Pension Litigation

Ms. Berkowitz litigates complex pension disputes in trial and appellate courts throughout the country. Representative examples include:

In re Disney ERISA Litigation
Ms. Berkowitz led the briefing on appeal (Our Opening Brief) before the Ninth Circuit in this closely-watched action on behalf of a putative class of over 50,000 participants in a Walt Disney Company pension plan. The suit alleged that plan fiduciaries violated their duties under ERISA by failing to monitor one of the plan’s most popular mutual fund offerings, which abandoned its stated investment strategy. Ms. Berkowitz presented oral argument (oral argument) before the Ninth Circuit, arguing against noted appellate and Supreme Court litigator, Jonathan Hacker. The Ninth Circuit ultimately sided with the defendants.

RJ Reynolds Pension Plan v. Tatum
After losing a controversial 2-1 decision in the Fourth Circuit, RJR Reynolds retained the former Solicitor General under President George W. Bush to file a petition for certiorari in this high-stakes, high-profile pension class action. Lead plaintiffs’ counsel retained our firm as Supreme Court counsel. With Peter Stris, Ms. Berkowitz took the lead in drafting the Brief in Opposition. The Court elected to call for the views of the Solicitor General who, after meeting with both sides, fully endorsed our position (U.S. Invitation Brief). The petition was subsequently denied.

Davis v. PBGC
On behalf of the Delta Pilots’ Pension Preservation Organization (DP3, Inc.), Ms. Berkowitz prepared an amicus brief (Our Brief) urging Supreme Court review of an important DC Circuit ruling in complex pension litigation brought by other airline pilots and their beneficiaries against the Pension Benefit Guarantee Corporation (SCOTUSBlog Profile of Case).