James P. McElligott Jr.

Partner

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Practices
Industries
Education
  • Harvard Law School, JD, cum laude, Member and Note Editor, Harvard Journal on Legislation, 1973
  • University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, BA, with Highest Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, 1970
Admissions
  • Virginia
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Tax Court
Affiliations

President, Central Virginia Employee Benefits Council, 2006-2007

President, Richmond Chapter, Federal Bar Association, 1987-1988

Member, US Chamber of Commerce Employee Benefits Committee, 2005-2012

Member, Section of Labor Relations and Employment, Section of Taxation; Executive Committee, Section of Young Lawyers, 1979-1981, Virginia Bar Association

Member; Chair, Personnel Committee, 1989-1994; Chair, 1994-1995; Board Member,1990-1996, Richmond Chapter, American Red Cross

Management Co-Chair, Subcommittee on Benefit Claims, Employee Benefits Committee, Section of Labor and Employment Law; American Bar Association, 2000-2012

Member, Employee Benefits Committee, Section of Taxation, American Bar Association

Board Member, 1976-1996; President, 1980-1982, Virginia Home for Boys

Chair, Section of Employment Law, Virginia Association of Defense Attorneys, 1992-1994

Member, Leadership Metro-Richmond

Jay advises and defends private and publicly held corporations, public agencies, benefit plans and fiduciaries concerning employee benefits, executive compensation, and related labor and employment issues, including ERISA litigation, class actions, claims for employee benefits and executive compensation, breach of fiduciary duty (including stock-drop class actions), multiemployer plans and withdrawal liability, retirement medical, benefits in bankruptcy, and Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation issues.

Jay is a fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Attorneys. He regularly publishes and lectures on employment, benefits and compensation issues. He has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Baltimore Sun, Daily Labor Reporter, Pension and Benefits Week, Computer Law, Tax Report, CBS Business Watch, Business Insurance, Chicago Sun Times, Richmond Times-Dispatch, MicroSoft Network, WashTech.com, Employment and Labor Lawcast, and other publications.

In the News

James P McElligott Jr.
vCard
T: +1 804 775 4329F: +1 804 698 2111Gateway Plaza
800 East Canal Street
Richmond, VA 23219-3916
Recent Appellate Cases

Carter v. Commissioner and A. Finkl & Sons Company, 2014 U.S. App. LEXIS 5476 (7th Cir. Mar. 25, 2014). The judicial doctrine of collateral estoppel bars a group of pension plan participants from challenging a plan amendment as a violation of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act's anti-cutback provisions.

Carter v. Pension Plan of A. Finkl, 654 F.3d 719, 2011 U.S. App. LEXIS 16824 (7th Cir. Aug. 15, 2011). Representation of plan and plan fiduciaries regarding anti-cutback and benefit claims by pension plan participants for immediate benefits based on alleged termination of pension plan.

In re Citigroup Pension Plan ERISA Litig., 2009 WL 3335910 (2d Cir. Oct. 19, 2009). Amicus Brief filed on behalf of American Benefits Council in support of CitiGroup’s successful appeal of cash balance plan issues, involving application of ERISA §204(b) anti-backloading rules and ERISA §204(h) notice; in reversing the district court and ruling in favor of CitiGroup.

E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. v. Ampthill Rayon Workers, Inc., 290 Fed. Appx. 607 (4th Cir. 2008), cert. denied 2009 U.S. LEXIS 953 (2009). Litigation as to whether union grievance over amendments to employee benefits plans was subject to arbitration clause in collective bargaining agreement.

Bullock v. Rehrig Int'l, 211 Fed. Appx. 198 (4th Cir. 2006), cert. denied 127 S.Ct. 2275 (2007). Representation of employer on Title VII claims of discriminatory discharge and sexual harassment.

Piner et al. v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., No. 00-1082, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 29016 (4th Cir. 2000), aff'g No. 7:99-cv-48-F(1) (E.D.N.C. 1999). Representation of employer regarding class action claims under ERISA for early retirement incentive benefits, breach of fiduciary duty, and claims for statutory penalties for failing to produce plan documents.

