Paley Eric

Eric Paley



Eric Paley is the team leader of the firm’s Employee Benefits team. He advises clients on how to comply with the laws governing their employee benefits programs.

What do you focus on?

Three hallmarks distinguish my practice.

Representing nonprofit and governmental organizations

I work primarily (though not exclusively) with a wide range of nonprofit organizations—hospitals/health systems, colleges/universities, iconic arts/cultural institutions, trade associations, social service agencies and governmental organizations. Nonprofits are much different animals than for-profit companies. My appreciation for those differences coupled with my vast experience in these sectors give me a unique perspective on the issues my clients are facing and allow me to be a more effective advisor.

Focusing on fiduciary compliance

Of late, I spend a significant amount of time working with clients on fiduciary compliance—helping them establish or reconstitute their retirement plan committees; advising them on whether to engage a third-party investment consultant or conduct an RFP for a new recordkeeper; and educating boards, officers and committee members on the rapidly changing legal landscape in which they operate.

Staying one step ahead

One of the things I enjoy most about working in this field is that the law is never static and the issues I face on a daily basis vary greatly. By the same token, the growing mountain of compliance burdens can quickly overwhelm employers. I try to keep my clients on task by focusing on practicalities and, whenever possible, bringing my sense of humor to bear on what can often be inane and unnecessarily complex rules.

What do you see on the horizon?

Blockchain technology, smart contracts and other revolutionary innovations will significantly impact, if not disrupt, the benefits industry in ways we can only imagine at this point. I’m excited to work with those who want to develop these innovations, as well as those who want to adopt and embrace them.

Presentations

  • Speaker, “Hiding in Plain View: Impact of Recent Tax Legislation on Retirement Plans,” Webinar, March 14, 2018
  • Speaker, “The recent finalization of regulations governing disability claims procedures,” Webinar, March 7, 2018
  • Speaker, “Fiduciary Best Practices for Retirement Plans,” February 27, 2018
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Rochester, NY, November 7, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Albany, NY, November 1, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Jericho, NY, October 18, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” New York, NY, October 17, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Rochester, NY, May 18, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” New York, NY, May 3, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Jericho, NY, May 2, 2017
  • Speaker, “ERISA Retirement Plan Fiduciaries: Annual Checkup,” January 31, 2017
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Rochester, NY, November 15, 2016
  • Speaker, “Fiduciary issues in Q-Plans and the new fiduciary rules,” November 2, 2016
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Albany, NY, October 13, 2016
  • Speaker, “Best Practices for Retirement Committee Members and Other Fiduciaries,” October 5, 2016
  • Speaker, “Discover What Matters Most to Today”s Plan Sponsor,” September 22, 2016
  • Speaker, “Fiduciary Best Practices for Retirement Plans,” September 21, 2016
  • Speaker, “Special Briefing for Investment Advisors: Retirement Plan Fee Litigation,” Webinar, September 15, 2016
  • Speaker, “Special Briefing for Nonprofit Institutions: Retirement Plan Fee Litigation,” Webinar, September 14, 2016
  • Speaker, “Special Briefing: Higher Ed Retirement Plan Fee Litigation,” Webinar, August 25, 2016
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” New York, NY, May 18, 2016
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Jericho, NY, May 17, 2016
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Buffalo, NY, May 4, 2016
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Rochester, NY, May 3, 2016
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Jericho, NY, November 18, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” New York, NY, November 17, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Albany, NY, November 3, 2015
  • Speaker, “ERISA Fiduciary Governance for Nonprofits: What All Plan Sponsors Need to Know,” August 20, 2015.
  • Speaker, “New Rights, New Rules: Same-sex Marriage and Your Health Plan,” Webinar, August 18, 2015
  • Speaker, “Tibble v. Edison and the Changing Retirement Plan Landscape,” Webinar, July 1, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Luncheon,” Corning, NY June 23, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Albany, NY  June 9, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Jericho, NY June 5, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” New York, NY June 4, 2015
  • Speaker, “Retirement Plans for Nonprofits: What All Plan Sponsors Need to Know,” May 28, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Buffalo, NY May 27, 2015
  • Speaker, “Employee Benefits Breakfast Briefing,” Rochester, NY May 20, 2015
  • Speaker, “Top 10 Governance & Operational Issues for Your Defined Contribution Plan,” April 30, 2015
  • Speaker, “Staying Ahead of the Curve: The Latest Trends Impacting the US Retirement System,” Webinar, April 23, 2015
  • Speaker, “Staying Ahead of the Curve: Avoiding ERISA Litigation that Can Derail A Retirement Plan,” Webinar, April 9, 2015

Publications

  • Coauthor, “Stage Set for Supreme Court to Consider ERISA Preemption of San Francisco ‘Pay or Play’ Law as Ninth Circuit Denies Rehearing En Banc,” Bender’s Labor & Employment Bulletin, April 2009
  • Author, “EACA Withdrawals,” Journal of Pension Benefits, Spring 2008
  • Coauthor, “Health Care Reform in the Workplace: Everything Old Is New Again,” HR West Magazine, December 2007
  • Author, “Taxation of Roth Distributions,” Journal of Pension Benefits, Summer 2007
  • Author, “Nonspousal IRAs,” Journal of Pension Benefits, Spring 2007

How Law Firms and Law Schools are Capitalizing on Cryptocurrency And Blockchain

San Francisco Business Times | February 01, 2018

This article mentions Nixon Peabody’s new Blockchain Technology and Smart Contacts team, which includes Rochester labor and employment practice group leader Eric Paley, San Francisco counsel Dan Valles and nearly 60 additional attorneys across offices and practice groups.

Blockchain annuity startup adds legal advisor

ThinkAdvisor | November 01, 2017

This article includes Rochester labor and employment partner and practice group leader Eric Paley as one of blockchain annuity startup Auctus’ newest board members, in a move to enhance its financial services expertise.

Avoiding retirement plan risk

University Business | November 01, 2016

Rochester Labor & Employment partners Eric Paley and Christian Hancey are both quoted in this article discussing the impact retirement plan fee litigation, which many colleges and universities are facing, has on the higher education community.

Retirement Plan Lawsuits Could be Just the Beginning

Inside Higher Ed | August 18, 2016

Rochester partner and co-leader of the firm’s labor and employment practice Eric Paley is quoted in this piece about a new wave of lawsuits targeting the retirement plans of several colleges and universities.

Contact

Eric Paley

Partner

Rochester

Phone: 585-263-1012


Fax: 866-451-0665

Syracuse University College of Law, J.D., magna cum laude

Cornell University, B.A.

New York

U.S. Tax Court

Eric was selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America© 2018 in the field of Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law. Eric has been listed in Best Lawyers since 2012, and was its 2014 Rochester “Lawyer of the Year” in Litigation – ERISA.

Eric was selected to the Upstate New York Super Lawyers list in 2008, 2009 and 2011-2015. His primary area of practice is employment benefits law.

Eric is a member of the Monroe County Bar Association and the American Bar Association (Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee).
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