ERISA Benefits Claims After MetLife v. Glenn

Evaluating Potential Structural Conflicts of Interest and Minimizing Their Impact on Litigation Outcomes

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Thursday, December 3, 2009

Recorded event now available

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Course Materials

This CLE seminar will discuss individual benefits claims litigation post-Glenn, the legal issues regarding structural conflicts, the scope of discovery into the underlying conflict, and provide best practices for counsel to employers and insurers to minimize the impact of conflicts on the litigation outcome.


The Supreme Court’s ruling in Metropolitan Life Ins. Co. v. Glenn has altered the landscape of ERISA disability benefit claims litigation. Glenn focused on plan administrators' conflicts of interest and the scope of judicial review over denials of ERISA benefit claims.

Since that decision, courts have struggled to apply its standard of review in cases where a conflict is alleged and to assess the conflict as a “factor” in whether the plan administrator abused its discretion. Glenn’s “factor test” also impacts the scope of discovery into the underlying conflict.

In the wake of Glenn, counsel must guide plan administrators in taking steps now to minimize factors that could arguably present a conflict of interest. Compensation incentives and funding mechanisms are just two of the areas that plan administrators and their legal counsel must reconsider.

Listen as our authoritative panel of attorneys discusses the impact of Glenn on individual benefits claims and litigation, identifying potential structural conflicts in ERISA plans, framing discovery into the underlying conflict, and minimizing the impact of conflicts on the litigation outcome.



  1. Impact of MetLife v. Glenn on structural conflicts of interest
    1. Glenn’s “factor test”
    2. Courts of appeals application of Glenn
    3. Trends
  2. Impact of MetLife v. Glenn on scope of discovery available to claimants
    1. Scope of discovery post-Glenn
    2. Courts of appeals cases post-Glenn
    3. Impact of Glenn on cost of litigation
  3. Best practices to minimize the impact of conflicts on the litigation outcome


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How have courts applied Glenn with respect to conflict of interest?
  • How should discovery be conducted to flesh out the conflict of interest issues identified in Glenn?
  • Can funding benefits through a trust be an effective way to distance benefits determinations from the conflict of interest analysis?
  • What is the impact of Glenn on the cost of benefits-denial litigation?


Daly D. E. Temchine
Daly D. E. Temchine

Epstein Becker Green

He provides representation, advice and counseling to clients in the healthcare industry and is recognized as one of the...  |  Read More

J. Timothy McDonald
J. Timothy McDonald

Rogers & Hardin

His practice primarily focuses on litigation and counseling regarding employment law and employee benefit issues. He...  |  Read More

Richard N. Bien
Richard N. Bien

Lathrop & Gage

His practice involves defense of class action and claims for self-insured or partially insured entities, financial...  |  Read More

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