term of office.

  • Marie Casciari will be speaking at Trends in Employee Benefits on
    March 8.
    Click here to learn more.

February 2016

  • Marie Casciari will be a panelist at the 2016 Midwinter Meeting of the Employee Benefits Committee to discuss the topic, "Wellness Programs: Design, Implementation and Litigation Risks". 

    The meeting will be held at the Four Seasons in Las Vegas, NV on February 10-13. Click here to learn more.

January 2016

  • Mark DeBofsky was once again named a Top 100 Lawyer in Illinois for 2016 by SuperLawyers and  Martina Sherman and Marie Casciari were both selected to the Illinois list of Super Lawyers Rising Stars. This is a prestigious honor based on peer recognition.

November 2015

  • Marie Casciari was appointed by the American Bar Association to the host committee for the 2016 ABA Annual Section of Labor & Employment Law Conference, which will be held November 8-12, 2016 in Chicago.

  • Mr. DeBofsky will be a panelist at the 9 th Annual ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law Conference. The Conference will take place at the Loews Philadelphia Hotel from November 4-7, 2015.

    The program is entitled "Ethics: Who Is My Client and Other Ethical Pitfalls in ERISA Cases" and he will present on Saturday, November 7, 9:30 am - 10:45 am.

October 2015

  • Martina Sherman and Marie Casciari will be speaking at the CBA Employee Benefits Committee on October 31, on "Litigation of Welfare Benefit Claims"

  • Mark DeBofsky has been invited to speak at the Fall Conference of the National Organization of Social Security Disability Insurance Claimants' Representatives (NOSSCR) in October. He will be speaking on "Similarities and Differences Between Social Security Disability and Private Disability." Further details may be found at www.nosscr.org.

  • The ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits is co-sponsoring an ERISA Basics seminar in Chicago on October 28-30, 2015. The JCEB, the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel and the program co-chairs have invited Marie Casciari and Martina B. Sherman to participate on the following panels:

    Marie will be on the following panel: ERISA Basics Concepts - Statutory Overview

    October 28, 2015, 8:45-9:35 am
    This session will provide a basic overview of the statute's fundamental concepts, such as what is a plan, what is a plan sponsor, and who is an employee. It will also discuss the differences among different types of pension plans and different types of welfare benefit plans.

    Martina will be on the following panel: Benefit Claims: Litigation

    October 28, 2015 , 4:00-5:00 pm
    This program will cover topics arising in the litigation of employee benefit claims, including basic civil procedure, the availability of juries, discovery, evidentiary considerations, and disposition of claims.

September 2015

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC wins ruling in Halley v. Aetna

    DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC won a ruling in the case of Halley v. Aetna from Judge John R. Blakey on September 30, 2015. The judge ruled that although the evidence showed that Ronald Halley was able to perform sedentary work despite multiple physical impairments, he was unable to perform any of the occupations suggested by Aetna. Thus, the court found that Halley was entitled to restoration of his disability benefits.

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Wins Appeal Upholding Ban Against Discretionary Clauses

    On September 4, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit issued a ruling affirming Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. The case was brought by DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC on behalf of Mary Fontaine, a partner in the law firm of Mayer Brown, who sought disability benefits from MetLife after impairments in her vision forced her to stop working. After the entry of a judgment in Ms. Fontaine's favor in the district court, MetLife appealed the lower court's ruling that a regulation issued by the Illinois Department of Insurance banning the inclusion of discretionary clauses in health and disability insurance policies was not preempted by the ERISA statute. The Court of Appeals upheld the district court's finding, ruling that the state law was a valid exercise of the insurance director's authority and was not subject to preemption. The significance of the issue before the court was important enough to attract amicus support from the United States Department of Labor, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the American Association of Retired Persons, who all believed the added protection against arbitrary and capricious claim denials afforded by the Illinois Insurance regulation enhanced the goals of ERISA. The court's ruling also made it clear that the regulation affected all aspects of employee benefit plans and that the regulation could not be evaded by placing discretionary language that would trigger an arbitrary and capricious standard of court review in plan documents that are not part of the insurance policy or certificate.

