Today, the Supreme Court handed a long-awaited victory to religiously affiliated organizations operating pension plans under ERISA’s “church plan” exemption. In a surprising 8-0 ruling, the Court agreed with the Defendants that the exemption applies to pension plans maintained by church affiliated organizations such as healthcare facilities, even if the plans were not established by
Charles F. Seemann III is office managing principal of the New Orleans, Louisiana office of Jackson Lewis P.C. His practice emphasizes ERISA class action defense and employment law, but encompasses a wide variety of litigation and counseling matters as well.
Charles's primary practice focus includes the defense of ERISA plans and plan fiduciaries at both public and private companies, multi-employer plans and plan fiduciaries, and financial institutions providing services to ERISA plans. Routinely, he defends large ERISA class actions, COBRA class actions, and ESOP litigations. In addition to ERISA, Charles has extensive experience in a wide range of employment matters, including stock-option disputes and executive compensation litigation; wage and hour advice and litigation; and private litigation and regulatory investigations in discrimination, hostile-environment and similar matters. Charles is admitted to practice in both Louisiana and Texas, but has represented clients in complex and class action matters in numerous jurisdictions, including New York, California, Ohio, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Massachusetts, Indiana, Florida, Oklahoma, Georgia, Tennessee, Virginia, Mississippi, and Washington D.C.
Since 2012, Chambers USA has listed Charles among the nation’s pre-eminent lawyers, noting his “strong reputation” as a “real gentleman” among his peers, as well as remarks that “he thinks outside the box” and “knows everything that’s ever happened in a case.”
Charles's activities include regular speaking and writing engagements around the country, on topics including class-action litigation, ERISA fiduciary litigation and risk management, employment law, and best practices for in-house counsel. He also is active in community and civic affairs and donates his time and professional services to numerous causes. While attending law school, he served as articles editor of the Louisiana Law Review.
On Monday, the Supreme Court heard oral argument in the consolidated “church plan” cases, Advocate Health Care Network v. Stapleton, St. Peter’s Healthcare System v. Kaplan, and Dignity Health v. Rollins. As an initial matter, unless the Senate confirms Neil Gorsuch in the very near future, the case will be decided by…