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Standing at the Crossroads of ERISA and the Railway Labor Act: Choosing the Right Track and Avoiding Collateral Damage
Greta E. Cowart
Just as no man is an island, no attorney can be an island by practicing in only one area of law without being aware of other laws that might overlap. Litigation frequently exposes how laws intersect or overlap as well as how a decision under one law may have consequences in another law. Decisions made in corporate transactions may also impact whether a client complies with other laws. This is so because for every decision there are consequences and uncontemplated consequences can raise issues under other laws that apply to the client in the transaction.
Claims under the law of retaliatory discharge claims,the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act frequently overlap with claims under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, (‘‘ERISA’’), labor and employment laws, and the Railway Labor Act (the ‘‘RLA’’)
ERISA lawyers must consider how an action with respect to an ERISA claim or dispute might affect the client in other areas, just as non-ERISA lawyers should consider ERISA and the unique aspects of attorney-client privilege related to ERISA claims when they provide advice, make litigation decisions, and draft or apply provisions in a collective bargaining agreement (‘‘CBA’’).
Excerpted from the BNA Pension & Benefits Daily. For full text, please click on the PDF link below.