August 2015

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Wins Third Circuit Appeal

    On August 24, 2015, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit in Philadelphia issued a ruling in favor of Joseph Stevens in the case of Stevens v. Santander . After winning on summary judgment in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, Santander Bank and its claim administrator/insurer, Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, sought to appeal the court's finding that Stevens was entitled to the remainder of short-term disability benefits due and a readjudication of the denial of his long-term disability insurance claim. Stevens moved to dismiss the appeal for lack of federal jurisdiction; and the court agreed that the lower court's order was non-final and therefore unappealable.

July 2015

  • Martina Sherman contributes article to American Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter

    Martina Sherman, along with Todd Wozniak, authored an article that appeared in the Summer issue of the Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter (American Bar Association). The article, entitled, "Sixth Circuit Determines that an Arbitrary and Capricious Denial of a Benefits Claim Cannot Support a Disgorgement of Profits Under ERISA § 502(a)(3) discusses the recent appellate court ruling in Rochow v. Life Insurance Company of North America.

    A copy of the article is available here.

    Published in the Summer 2015, Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter. Reprinted with the copyright owner's permission.

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC files amicus brief in the Supreme Court

    On July 13, 2015, DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court on behalf of United Policyholders in the pending case of Montanile v. Board of Trustees of the National Elevator Industry Health Benefit. Montanile involves an ERISA-based dispute over whether a benefit plan can recoup funds from a claimant's general assets. The brief was primarily drafted by Martina Sherman with assistance from Pittsburgh attorney Tybe Brett and Mark DeBofsky. A copy can be found here.

June 2015

  • Bloomberg BNA Publishes DeBofsky Update on Discretionary Clauses in ERISA Health and Disability Plans

    Mark DeBofsky recently updated a monograph entitled, "Discretionary Clauses in ERISA Health and Disability Plans - Are they Still Viable?" The monograph has been published as part of the Bloomberg BNA Benefits Practice Resource Center updating the health and insurance industry and practitioners on the latest developments in ERISA and employee benefits law. The monograph describes recent efforts by various states to ban the incorporation of clauses that trigger a standard of court review more favorable to the insurance companies that issue health and disability insurance policies in litigation challenging benefit denials and furnishes a state by state chart of recent legislative and regulatory developments. A copy may be found here.

  • Mr. DeBofsky was quoted extensively in an article by The Bureau of International Affairs, regarding the Supreme Court's government view of an ERISA case involving venue selection.

May 2015

  • Mark DeBofsky designated among Premier 100 by American Academy of Trial Lawyers. Mark DeBofsky was recently designated among the Premier 100 trial lawyers in Illinois by the American Academy of Trial Attorneys

  • Martina Sherman and Marie Casciari will both be speaking at the ERISA Litigation National Institute co-sponsored by the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits in Chicago, May 13-14, 2015.

    Martina will be speaking at the Benefit Claims Litigation: From Claims Review to Standard of Review and Discovery and Dispositive Motions panel on Wednesday, May 13 . Marie will be speaking at the Litigation of Long-Term Disability Claims panel on Friday, May 15.

April 2015

  • Marie Casciari was appointed vice chair of Chicago Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee for the 2015-2016 bar year commencing in September 2015.

  • Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at the ERISA Litigation Conference sponsored by the American Conference Institute on April 13-14, 2015 at the Intercontinental Chicago Magnificent Mile Hotel in Chicago, Illinois. For further details and registration information, see the attached conference brochure.

  • Associates Martina Sherman and William Reynolds authored an article that appeared in the Spring 2015 Social Security News (Social Security Section of the Federal Bar Association) entitled, " Long Term Disability Claims: A Primer for Social Security Attorneys."

March 2015

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Client Wins Second Ruling Against Standard Insurance Company

    Following a preliminary ruling issued in August 2013 finding Carole Cheney disabled, on March 15, 2015, a second ruling resolved the remaining open question in the lawsuit - how to calculate the disability insurance benefits due.

