MCLE Credits: 1.00 including 1.00 MCLE
Sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association's Employee Benefits/Executive Compensation Section.
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James A. Deets is a Senior Director at Alvarez & Marsal in Dallas. He specializes in executive compensation, employee benefits and qualified retirement plans and has served as a consulting expert on employee benefits issues in the context of bankruptcy proceedings.
With over 20 years of experience, Mr. Deets’ expertise includes qualified plans, including nondiscrimination and other qualification issues, compliance and correction of plan defects, as well as health and welfare plans, including PPACA, FMLA, HIPAA and COBRA issues, cafeteria plans, retiree welfare benefits, VEBA trusts, severance plans and multiemployer welfare plans. He also has experience in executive compensation, nonqualified, stock, employee stock purchase, performance bonus and incentive, split dollar life insurance and top-hat plans.
Mr. Deets has also managed the benefits and executive compensation aspects of mergers and acquisitions, including the applicability and impact of the golden parachute rules. He has garnered considerable experience in ERISA litigation matters involving benefit claims, fiduciary breaches, subrogation/reimbursement and preemption issues.
Prior to joining A&M, Mr. Deets was Counsel in the Dallas office of Hunton & Williams LLP, where he focused his practice in the employee benefits and executive compensation area.
Mr. Deets earned a law degree with honors from the Baylor University Law School, where he was Assistant Managing Editor of the Baylor Law Review. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mathematical sciences from Baylor University, graduating summa cum laude, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Mr. Deets is a member of the State Bar of Texas. He serves on the Board of Directors of Legal Hospice of Texas and is a member of the National Association of Corporate Directors, Southwestern Benefits Association, DallasHR and the Dallas Bar Association
Jim Griffin advises clients on legal issues involving employee benefit plans. He works closely with the ever-changing Internal Revenue Code and ERISA. In that work, he sees his role with clients as bringing simplicity to a complicated field so that the client’s employee benefit plan objectives may be satisfied. Jim has more than 30 years of experience representing clients in a wide variety of employee benefit plan matters involving 401(k) plans, group benefits and incentive arrangements.
Jim’s practice includes advising clients on issues arising under the Internal Revenue Code, Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA), and other laws. He has particular experience in the following areas:
Advising clients in matters related to executive compensation, stock option plans, and the special tax-driven arrangements that are typicallyprovided to C level employees.
Counseling clients on IRS compliance, investments, vendor contracts,and plan administration with regard to 401(k) and pension plans.
Working with clients that have tax issues with Section 409A involving nonqualified plans.
For clients that are involved in mergers, acquisitions, and investment transactions, providing assistance with evaluating tax and ERISA risk exposure, including Section 280G rules for change in control payments to executives.
Counseling clients on various group and fringe benefits issues,
including advising on the health insurance mandate and penalty tax provisions of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act,
commonly known as “Obamacare”.
Representing clients in controversy matters, including Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and Department of Labor (DOL) audits, investigations, examinations and voluntary compliance proceedings.
When disputes lead to litigation, Jim works closely with Scheef & Stone’s trial team to resolve the tax and ERISA issues involved in those cases. In January 2015, Jim presented written comments on behalf of the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas to the Texas Department of Insurance regarding rules relating to Professional Health Organizations (PEOs) sponsoring self-funded employee health benefit plans.
United States Supreme Court
Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals
United States Tax Court
United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
J.D., cum laude, SMU Dedman School of Law
B.B.A., summa cum laude, Texas Tech University
American Bar Association – Section of Taxation, Employee Benefits Committee
Dallas Bar Association – Employee Benefits Committee, Secretary, Treasurer
Southwest Benefits Association
Texas Bar Foundation, Fellow
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