Shores et al. v. Lucent Technologies, Inc., No. 99-1155, 2000 U.S. App. LEXIS 455 (4th Cir. 2000), aff'g No. 3:98cv300 (E.D.Va. 1999). Representation of employer against 56 plaintiffs seeking benefits, statutory penalties, and damages for alleged § 510 discrimination.

Recent trial court cases

Dominion Res., Inc. v. Estate of Estate of Griffin, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99696 (E.D. Va. July 29, 2016) (plan is not bound by state court determination that a domestic relations order is a QDRO).

Halldorson v. Wilmington Trust Ret. & Institutional Servs. Co., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55704 (E.D. Va. Apr. 22, 2016) (plaintiff barred from pursuing ESOP civil action because of a Separation Agreement and General Release).

Laborers' Dist. Council of Va. Health & Welfare Trust Fund v. Cleveland Cement Contrs., Inc., 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34032, 2014 BL 73250 (W.D. Va. Mar. 17, 2014) (construction company effectively repudiated its prehire agreement and wasn't subject to a collective bargaining agreement that would have required the company to pay contributions for all employees)

In re: BP ERISA Litigation, Case Nos. 4:10-md-2185 and 4:10-cv-4214 (S.D. Tex. May 27, 2011). Representation of corporate officer and investment committee member in pending stock drop case.

Tyco Int'l, Ltd. v. Kozlowski, 2011 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 55797 (S.D.N.Y. May 24, 2011). Representation against former CEO’s motion for certification for interlocutory appeal pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1292(b) and for entry of partial final judgment on his ERISA counterclaims pursuant to FRCP 54 (b).

Baxter v. Sun Life Assur. Co., 713 F. Supp. 2d 766 (N.D. Ill., 2010). Expert witness testimony on characterization of settlement proceeds for tax purposes.

Tyco Int'l, Ltd. v. Kozlowski, 756 F. Supp. 2d 553 (S.D.N.Y. 2010), Representation of company regarding former CEO’s compensation earned during the period of executive’s disloyalty to the company and executive’s counterclaims against the company.

Carter v. Pension Plan of A. Finkl, 1:08-cv-07169 (N.D. Ill. 2010). Representation of plan and plan fiduciaries regarding anti-cutback and benefit claims by pension plan participants for immediate benefits based on alleged termination of pension plan.

Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation v. LaSalle Bank, N.A., Case: 1:08-00271 (D. D.C. 2009). Representation regarding PBGC decision that bank became member of borrower’s controlled group and was liable for unfunded pension liability.

In re Tyco Int'l Ltd., Multidistrict Litig., Case No. 02-md-1335-PB, (D.N.H.). Class action settlement of “stock drop” case alleging breach of ERISA fiduciary duty in including employer stock as option in participant-directed 401(k) plan.

Hobson et al v. E.I. duPont de Nemours and Company, Inc. 3:09-cv-474 (E.D. Va. 2009). Representation of DuPont regarding claims of breach of fiduciary duty and benefit claims based on alleged errors in computer calculation process.

Roberts v. Dominion Res., Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31183 (D. Conn. 2008). Representation of employer regarding ERISA benefits claim.

Flickinger v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 466 F. Supp. 2d 701 (E.D. Va. 2006). Representation of employer regarding ERISA Section 510 and other claims.

Dalesandro v. Int'l Paper Co., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 44896 (S.D. Ohio 2005). Class action settlement over ERISA severance claims.

Hinkle v. ABB Process Analytics, Inc., CA 05:04-0662 (S.D. W.Va. February 24, 2005). Class action pension claims for failure to exhaust administrative remedies.

Silvernail v. Ameritech Corporation, CA 03-3291 (C.D. Ill. February 1, 2005). Representation of employer and retirement plan regarding plaintiff's claim for pension benefits based on claim that plan’s vesting rules did not comply with ERISA §203.

Skiles v. E. I. DuPont de Nemours & Co., No. 1:03-CV-239, (E.D. Tenn. January 25, 2005). Representation of employer and plan regarding ERISA claims for life insurance benefits, breach of fiduciary duty, and estoppel.