    Cheney, a former partner of the Kirland & Ellis firm, suffered from chronic back problems that caused her to miss an extensive amount of work in 2010. In January 2011, though, Cheney returned to full-time work and her regular salary was restored. However, her condition worsened again and she took a planned leave of absence in early 2012 from which she was unable to return to work following major spine surgery.

    The disability insurance policy based its calculation on benefits on the employee's "average monthly salary . . . during your prior tax year", with "prior tax year" calculated as the prior year of the date of the employee's last day of Active Work. The question before the court was when Cheney ceased "Active Work" because she had not worked during the Christmas holidays in 2011. If her active work was deemed to have ceased in 2011, her benefits would have been based on her 2010 earnings. However, if Cheney's active work was deemed to have ended in early 2012 when her scheduled leave of absence began, she was eligible for benefits based on her 2011 earnings which were much higher.

    Citing several appellate decisions dealing with the issue, the court concluded that Cheney's active work ceased in 2012. The court explained that taking vacation time around the holidays, coupled with the fact that Plaintiff's work status officially changed on January 3, 2012, was a reasonable basis for finding that Cheney was still performing Active Work despite billing no hours over the last two weeks of 2011. Finally, the court noted that Ms. Cheney reasonably expected to be insured based on her regular, salaried compensation; and any interpretation that allowed her to be paid at the significantly reduced rate would not be an interpretation in "an ordinary and popular sense."

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC files suit against Integrys Energy Group

    On March 10, 2015, DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC filed a lawsuit on behalf of 65 former Integrys employees who alleged they were wrongfully deprived of stock in the company that had previously been awarded to them based on their performance and loyalty. Read the press
    release
    describing the lawsuit and a copy of the complaint.

  • Marie Casciari will be presenting at a seminar sponsored by the Chicago Bar Association entitled, "New Trends in Employee Benefits".

    This seminar will focus on three issues that are either making news in the benefits community or have already been decided and deserve some additional explanation and discussion. This program is designed to enhance the knowledge level of practitioners who are experienced in these selected areas, as well as provide a working-knowledge for those interested in these recent developments in order to enable them to become greater resources for their clients. As a result, attorneys who practice in employee benefits, income tax, labor/employment, securities or corporate law will benefit from this program.

February 2015

January 2015

  • Mark D. DeBofsky named among the Top 100 Lawyers in Illinois in this year's Super Lawyers publication.
  • On January 15, 2015, Mark DeBofsky and Mark Schmi.dtke will be presenting a Health, Life and Disability Benefits Litigation Update at the American Bar Association, Midwinter meeting of the TIPS Section (Tort and Insurance Practice Section), in Tucson Arizona.

December 2014

  • Court finds Unum acted arbitrarily in denying disability benefits due to fibromyalgia

    DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC secured a ruling from U.S. District Judge John Tharp on December 31, 2014 in the case of Warner v. Unum. The case, which was decided under the ERISA law, found that Unum Life Insurance Company arbitrarily denied Debra Warner's claim for disability benefits. Warner, a nurse employed by Tyson Foods, alleged that she was disabled on account of fibromyalgia and other medical disorders; and her claim was supported by her doctors' opinions and by a functional capacity evaluation test. The court ruled that Unum arbitrarily ignored the FCE test and other evidence; and awarded Warner past due benefits based on Unum's abuse of discretion.

November 2014

  • On November 21, 2014, Marie Casciari and Mark DeBofsky will present an ERISA and Employee Benefits Law Litigation update at the Chicago Bar Association, Employee Benefits Committee.

October 2014

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Defending Enforceability of Illinois’ Ban on Discretionary Clauses in U.S. Court of Appeals

    In the case of Fontaine v. MetLife, which was decided in favor of DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC client, Mary Fontaine, MetLife has appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, challenging the lower court’s enforcement of an Illinois Insurance regulation banning the inclusion of clauses in health and disability insurance policies that would trigger an arbitrary and capricious standard of court review.

    DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC has filed a brief in the court of appeals supporting affirmance of the lower court ruling; and briefs in support have also been filed by the U.S. Department of Labor, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, and the American Association of Retired Persons ( copies attached).

