December 20, 2019

Jim Jorden Comments on Ninth Circuit Decision in ERISA Case

In the year-end article “The Biggest ERISA Decisions of 2019,” Law360 spoke with partner Jim Jorden for insight into the Ninth Circuit case, Michael Dorman v. The Charles Schwab Corporation, et al.

The Ninth Circuit ruled in August that Charles Schwab Corp. can send a proposed class action accusing Schwab of using its retirement plan as a cash cow to arbitration, striking down decades-old case law that said ERISA fiduciary-breach lawsuits can’t be arbitrated.

“I think Dorman v. Schwab was very important, first of all, because it overruled previous case law in the Ninth Circuit on allowing arbitration in ERISA claims,” Jorden said. “Longer-term, one of the key issues here is how is the determination with respect to individual versus plan arbitration is going to be worked out.”

“Right now, you have this question of: Can companies adopt arbitration provisions for their employees as part of the plan itself that excludes class claims?” Jorden said.

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