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Complex fiduciary and financial relationships can create exacting operational duties and responsibilities— as well as the potential for high-risk litigation and claims. Attorney Ruth Marcott helps clients meet those challenges with guidance and dispute representation that reflects a rare combination of transactional and litigation expertise.

An accomplished employee benefits specialist, Ruth provides advice and guidance on compliance with federal and state benefits laws including ERISA, IRC, ACA, and the MPPAA. Ruth also has extensive litigation and other dispute-related experience. Ruth’s combined experience increases her effectiveness as an advocate defending audits or investigations by the DOL or the IRS.  Her expertise extends to advising on, investigating, and defending HIPAA and False Claim Act issues. She deploys insights and strategies honed on the litigation front-line to help the clients she serves avoid unwanted problems and make wise choices at the board level.

Her experience in this area includes conducting internal investigations for health care providers to assist in their compliance efforts. In addition to using her skill at addressing complicated facts and financial data on behalf of clients, Ruth serves as Chair for her law firm’s Retirement Plan Committee. She has also held multiple and service roles throughout her career, including current responsibilities at her church, where love of neighbor, community, and service guide her commitments.

Practice Areas

  • Employee Benefits Advice
    • Fund Counsel for Taft-Hartley Multiemployer Plans
    • ERISA and Internal Revenue Code Compliance
    • Drafting Plan Documents and Disclosures
    • 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
  • Internal Investigations
    • Health Provider Compliance
    • Nursing Home and Care-Attendant Provider Compliance
  • Commercial/Civil Litigation
    • Shareholder Disputes
    • Class Action Defense
    • Commercial Arbitrations
    • False Claims Act Defense
  • Types of Benefits Plans
    • Defined Benefit Pensions
    • Qualified Retirement Plans
    • ESOPs
    • Non-Qualified Executive Compensation (Top Hat Plans)
    • VEBAs
    • Church Plans
    • Health and Welfare Plans

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

Education

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

Articles

  • “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)

Presentations

  • 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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