September 2014

August 2014

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC wins ruling in Curtis v. Hartford Insurance:

On August 20, 2014, Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert issued a memorandum opinion (attached) granting judgment to Cindy Curtis in her disability benefit claim against Hartford Insurance Company. The court found that Curtis, a former nurse at Lurie Children's Memorial Hospital, was unable to work at any occupation and that Hartford wrongfully terminated Curtis's benefit payments after two years.

The Curtis case was litigated by DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC together with attorney Bridget O'Ryan of Indianapolis.

 

  • On August 20, 2014, United States District Judge John Tharp issued a final ruling finding that Laura Yasko was entitled to the proceeds of an accidental death insurance policy when her late husband, Alan Yasko, died after suffering a pulmonary embolism due to airplane travel. The court awarded benefits of $1 million plus interest and attorneys' fees - Yasko v. Reliance Standard Life Insurance Company (attached)

The Yasko case was litigated by DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC together with attorney Robert Napleton of Chicago.

July 2014

Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at the Great Lakes TE/GE Council meeting taking place on July 18, 2014 at the John Marshall Law School, 315 S. Plymouth Court, Chicago, Illinois 60604. The agenda features Mark DeBofsky and several other nationally prominent speakers and is tentatively set as follows:

  • Paul Secunda is a Professor of Law and Director of the Labor and Employment Law Program at Marquette University Law School. Paul is Vice Chair of the Department of Labor’s ERISA Advisory Council, the work of which he will be discussing.
  • Kathryn Kennedy is Associate Dean for Advanced Studies & Research and Director of the Center for Tax Law and Employee Benefits at the John Marshall Law School. Katie, who is of course, a member of our group, will discuss the many rippling effects of the Windsor decision.
  • Mark DeBofsky is a Chicago-based nationally recognized attorney representing individuals in employment-related disputes. Mark will discuss the current status of ERISA-related litigation and where it might be headed.
  • Kevin O’Keefe is CEO of Lexblog, a Seattle-based technology company, which he founded in 2004. Kevin is a former attorney who has pioneered the use of social media to help attorneys build trust and connect with clients and prospective clients in a meaningful way.

June 2014

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Receives Favorable Ruling in Accidental Death Insurance Case

  • Martina Sherman and Marie Casciari were both appointed to the Health and Hospital Law Committee of the Chicago Bar Association's Young Lawyers Section.

  • Marie Casciari was selected to participate in the American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law's 2014 Leadership Development Program.

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC wins reconsideration of attorney fee denial:
    In an opinion issued in the case of Fontaine v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company on June 3, 2014, Judge Joan B. Gottschall reversed her prior ruling denying an award of fees despite success on the merits and ordered MetLife to pay attorneys’ fees due after the plaintiff, Mary Fontaine, secured a judgment against her disability insurance company which had refused her claim for benefits. A copy of the opinion can be read here.
  • On June 18, 2014, Mark DeBofsky will be speaking on a panel at the American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits annual program on ERISA Litigation in Chicago, Illinois (https://meetings.abanet.org/meeting/jceb/JCEB061814EL/) on the topic of Benefit Claims Litigation: From Claims Review to Standard of Review and Discovery and Dispositive Motions.

May 2014

April 2014

  • Mark DeBofsky will be speaking on the subject of ERISA and liens at the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association's seminar on "Maximizing the value of your client's case effectively and efficiently" to be held on April 5, 2014 at the Oakbrook Hills Resort, 3500 Midwest Road, Oakbrook, Illinois.

  • Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at a program sponsored by the American Bar Association Joint Committee on Employee Benefits - ERISA Litigation National Institute - on June 18, 2014. DeBofsky will be on a panel with attorneys Robert Rachal and Lisa Gomez discussing "Benefit Claims Litigation: From Claims Review to Standard of Review and Discovery and Dispositive Motions."

