Two California district court decisions, the most recent issued in January, have set the stage for the Ninth Circuit to rule on when courts may require plaintiffs to arbitrate ERISA fiduciary breach claims.  In March 2017, the Central District of California held in Munro v. University of Southern California that plaintiffs who had signed employment agreements requiring arbitration could nevertheless pursue their claims in court.  The court reasoned that the plaintiffs, all ERISA plan participants, brought the claims on behalf of plans, which had not consented to arbitration.  Weeks ago, in Dorman v. Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., the Northern District of California concluded that it would not compel arbitration even where an arbitration provision was written into the plan itself.
Continue Reading Ninth Circuit Set to Weigh in on Whether Defendants May Compel Arbitration of ERISA Claims

In a series of recent decisions, courts have weighed in on a spate of ERISA lawsuits challenging retirement plans private universities offer to their employees.  These rulings, most of which allowed claims to proceed past the motion to dismiss stage, highlight the variation in standards courts apply when weighing ERISA fiduciary suits.  Moreover, they underline the need for plan fiduciaries to review the performance and fees of their plans’ service and investment providers on a regular basis to determine whether the providers’ fees are reasonable and their continued retention is appropriate.

Continue Reading Courts Weigh in on Challenges to University Retirement Plans