Dyke Charles M

Charles M. Dyke



Charles (“Chuck”) Dyke leads the firm’s ERISA Litigation practice. His experience includes defending complex breach of fiduciary duty claims, litigating pension plan termination cases, and handling appellate matters. Chuck also has significant experience litigating other complex commercial cases. He has been recognized as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” each year since 2007 and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. Chuck speaks and writes on ERISA litigation topics.

What do you focus on?

I defend sponsors and fiduciaries in ERISA litigation, evaluate and prosecute claims on behalf of fiduciaries and plans against service providers, evaluate and defend liability claims under complex legacy benefit programs, and litigate complex business cases.

I have handled or participated in ERISA and other appeals in the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Second, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits.

For the first two years of my legal career, I worked as a staff attorney at the PBGC on the agency’s Early Warning Program legal team. Prior to joining Nixon Peabody, I was a partner with Thelen LLP.

Representative ERISA matters

  • Short v. Brown University, No. 17-CV-318 (D.R.I). Defend university against breach of fiduciary duty class action alleging excessive fees and imprudent investments in the university's 403(b) retirement plans.
  • Sacerdote v. New York University School of Medicine, et al., No. 17-cv-8834 (S.D.N.Y.), appeal filed, Case No. 18-1558 (2d Cir.). Defend fiduciary advisor to retirement plan committee against fiduciary breach class claims. Obtained dismissal in district court.
  • Short v. Brown University, No. 17-CV-318 (D.R.I). Defend against "excessive fees" breach of fiduciary duty class action involving the university's 403(b) retirement plans.
  • Catlin Specialty Ins. Co. v. FMV Opinions, Inc., No. 15-cv-1062 (C.D. Cal.). Defended non-fiduciary appraiser of ESOP stock against claims for contribution and indemnity by breaching fiduciary’s subrogee.
  • Rollins v. Dignity Health et al., No. 13-cv-1450 (N.D. Cal.). Defended Catholic-affiliated health care system against challenge to the “church plan” status of its large retirement plan and against related claims alleging breach of fiduciary duty, pension underfunding, and reporting and notice violations.
  • Fifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, No. 12-751, cert. granted, 134 S.Ct. 822. Filed amicus brief in Supreme Court on behalf of ESOP Association arguing in favor of a rule under which ERISA’s duty of investment prudence would not require ESOP fiduciaries to act in response to share-price fluctuations in publicly traded employer stock.
  • Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. City and County of San Francisco, 130 S.Ct. 3497. ERISA preemption challenge to San Francisco health care ordinance. Brought in as counsel of record for Golden Gate Restaurant Association during certiorari stage and handled supplemental briefing.
  • UNUM Life Ins. Co. v. Ward, 526 U.S. 328. Participated in certiorari and merits briefing.
  • Paulsen v. CNF, Inc., 559 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir.). Briefed plan funding and Title IV issues for CNF in litigation over spin-off transaction.
  • United Steelworkers of America v. United Engineering, Inc., et al., 52 F.3d 1386 (6th Cir.). Wrote prevailing brief in Sixth Circuit.
  • Chao v. Malkani, Case No. 07-1828 (4th Cir.). Obtained dismissal of appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.
  • Aloha Airlines v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation et al. (Bankr. D. Haw. & D. Haw.) Successfully tried distress termination case in bankruptcy court for airline against PBGC and unions in connection with four underfunded defined benefit pension plans. Prevailed in district court when expedited appeal by PBGC was taken.
  • Perez v. GreatBanc Trust Co., Sierra Aluminum Co. et al., 2013 WL 1136558 (C.D. Cal.). Represented valuation firm, ESOP sponsor, and selling shareholders in DOL litigation over ESOP valuation in stock purchase transaction; defeated DOL claim challenging indemnification agreement under ERISA § 410; successfully represented valuation firm against prohibited transaction charges during DOL investigation.
  • In re Heller Ehrman LLP (Bankr. N.D. Cal.). Represented law firm’s retirement plan and plan administrator against asserted claims by bankruptcy estate’s creditors that partners’ $12 million contribution to plan 10 months prior to bankruptcy petition constituted recoverable fraudulent conveyance. Persuaded claimants to formally abandon claims in bankruptcy court.
  • Evanson v. Price, 2006 WL 2829789 (E.D. Cal.). Represented trustees of ESOP in substantial breach of fiduciary duty litigation under ERISA against ESOP’s previous trustees.
  • California Law Enforcement Association v. Insurance & Benefits Trust of PORAC (California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara). Represented Insurance & Benefits Trust of Peace Officers Research Association of California against 17200 and related claims by competing police officers’ nonprofit.
  • Lockyer v. PipeVine, Inc. (California Superior Court, County of San Francisco). Successfully represented receiver for defunct San Francisco charitable organization in pension funding matters against former parent entity and in termination liability and excise tax matters against PBGC and IRS.
  • Mentz v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al. (District Court of Texas, Harris County, 281st Judicial District). Represented Wells Fargo Bank against state law claims in series of cases over its service as directed trustee of an IRC § 419(f) plan that the IRS disqualified. Achieved highly favorable settlement after deposing plaintiffs.
  • Baackes v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al. (N.D.N.Y.). Defeated claims against plan and fiduciary for benefits and for misrepresentation and equitable estoppel, and obtained order requiring participant to repay $725,000 pension plan overpayment.