March 2014

  • DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC Wins Fontaine v. MetLife

    Attorneys Mark DeBofsky and Martina Sherman were successful in a hard-fought battle against MetLife in a disability case involving a partner in a major law firm. In a ruling issued on March 27, 2014, Judge Joan Gottschall issued a ruling finding the plaintiff, Mary Fontaine, disabled from her occupation as a structured finance partner at a major law firm and awarded her disability benefits under two separate policies issued by MetLife. Click Here

  • Mark DeBofsky will be speaking at Marquette University Law School on March 28, 2014 at the Third Annual ERISA, Employee Benefits, and Social Insurance National Conference. For details see,
    http://law.marquette.edu/faculty-staff/third-annual-erisa-employee-benefits-and-social-insurance-national-conference

  • Mark DeBofsky's paper, "HOW COURTS INTERPRET THE MEANING OF 'CIVIL ACTION' AS APPLIED TO BENEFIT DISPUTES UNDER ERISA", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: LSN: Employee Benefits Law (Topic). http://ssrn.com/abstract=2385710

February 2014

  • Mark DeBofsky will be speaking about ERISA topics at the 2014 NELA (National Employment Lawyers Association) Seventh Circuit Conference on "What Every Plaintiff's Employment Lawyer Needs to Know About..." to be held on Friday, February 21, 2014, at the Chicago-Kent College of Law, 565 W. Adams St., Chicago, Illinois.

January 2014

  • Mark DeBofsky's paper to be presented at the Marquette ERISA conference this Spring is now available on the Social Science Research Network - http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2385710

  • Mark DeBofsky named one of the Top 100 SuperLawyers for 2014 - Click here for magazine.

  • Shannon Cottrell and her husband Zeke welcome Elijah Cottrell.

image

November 2013

DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC welcomes William (Bill) Reynolds as a new associate attorney. Bill is a 2013 graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law and had worked with DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC and its predecessor firm while in law school.

RECENT ACCOLADES

August 29, 2013

Mark D. DeBofsky was recently named as one of the top ten lawyers in Illinois in two categories: Employment Law and Social Security Disability Law by Leading Lawyers Network

October 16, 2013

Mark D. DeBofsky will be speaking on October 16, 2013 at the ERISA Basics seminar in Chicago sponsored by the ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits. He is scheduled to speak on the following two panels:

8:45-9:35 am

ERISA BASICS CONCEPTS - STATUTORY OVERVIEW

This session will provide a basic overview of the statute's fundamental concepts, such as what is a plan, what is a plan sponsor, and who is an employee. It will also discuss the differences among different types of pension plans and different types of welfare benefit plans.

Lisa M. Gomez, Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP
Charles B. Wolf
, Vedder Price PC (invited)
Ali Khawar
, Special Assistant, Employee Benefits Security Administration, U.S. Department of Labor (invited)
Mark D. DeBofsky
, Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant

4:00-5:00 pm

BENEFIT CLAIMS: LITIGATION

This program will cover topics arising in the litigation of employee benefit claims, including basic civil procedure, the availability of juries, discovery, evidentiary considerations, and disposition of claims.

Mark Casciari, Seyfarth Shaw (invited)
Mark DeBofsky,
Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant
Katherine "Alex" Roe
, Communication Workers of America (invited)

July 1, 2013

Mark DeBofsky will be speaking about Benefit Claims: Litigation at the American Bar Association, ERISA Basics National Institute in Chicago Illinois. On October 16,2013

July 1, 2013

Mark DeBofsky will be speaking on Benefit Claim Litigation at the Thomson Reuters 26th Annual ERISA Litigation Conference in Chicago. On September 17,2013

July 1, 2013

Mark D. DeBofsky will be speaking on disability insurance overpayments at the American Association for Justice, 2013 Annual Convention. On July 21,2013

U.S. SUPREME COURT REVIEW

For information on Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant's attempts to seek Supreme Court review, click here.

In March of 2010, Mark DeBofsky filed an Amicus Brief in Hardt v. Reliance, Case No.: 09-448 on behalf of United Policyholders, in a case before the Supreme Court involving the issue of ERISA fees. On May 24, 2010, the Supreme Court remanded the case, holding that the attorney was entitled to fees, contrary to the 4th Cir's ruling, under sec. 1132(g)(1). For the opinion, click here.

