Discovery

:: District Court Holds That Procedural Conflict Results In Expanded Discovery Rights

Two types of potential conflicts can be alleged by a plaintiff, a structural conflict or a procedural conflict. “The structural inquiry focuses on the financial incentives created by the way the plan is organized, whereas the procedural inquiry focuses on how the administrator treated the particular claimant.” Post, 501 F.3d at 162. A structural conflict …

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:: Fiduciary Exception Eclipses ERISA Fiduciary’s Claim Of Attorney Client Privilege

As applied by the courts in cases brought under ERISA, the “fiduciary” exception to the attorney-client privilege “comes into play when . . . the administrator for an ERISA plan invokes the attorney-client privilege against the plan beneficiaries.” Lewis v. UNUM Corp. Severance Plan, 203 F.R.D. 615, 619 (D. Kan. 2001). “This fiduciary exception derives …

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:: District Court Permits Supplementation Of Record But With Instruction On Law

ERISA provides federal courts with jurisdiction to review benefits determinations made by fiduciaries or plan administrators. 29 U.S.C. § 1132(a)(1)(B); see also Lopez ex rel. Gutierrez v. Premium Auto Acceptance Corp., 389 F.3d 504, 509 (5th Cir. 2004). A district court’s function when reviewing ERISA claims is like an appellate court’s. “[The court] does not …

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