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September 2014

Gordon & Rees’s Matt Kleiner and Dawn Valentine Author Article in DRI Happenings

Gordon & Rees San Diego and Phoenix partner Matthew G. Kleiner and San Francisco of counsel Dawn N. Valentine recently co-authored an article titled “Reasonable Contractual Timing Limitations Are Enforceable in ERISA Plans.” In the article, published in the Sept. 5 DRI Happenings, the authors discussed evolving case law and time limitations for bringing civil actions to recover plan benefits under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).

“Under the current state of the law, and thanks to a recent Supreme Court opinion, such timing provisions are likely to be enforced with just a few specific exceptions,” Kleiner and Valentine wrote, referring to the high court’s 2013 opinion in Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Ins. Co. “For the time being, it is well-settled that ERISA plan timing provisions will be enforced generally as written and that the claimant will retain his obligation to diligently pursue his rights according to the time limitations provided by the plan,” the authors wrote.

Kleiner has nearly 10 years of experience defending ERISA cases involving disability and life benefits disputes. He also has more than 14 years of experience handling appellate matters before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, California Courts of Appeal and Arizona Courts of Appeals.  Certified as an appellate specialist by the California Board of Legal Specialization, Kleiner has handled multiple appeals to completion and has decisions published in California and Arizona.  

Valentine has more than 14 years of experience in complex insurance coverage and bad-faith litigation involving primary liability, excess liability, errors and omissions, and directors and officers policies. She handles matters involving malpractice claims, asbestos litigation, intellectual property, advertising injury, intentional torts, punitive damages, and lost wages. Valentine regularly defends ERISA matters against benefit plans and their insurers. She also defends fraud and catastrophic injury claims.

To read the DRI Happenings article, click here.


Matthew G. Kleiner

Employment Law