AWARDS, ARTICLES & RECENT COURT DECISIONS:

DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC obtains court ruling on scope of discovery in ERISA actions governed by the arbitrary and capricious standard of review - Warner v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of America, No. 12 C 2782 (N.D.Ill.)(Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Gilbert)(July 26, 2013). click here

DeBofsky, Sherman & Casciari, PC wins court ruling on fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege - Krase v. Life Insurance Company of North America, No. 11 C 7659 (N.D.Ill.)(Judge John Grady). click here

In the attached opinion from Zaccone v. Standard Life Insurance Company, the court holds that the US Supreme Court decision in Conkright v. Frommert does not nullify the Illinois statute prohibiting the inclusion of discretionary language in health and welfare insurance policies and that state statutes banning discretionary language are not violative of congressional intent. The court holds that the Illinois statute is not preempted by ERISA. As a result, the court concludes that the de novo standard of review will apply. The May 1, 2013 memorandum and order is also available at 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62062. Click here for more details

More coverage regarding the Krupp v Liberty court decision here

Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant client wins long-term disability insurance claim. Judge Matthew Kennelly concluded that Liberty Life and Accident Insurance Company's denial of long-term disability benefits was "arbitrary and capricious." Click here

Is it anti-Semitism if you're not really Jewish? DeBofsky wins unusual discrimination case before Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

Mark DeBofsky prevailed in Raybourne v. Cigna Life Insurance Company, No. 11-1295 & 11-1427. The District Court affirmed the insurance company's denial was based on a conflict of interest rather than on the facts and terms of the insurance policy. More information can be found here

More media coverage regarding the Stephan v. Unum case found here

Allison Bell at LifeHealthPro is also covering the Stephan v Unum case. Please read her article at the following link

The non-profit insurance consumer organization, United Policyholders, is covering the Stephan v. Unum case here

Mark DeBofsky recently won Stephan v. Unum, No. 10-16840 (6th Cir.) In this case, the Sixth Circuit remanded finding that the fiduciary exception to attorney-client privilege applied herein to Unum's pre-decision, internal memoranda, and instructed the district court to re-evaluate conflict of interest on remand, noting Unum's history of biased decision-making and several aspects that suggested bias, which infiltrated the entire decision-making process. Additionally, the district court was instructed to determine whether Unum abused its discretion in failing to include Mr. Stephan's bonus in its pre-disability earnings calculation. For the opinion, click here.

On January 17, 2012, Mark DeBofsky appeared before the Seventh Circuit to argue on behalf of the Plaintiffs in Schultz et al. v. Avail, Inc. LTD plan et al., Case No.: 11-2889, against the Prudential-insured plans that wrongfully withheld disability benefits based on Social Security disability payments to the plaintiffs' dependents. Law 360 published an article commenting on the argument, which you can read here. Additionally, you can listen to the oral argument here.

A win by Mark DeBofsky and Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant was the subject of an article by Steven Garmisa in Chicago Daily Law Bulletin titled "Judge rejects offset for tort proceeds under disability policy" (August 17, 2011). In the lawsuit, Daley, DeBofsky & Bryant successfully argued that a disability insurer's efforts to offset the proceeds of a medical malpractice settlement from long-term disability payments were unlawful.

Mark DeBofsky's article "Why the Supreme Court's Definition of 'Civil Action' Should Lead to an Overhaul of ERISA Civil Procedure" was featured in the American Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter Summer 2012 Issue.

"A Brief Guide to Disability Insurance. Various factors can work in a claimant's favor" by Mark DeBofsky has been published in Chicago Medicine Magazine July 2012 issue. Reprinted with the permission of the Chicago Medical Society.

"What is ERISA" by Mark DeBofsky has been published in Chicago Medicine Magazine September 2012 issue. Reprinted with the permission of the Chicago Medical Society.

Mark DeBofsky's article "Why the Supreme Court's Definition of 'Civil Action' Should Lead to an Overhaul of ERISA Civil Procedure" was featured in the American Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter Summer 2012 Issue.