DOL Fiduciary Rule in Doubt after Trump Victory

The U.S. Department of Labor (“DOL”) recently issued a final rule that expands the “investment advice fiduciary” definition under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA).[1] Under the rule, persons who provide investment advice or recommendations for a fee to retirement plans, plan fiduciaries, and individual retirement accounts (IRAs) will be required to abide by the ERISA’s fiduciary standard. That means investment advisers will be required to act in the sole interest of their client. ...


Washington law makes a unilateral attorney-fee provision in a contract (i.e., awarding fees to one party) bilateral, such that the “prevailing party” in an action on the contract can recover fees.[1] For this reason, it’s often assumed that there’s no practical difference between bilateral and unilateral fee provisions. But that’s not always the case. Under the statute, fees are awarded to the “prevailing party” only in the event of a “final judgment.” In contrast, ...


In the wake of AT&T Mobility LLC v. Concepcion[1], mandatory arbitration agreements have become increasingly common in consumer and employment contracts. The rise of arbitration agreements even caught the eye of the New York Times, which ran a three-part series about the “soaring number of consumer and employment contracts” containing arbitration clauses.[i] As discussed in earlier blog posts, when combined with a class-action waiver, arbitration agreements can effectively preclude ...