To Be Preempted or Not to Be Preempted: An Update on the Interactions between State Law and ERISA

Level: Advanced
Runtime: 88 minutes
Recorded Date: November 17, 2020
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  • Background on ERISA preemption
  • Rutledge v. Pharm. Care Mgmt. Association
  • Other pending PBM litigation
  • State retirement programs
  • Municipal regulations on health benefits
  • State law restrictions on reimbursement/subrogation and assignment claims
Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes
Recorded: November 17, 2020


While the Supreme Court will be grappling with the complexities of ERISA preemption, the federal appellate and district courts are also interpreting the scope of ERISA preemption in cases involving state regulation of pharmacy benefit managers, state autoenrollment retirement savings programs, municipal regulation of healthcare benefits, and state restrictions on reimbursement/subrogation and assignment of benefit claims.

This program was recorded on November 17th, 2020.

Provided By

American Bar Association


Denise M. Clark

Clark Law Group, PLLC

Since 2007, Clark Law Group, PLLC (CLG), has provided comprehensive legal counsel to our clients throughout the United States. Our founder, Denise Clark, has over 25 years’ experience employee benefits and employment law. Before starting the CLG, Ms. Clark represented multiemployer plans and fiduciaries for more than 15 years, including a term of five years as the General Counsel of a national multiemployer plan, where she handled ERISA compliance and employment matters concerning the funds' staff.

Ms. Clark's practice is focused on litigation in the areas of disability discrimination, retaliation under several employment statutes, and ERISA pension and disability claims. Ms. Clark assists clients at all stages of litigation, counseling clients in a manner to assist them to see the value of their cases and the stages of litigation where they will best achieve their goals.

Ms. Clark has successfully represented clients in federal and state courts assisting them to recover settlements and judgments for damages resulting from discrimination, unpaid wages and unpaid benefits. She has also helped clients negotiate pre-litigation resolutions in both administrative agency mediations and private mediations. She also assists individuals with employment agreement non-competes, severance agreements, and trade secret obligations.

Michael Daum

Blitman & King, LLP

Michael R. Daum counsels employee benefit plans throughout New York City and State out of Blitman & King’s Syracuse and New York City offices with regard to a variety of legal issues under ERISA and the Internal Revenue Code. Mike advises Plan Sponsors (such as multi-employer Boards of Trustees) on drafting and amending Plan documents, fiduciary responsibilities, regulatory compliance, and prohibited transactions. He has also negotiated investment documents on behalf of plans with investment managers, hedge funds, private equity funds, and other large investment firms for plan investments totaling nearly half a billion dollars in the aggregate. In addition, Mike has experience with audits and investigations initiated by the U.S. Department of Labor and Internal Revenue Service and has worked with agents to have potentially large penalties reduced substantially.

Mike has an active role as a Subcommittee Co-Chair for the American Bar Association’s Employee Benefits Committee and has served as a Chapter Editor (ERISA Preemption) for the Employee Benefits Law treatise and its supplements. He has also served as an officer for the Michigan State University College of Law Alumni Association and St. Joseph the Worker Church Pastoral Council.

Born in Auburn, New York, Mike graduated with a bachelor’s degree from St. John Fisher College in Rochester, New York and obtained his law degree from Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing, Michigan. He is a Buffalo Bills season ticket holder and enjoys reading and playing and watching basketball in his free time.

Marie Casciari

DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds, P.C.

Marie Casciari is a shareholder at DeBofsky Sherman Casciari Reynolds P.C., and practices exclusively in the areas of employee benefits, ERISA, mental health parity, and other insurance benefits litigation. Marie Casciari handles litigation at the state court, federal district court, and federal appellate court levels; and manages internal appeals and benefit claim submissions under group and individual benefit plans. Marie Casciari has argued before the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, and the Illinois Circuit Court.

Clarissa Kang

Trucker Huss, APC

Clarissa advocates zealously and effectively for employee benefit plans, plan administrators, plan sponsors, and other fiduciaries before federal and state courts and government regulatory agencies.

As a director in our nationally recognized ERISA litigation group (First Tier Nationally in US News and World Report Best Lawyers), she has handled a broad spectrum of litigation, including cases involving benefit claims, fiduciary issues, plan administration, multiemployer plans, withdrawal liability, delinquent contributions, plan reimbursement and subrogation, non-ERISA benefit plans (such as governmental plans and church plans), and class actions. In addition to serving as an advocate in active litigation, Clarissa advises and represents retirement plans, health and welfare plans, and plan fiduciaries in investigations and agency actions commenced by the U.S. Department of Labor, the Internal Revenue Service, and U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Taking a practical and thoughtful approach, Clarissa provides advice and support to plan fiduciaries in their determination of benefit claims and appeals. With an eye for detail, she negotiates investment management and service provider agreements on behalf of plans and their fiduciaries.

Clarissa is a frequent presenter on ERISA litigation, plan administration, benefit claims administration, and fiduciary responsibility. Clarissa has authored several articles, including articles on judicial review of benefit claims, remedies after CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, and arbitration provisions in plans.

Clarissa is admitted to practice before the state and federal district courts of California (Northern, Central, Eastern, Southern), the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the U.S. Supreme Court, and the state and federal district courts of Hawaii.

She has been listed as a Northern California “Super Lawyer” in the area of employee benefits law since 2014 and received the Minority Bar Coalition 2015 Unity Award for promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession. Clarissa has also been selected by her peers for inclusion in Best Lawyers® in America since 2020 in the practice area of ERISA Litigation.

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