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Moench on Trial: What the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third Ruling Means for ERISA Stock Drop and Other Prudence Claims

Friday, June 27, 2014
02:00 PM - 03:00 PM ET

Morgan Lewis partners Brian T. Ortelere and Jeremy P. Blumenfeld will participate in Moench on Trial:  What the Supreme Court’s Fifth Third Ruling Means for ERISA Stock Drop and Other Prudence Claims, a webinar hosted by the Momentum Event Group

Program description:

The United States Supreme Court is about to issue a key ruling in Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751, that will determine whether the much-touted Moench “presumption of prudence” applies to fiduciary breach claims challenging 401(k) plan investments in employer stock.

Join us for a timely webinar that looks at how the Supreme Court ruled and the effect it will have on ERISA jurisprudence and fiduciary liability. The precise date to be determined based on when the Supreme Court rules—we expect to conduct this webinar within two business days of the Court’s ruling and will send an email with the date and time to those that register.

Prior to the Court granting cert. in Fifth Third, the Sixth Circuit had held that, while the fiduciaries are entitled to a presumption of prudence, the presumption should not apply at the pleading stage of the litigation and that a plaintiff-participant need only demonstrate that “a prudent fiduciary acting under similar circumstances would have made a different investment decision”—a much less stringent standard than the “dire circumstances” test applied by most other circuit courts. The Sixth Circuit’s substantive standard and refusal to apply the presumption upon consideration of a motion to dismiss represented a sharp departure from the extraordinarily fiduciary-friendly standards applied by all other circuits that considered these issues.

Depending on how the Supreme Court rules, the business community could see a deluge of claims challenging the reasonableness of investments in employer stock.

This webinar will explore issues such as:

  • How the ruling changes the ERISA liability landscape.
  • How the Justices came down on the issues—and why.
  • What the ruling means for the Moench presumption and lower court jurisprudence.
  • Potential steps to mitigate litigation risk going forward.