Representative Complex Litigation matters

  • Lee v. Hertz Corp., No. CGC-15-547520 (California Superior Court, County of San Francisco). Defend Fair Credit Reporting Act class action.
  • Walker v. California Boiler, Inc., No. 30-2017-00927441 (California Superior Court, County of Orange). Defend breach of contract claims relating to ESOP, and prosecute related breach of fiduciary duty and breach of contract cross-claims.
  • District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570. Pro bono. Filed amicus brief on behalf of professors of linguistics addressing grammar and eighteenth-century usage of language of Second Amendment.
  • In re Reverse Mortgage Cases (California Superior Court, County of San Mateo). Successfully defended financial institution in three consolidated national class actions over former subsidiary’s reverse mortgage loans.
  • Pelowski v. Shell Internet Ventures, et al. (California Superior Court, County of San Mateo). Successfully defended venture capital fund in derivative action by disgruntled founders.
  • California Dep’t of Insurance v. Credit Lyonnais et al. (C.D. Cal.). Member of team that represented California Department of Insurance in multibillion-dollar fraud action against Credit Lyonnais and other French entities arising out of acquisition of assets of Executive Life Insurance Company through illegal stock-parking arrangements.

Courts reject Oracle, Anthem bids to kill 401(k)-fee suits

Ignites | March 27, 2017

San Francisco labor and employment counsel Charles Dyke is quoted in this article about recent 401(k)-fee cases surviving motions to dismiss.

Attorneys React to High Court ERISA Reimbursement Ruling

Law360 | January 20, 2016

San Francisco counsel and leader of the ERISA Litigation team Chuck Dyke discusses the Supreme Court’s ruling that a retirement plan cannot sue under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act for reimbursement of medical expenses from a third-party settlement that a plan participant has already spent.

Contact

Charles M. Dyke

Leader, ERISA Litigation Team

San Francisco

Phone: 415-984-8315


Fax: 844-540-4098

Georgetown University Law Center, LL.M.

DePaul University College of Law, J.D., Managing Editor, DePaul Law Review

University of Maryland, B.S.

California

Illinois

District of Columbia

U.S. Supreme Court

U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Second Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit

U.S. District Court, Central District of California

U.S. District Court, Eastern District of California

U.S. District Court, Northern District of California

U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois

Charles was selected, through a peer-review survey, for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2019 in the field of Litigation—ERISA. Charles has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2013.

Chuck has been recognized as a “Super Lawyer” by the Northern California Super Lawyer Magazine since 2007 in the area of commercial litigation.

  • Bar Association of San Francisco
  • American Bar Association
  • Federal Bar Association
  • American Bankruptcy Institute Employee Benefits Committee (past co-chair)
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