Smith v. Logan, CA No. 3:04CV581 ___ F.Supp. 2d ____ (E.D. Va. November 5, 2004). Representation of defendant regarding claims for tortious interference by supervisor with enhanced early retirement benefits.

Graham v. Pactiv Corporation Benefits Committee, 301 F. Supp. 2d 483 (E.D. Va. 2004). Representation of retirement plan and fiduciary regarding participant’s claims for higher benefits, breach of fiduciary duty, estoppel, and failure to produce documents.

Smith v. Logan, 363 F. Supp. 2d 804 (E.D. Va. 2004). Representation of defendant regarding claims for tortious interference by supervisor with enhanced early retirement benefits.

Goodman v. E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company et al., No. 3:00-CV-14-J-25TJC (M.D.Fla. 2001). Representation of employer and benefit plans regarding claims of contingent workers for benefits and damages under ERISA § 510.

Noble v. Reynolds Metals Pension Plan for Hourly Employees, No: 3:00CV629 (E.D.Va. 2001). Representation of pension plan regarding claims under ERISA for special "shutdown" pension benefits under collectively bargained agreements.

Named "Lawyer of the Year," Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Richmond, Best Lawyers, 2015

Selected for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law, Employment Law - Management, Labor Law - Management, Litigation - ERISA, Litigation - Labor & Employment Woodward/White, Inc, 1995-2017

Named to "Virginia Super Lawyers," Employee Benefits/ERISA, Employment & Labor, Super Lawyers, Thomson Reuters, 2007-2017

Named to "Legal Elite," Labor/Employment, Virginia Business, 2006-2007

Selected for inclusion in America's Leading Lawyers for Business, Labor & Employment: Employee Benefits & Compensation, Virginia, Chambers USA, 2008-2017

