A recent opinion from a federal district court in Massachusetts provides plan sponsors and fiduciaries with a reminder that plan service providers should be excused from meetings where their attendance is not needed to assist in the provision of legal advice. If they are not, whatever attorney-client privilege that may have protected the confidentiality of the discussion or documents may be waived. In Hill v. State Street Corp., 2013 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181168 (D. Mass. Dec. 30, 2013), the district court granted in part plaintiff’s motion to compel plan committee meeting minutes that defendant sought to shield from discovery because there was no evidence that the presence of a third-party consultant retained by the plan to provide specialized investment and governance consulting services was necessary to assist counsel in providing legal advice to the plan.

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Photo of Russell Hirschhorn Russell Hirschhorn

Russell L. Hirschhorn, co-head of the ERISA Litigation Group, represents plan fiduciaries, trustees, sponsors and service providers on the full range of ERISA and state law benefit and fiduciary issues. From single plaintiff litigation and arbitration to complex class action litigation, he provides…

Russell L. Hirschhorn, co-head of the ERISA Litigation Group, represents plan fiduciaries, trustees, sponsors and service providers on the full range of ERISA and state law benefit and fiduciary issues. From single plaintiff litigation and arbitration to complex class action litigation, he provides practical guidance, develops unique litigation defense strategies and, when appropriate, mediates successful resolutions.

Russell represents clients across a wide array of publicly-held, multi-national companies and privately owned companies across a multitude of industries including, banking, finance and investments, pharmaceuticals, retail products and construction, to name just a few. In addition, he also counsels benefit plan clients on a host of compliance and federal and state government agency enforcement matters, including complex and lengthy investigations and audits by the U.S. Departments of Justice and Labor.

Russell is management co-chair of the American Bar Association Employee Benefits Committee as well as management co-chair of the Trial Institutes Committee of the American Bar Association’s Labor and Employment Law. He also writes on cutting-edge ERISA litigation issues, serving as a contributing author and a past chapter editor to Employee Benefits Law (BNA Third Edition).

Deeply dedicated to pro bono work, Russell was a principal drafter of several amicus briefs for the Innocence Project, a legal non-profit committed to exonerating wrongly convicted people. Russell has been recognized on several occasions for his commitment to pro bono work including by President George W. Bush in receiving the U.S. President’s Volunteer Service Award.

Photo of Tulio Chirinos Tulio Chirinos

Tulio D. Chirinos is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group and the Workplace Investigations Practice Group.

Tulio works on a wide variety of ERISA and non-ERISA plan litigation matters…

Tulio D. Chirinos is an associate in the Labor & Employment Law Department and a member of the Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Group and the Workplace Investigations Practice Group.

Tulio works on a wide variety of ERISA and non-ERISA plan litigation matters, including fee and investment litigation cases, breach of fiduciary duty claims and benefits claims. He also represents management in workplace investigations and litigation of employment-related matters, including claims of unlawful discrimination, harassment and retaliation. Tulio focuses his pro bono efforts on immigration matters where he has represented several juveniles from Central America in their asylum petitions and special immigrant juvenile status (SIJ) petitions.

Tulio is the author of several ERISA-related articles, including several focusing on ERISA fee and investment litigation that appeared in the Benefits Law Journal (2016-2023), Bloomberg BNA, and Law360. He is a contributing author to Chapter 10 (Fiduciary Responsibility) of BNA’s Employee Benefits Law treatise. He is also the co-editor and a frequent contributor to Proskauer’s Employee Benefits & Executive Compensation Blog.

Prior to joining Proskauer, Tulio clerked for the Federal Public Defender’s office for the Middle District of Florida. Tulio is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Army National Guard and served three tours of duty in Iraq, Kuwait, and Jordan.