1. Tell us about your practice.
My practice focuses on representing public and private companies, tax-exempt organizations and governmental entities in the area of employee benefits and compensation law. I work with clients on benefit plan and compensation program design, implementation and compliance. I also represent clients in connection with the Affordable Care Act and ERISA fiduciary planning and compliance. Advising clients on benefits and compensation issues in mergers and acquisitions is an important part of my practice. I am very active as an officer in the American Bar Association and other regional and national benefits focused organizations, which has been particularly valuable to me and beneficial to our clients.
2. Over the years, what major changes have you witnessed related to the practice of employee benefits law?
When I began practicing employee benefits law 30 years ago, the main focus was on qualified pension and 401(k) plans, nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements and related tax matters. Over the years, the practice has evolved with much greater emphasis on health and welfare plans and ERISA fiduciary planning and compliance due to the exponential growth in government regulation of these areas.
3. Why did you choose to pursue a career in the legal field?
Honestly, I don’t really know. I just decided in first grade I wanted to be a lawyer and it stuck. I believe I thought TV and movie lawyers were “cool.” I spent considerable time investigating what lawyers actually do and reached out to lawyers in our church and community for guidance and found that the practice of law was completely different than that portrayed by TV and film. It was better – a chance to make a modest difference.