Selected for inclusion in Who’s Who Legal: Pensions & Benefits, 2015, 2016

AV-Preeminent-Rated, Labor & Employment Law, Martindale-Hubbell

Co-author, "Tatum “Reverse Stock-Drop” Case Has Important Lessons for Employers and Fiduciaries," Bender’s Labor & Employment Bulletin, October 2014
Author, "COBRA - Continuation Coverage," Employment Law in Virginia, Virginia Law Foundation, August 2014
Author, "ERISA Litigation," Employment Law in Virginia, Virginia Law Foundation, August 2014
Co-author, "Sun Capital Decision Threatens Lenders with Controlled Group Liability," The Banking Law Journal, June 2014
Contributing Author, Employee Benefits Law, Third Edition, Bloomberg BNA, 2012
Co-author, "New Life for Stock Drop Lawsuits: Sixth Circuit Rejects Moench Presumption at Pleading Stage," Employee Benefit Plan Review, May 2012
Co-author, "A Cure for Presenteeism? Mandatory Paid Sick Leave for Connecticut Workers," Employee Benefit Plan Review, October 2011
Author, "ERISA Litigation," Employment Law in Virginia, Virginia Law Foundation, August 2010
Author, "COBRA - Continuation Coverage," Employment Law in Virginia, Virginia Law Foundation, August 2010
Author, "Modifying Retiree Health Benefits in Bankruptcy," Strafford Publications, January 2010
Author, Employee Benefits Law, Second Edition, 2001-2009 Supplements, ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law, 2009
Author, "Understanding ERISA Retirement Plan Expenses," January 2007
Faculty, PBGC Reportable Events: What You Need to Know About the New Rules, Lorman Education Services Webinar, March 17, 2016
Planning Chair, Update on Retiree Medical Benefits, American Law Institute, February 9, 2016
Speaker, The ACA and the Implications of King v. Burwell, McGuireWoods LLP Teleconference, March 11, 2015
Speaker, "Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer: The Impact of the Decision on the Future of Stock Drop Cases and Litigation Regarding Plan Investments," 8th National Forum on ERISA Litigation, American Conference Institute, October 27, 2014
Speaker, "Fifth Third v. Dudenhoeffer," SEC Compliance and Enforcement Update, McGuireWoods LLP SEC Practice Complimentary Webinar Series, September 23, 2014
Speaker, Bloomberg BNA Webinar, September 9, 2014
Speaker, "Ethical Issues That Arise in ERISA Litigation: The Fiduciary Exception to Attorney-Client Privilege, the Question of Who Really Is Your Client, and Other Considerations," 6th National ERISA Litigation Conference, American Conference Institute, October 24-25, 2013
Speaker, Benefits Law and Regulation: What More is Coming in 2013?, Bloomberg BNA Webinar, May 2, 2013
Faculty, "Navigating Inconsistent Court Treatment and Protecting Counsel Advice to Plan Participants," ERISA Counsel's Communications with Plan Fiduciaries and Attorney-Client Privilege, Strafford Webinar, April 3, 2013
Speaker, "The 2012 Elections, The American Tax Payer Relief Act, Deficit Reduction and Tax Reform," Employee Benefits in 2013, International Society of Certified Employee Benefit Specialists, February 14, 2013
Speaker, "Cigna v. Amara Revisited: The Ongoing Fallout From this Landmark Case and Its Progeny," 5th National Forum on Defending and Managing ERISA Litigation, American Conference Institute, January 22 - 23, 2013
Co-presenter, "Navigating Controlled Group and Successor Liability Rules for Defined Benefit Pension Plans," ERISA Successor and Affiliate Liability, Strafford CLE Webinar/teleconference, December 6, 2012
Speaker, Impact of the 2012 Elections on Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation, Bloomberg BNA Webinar, November 13, 2012
Speaker, "Supreme Court's Decision on Cigna v. Amara," Fifth Annual Forum on ERISA Litigation, American Conference Institute, October 29, 2012
Speaker, "ERISA Fiduciary Exception to the Attorney Client Privilege," Strafford Webinar Broadcast Nationally, April 12, 2012
Speaker, "Health Reform Update: What’s Happening and What Are Employers Doing?," Sterling Education Services, August 4, 2011
Speaker, "What Employers and Business Associates Need to Know about Privacy and Security Obligations under HIPAA and HITECH," Webinar Broadcast Nationally, July 26, 2011
Speaker, "Meeting Your Fiduciary Obligations under ERISA," Webinar Broadcast Nationally, July 19, 2011
Speaker, "Cigna v. Amara: What Equitable Monetary Remedies Now Exist," BNA Webinar Broadcast, July 6, 2011
Speaker, "What Employers and Business Associates Need to Know About Privacy and Security Obligations Under HIPAA and HITECH," BNA Seminar, April 7, 2011
Speaker, "Medical Account Plans in the Age of Health Reform: What Will Happen to Your HRA, FSA, and HSA?," BNA Seminar, April 7, 2011
Speaker, "Conkright and the Ever-Evolving Standard of Review," Mid-winter meeting of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, February 17, 2011
Speaker, "Collective Bargaining, Pensions and Retiree Medical Benefits," American Conference Institute, January 25, 2011
Speaker, "The Recessionary Economy and Its Impact on Defined Benefit Plans, Plan Severance, and Multiemployer Plan Litigation," American Conference Institute, ERISA Litigation Conference, October 21, 2010
Speaker, "Wellness Programs and Health Reform," 44th Annual Lawyers’ Conference of the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association, May 18, 2010
Speaker, "Self-Reporting and Excise Tax Obligations of Employers Who Sponsor Group Health Plans," BNA Interview Broadcast, March 18, 2010
Speaker, "Impact of the Supreme Court's MetLife Decision on Discovery, Conflicts of Interest and Adjudication of ERISA Benefit Claims," Mid-winter meeting of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law, February 5, 2010
Speaker, "Retiree Health Benefit Plans: Modifying and Terminating Legacy Benefits," Strafford National Webinar Broadcast, January 12, 2010
Speaker, "Standard of Review for Denial of ERISA Benefit Claims and Effect of Fiduciary's Conflict of Interest," Mid-winter meeting, American Bar Association's Section of Labor and Employment Law, Employee Benefits Committee, February 28, 2008