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Ruth Marcott practices commercial law, specializing in employee benefits advice and litigation, health information privacy, false health claim act issues, business ownership disputes and select specialty issues in commercial transactions and disputes.

In the area of benefits, she provides advice on compliance with federal and state benefits laws (ACA, IRC, ERISA, MPPAA) governing qualified retirement plans (including ESOPs and pension plans), non-qualified plans, health plans and welfare plans.  She advises numerous Taft-Hartley Multiemployer Plans.  She litigates benefits issues, including ERISA class actions, fiduciary claims, multiemployer pension withdrawal liability arbitrations, executive compensation claims. She defends audits or investigations by the DOL or the IRS.  Her expertise extends to advising on,  investigating and defending HIPAA privacy issues and False Claim Act issues.

In general commercial matters, she lends her expertise to transactions, acquisitions and sales.  She advises franchises on legal compliance. She litigates and negotiates shareholder and business ownership disputes.

Practice Areas

  • Employee Benefits Advice
    • ERISA and Internal Revenue Code Compliance
    • Drafting Plan Documents and disclosures
    • Attending Trustee Meetings for Multiemployer Plans or ESOPs
    • Attending Benefits Committee Meetings
    • Meeting with Benefits Administrators
    • IRS and DOL Submissions
    • Merger and Acquisition Benefits advice
    • HIPAA Compliance and Investigation
  • ERISA Litigation
    • Breach of Fiduciary Duty Claims
    • Defense of ERISA class actions
    • Multiemployer Plan Delinquent Contribution Cases
    • Multiemployer Plan Withdrawal Liability Arbitrations
    • Executive Compensation
    • ESOPs
  • Commercial/Civil Litigation
    • Shareholder Disputes
    • Insurance Coverage Litigation
    • Commercial Arbitrations
    • False Claims Act Defense
  • Types of Benefits Plans
    • Defined Benefit Pensions
    • ESOPs
    • Profit-Sharing Plans
    • Cash Balance Plans
    • 401(k) Plans
    • 403(b) Plans
    • 457(b) Plans
    • Non-qualified Executive Compensation (Top Hat Plans)
    • VEBAs
    • Church Plans
    • Health Plans
    • Other Welfare or Fringe Benefits

Representative Cases

  • Withdrawal Liability Arbitrations
  • Sachsenmaier v. SuperValu, 10-4868 (D. Minn.) (defense against alleged wrongful denial of disability benefits claim)
  • Thorkelson, et al. v. ELCA, et al., 10-1712 (D. Minn.) (defense against benefits class action case)
  • Kendall v. Int’l. Assoc. of Bridge, Structural, and Ornamental Workers Local 793 Pension Plan, et al., 10-3140 (D. Minn.) (defense of third party administrator)
  • Aiken v. U.S. Transformer, Inc., 2009 WL 1940559 (U.S. Id. 2009) (defense of ERISA and RICO claims asserted against plan sponsor and corporate officers and agents)
  • Cruz v. Lawson Software Inc.,08-cv-5900 (D. Minn.) (defense of ERISA claims in class action)

Professional Certifications, Awards and Designations

  • Rated “AV Preeminent” (highest rating) by Martindale Hubbell Legal Directory

Professional Activities and Memberships

  • Member of International Foundation of Employee Benefit Programs (IFEBP)
  • The ESOP Association
  • National Center for Employee Ownership (NCEO)
  • Federal Bar Association (Minnesota Chapter, 2003)

Bar Admission

  • United States Tax Court, 2001
  • Wisconsin, 1995
  • U.S. Claims Court, 1990
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, 8th Circuit, 1988
  • U.S. District Court, Minnesota, 1987
  • Minnesota, 1986


  1. J.D., University of Minnesota, cum laude, 1986
  2. B.A., University of St. Thomas, summa cum laude, 1983


  • “6 Top Ways to Increase Net Collections” (2014 Benefits Magazine, September Edition)
  • “Red Flags for Trustees: Detecting Weak Points in Your Fiduciary Armor” (2014 Benefits Magazine, June Edition)


  • HRAs, HSAs and FSAs – The Benefits, Their Rules, Their Interaction and Their Maximization by Stacking (IFEBP Webinar – 2017)
  • Multiemployer and Other Union Plans: Issues and Outlook (2017 Advanced Employee Benefits Workshop)
  • HRAs, HSAs and FSAs – The Benefits, Their Rules, Their Interaction and Their Maximization by Stacking (IFEBP Webinar – 2017)
  • Multiemployer and Other Union Plans: Issues and Outlook (2017 Advanced Employee Benefits Workshop)
  • ERISA Litigation Trends in 2017 and Beyond: Delving Deeper (Webinar) (The Knowledge Group – 2016) (Co-presenter)
  • ACA Compliance for Public Plans (IFEBP Annual Meeting – 2016)
  • Navigating Pension Plan De-Risking: Significant Implications to Employers and Retirement Policy (Webinar) (The Knowledge Group – 2016) (Co-presenter)
  • Employee Benefits Update in the ACA Era (Felhaber Larson Annual Seminar – 2015) (Co-presenter)
  • FSAs, HRAs, and HSAs in an ACA Environment (IFEBP Annual Meeting – 2014)
  • Healthcare Reform: Understanding Employer Obligations and Options (ESOP Annual Meeting – 2014)
  • Proper Administrative Committee Governance (2014 Plansponsor National Conference) (Co-presenter)
  • De-Risking, Freezing & Terminating Defined Benefit Plans (2014 Advanced Employee Benefits Workshop – Minnesota CLE) (Co-presenter)
  • Refresher on Fiduciary Standards (IFEBP Annual Meeting – 2013)
  • Collection Issues in Withdrawal Liability (IFEBP Collection Procedures Institute – 2013)
  • Fiduciary Liability Update (2013 Advanced Employee Benefits Workshop – Minnesota CLE) (Co-presenter)
  • Meeting Fiduciary Obligations in DC Plans (IFEBP Annual Meeting – 2012)
  • Health Care Reform – An Update (IFEBP – 2011 Health Care Management Conference)
  • Legal and Regulatory Update (IFEBP – 2011 Trustees and Administrators Institute)
  • Reporting and Disclosure Update (IFEBP – 2010 Trustees and Administrators Institute)
  • Administrative Compliance – What Should You Be Doing Now? (IFEBP Annual Meeting – 2009)
  • Delinquency Collections Issues for Multiemployer Plans (IFEBP Collection Procedures Institute – 2008)
  • HIPAA Compliance (IFEBP Annual Meeting – 2007)


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