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Richard Siegel

Richard Siegel is a senior associate in the ERISA Litigation Group of Alston & Bird, where his practice focuses on various labor, employment, employee benefits and ERISA litigation matters. Richard’s ERISA and employee benefits litigation experience includes counseling and representing plan sponsors and fiduciaries in litigation on the numerous duties imposed upon fiduciaries in the administration of plans and investment of plan assets, including the prudent selection and oversight of investment professionals and other service providers, prohibited transaction issues, interpretation of plan documents, unfunded and underfunded liabilities, withdrawal liability and claims for benefits.

In addition, he frequently represents employers in various aspects of labor and employment law, including litigating matters and counseling employers on issues arising under federal labor laws, such as the National Labor Relations Act, Railway Labor Act, Fair Labor Standards Act and Service Contract Act.  Mr. Siegel also has experience in numerous other areas of litigation, including white collar defense, antitrust matters, government contract disputes and other complex civil litigation.

Mr. Siegel was recently recognized as a “Rising Star” in the field of employee benefits by Super Lawyers Magazine (2014).

Education

  • Georgetown University (J.D., 2007)
  • Florida State University (M.S., 2004)
  • Florida State University (B.A., 2003)

Recent Representations

  • Successfully represented the Governor of the State of Florida and other state officials before the Florida Supreme Court over challenges to the constitutionality of changes to Florida’s public employee retirement system. The Supreme Court found for our clients that the legislation is constitutional. This case impacts the pensions of over 500,000 state and municipal employees, and saves billions of dollars in the State budget over many years.
  • Obtained complete dismissal of putative class action brought in the Northern District of Florida alleging breaches of the fiduciary duties of prudence, loyalty, and monitoring arising out of 401(k) plan’s offering of stock of mortgage servicing company accused of malfeasance.
  • Prevailed at trial while representing fiduciaries in an action against the plan administrator, plan counsel and former fiduciaries for the breach of fiduciary duty under ERISA, including the failure to diversify plan investments, failure to act prudently in determining an investment plan, failure to discharge fiduciary duties in accordance with the plan’s governing documents, and failure to properly oversee the administration of the plan.
  • Represents The Prudential Insurance Company of America in individual litigation matters throughout the country, including claims regarding disability and life insurance benefits.
  • Currently represents plans and independent fiduciary in the Southern District of New York arguing for inclusion in securities settlement class where the plans have been excluded from participation in the class because the settlement administrator deemed them to be affiliates of their sponsor that was a defendant in the underlying securities litigation.
  • Currently represents actuarial firm in litigation in the District of Rhode Island alleging negligent performance in valuing changes to municipal pension system.
  • Obtained dismissal on behalf of foreign embassy against claims that the embassy had incorrectly calculated the contributions to be paid to retirement plan and therefore had inadequately funded employee’s benefits.
  • Obtained summary judgment for accidental death insurer on the basis that the decedent’s death resulting from driving under the influence of alcohol was excluded from coverage under the terms of the plan.
  • Obtained judgment on the pleadings for disability insurer on the basis that the plaintiff had failed to challenge the calculation of the amount of his disability benefit within the time allowed under the plan to do so.
  • Successfully obtained dismissal on behalf of an aerospace engineering firm in an action for life insurance benefits brought by the estate of a former employer alleging the failure to pay ERISA benefits and the breach of ERISA fiduciary duty.
  • Obtained dismissal with prejudice for accidental death insurer on the basis that plaintiff’s state law claims were preempted by ERISA.
  • Obtained judgment on the pleadings for disability insurer on the basis that plaintiff had failed to exhaust his administrative appeals and the time to do so under the plan had expired.
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