Jennifer A. Clark

With over 25 years of litigation experience, Jennifer A. Clark is highly regarded for her body of work in employee benefits litigation. Jennifer’s litigation practice includes all types of claims arising under ERISA, including collections, withdrawal liability, fiduciary breaches, preemption, and benefit claims. She maintains a large and active practice representing multi-employer plans in the collection of delinquent contributions under ERISA, the New York Lien Law, New York Labor Law, New York State Finance Law, and the Bankruptcy Code.

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Jennifer A. Clark
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Areas Of Practice
Education
  • J.D., Albany Law School, 1981
    • Graduated cum laude
  • B.A., Colgate University, 1978

Bar & Court Admissions
  • New York State Supreme Courts
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Western District of New York
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

Significant Representations
  • Trial and appeal of action to collect delinquent contributions which resulted in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals’ pronouncement that employee benefit plans are entitled to recover ERISA statutory remedies as long as the contributions are unpaid at the filing of the action; employer’s payment of contributions prior to entry of judgment does not defeat funds’ rights. Iron Workers District Council of Western New York and Vicinity Welfare and Pension Funds v. Hudson Steel Fabricators and Erectors, 68 F.3d 1502 (2d Cir. 1995).
  • Summary judgment finding that companies were alter egos, bound to the collective bargaining agreement and liable for delinquent fringe benefit contributions; company’s defense of fraud in the inducement and request for return of contributions dismissed by Court. Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2, Albany v. C.G. Yantch, Inc., 316 F.Supp.2d 130 (N.D.N.Y. 2003); Plumbers Local Union No. 112 Pension, Health and Education and Apprenticeship Plans v. Mauro’s Plumbing, Heating & Fire Suspension, Inc., 84 F.Supp.2d 344 (N.D.N.Y. 2000).
  • Summary judgment finding plans entitled to permanent injunction directing employers to timely remit contributions and deductions and to comply with contractual agreements. Bricklayers and Allied Craftworkers Local 2, Albany, New York Pension Fund v. Northeast King Construction, Inc., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50577 (N.D.N.Y. 2009); Iron Workers Local 12 Pension Fund v. Catskill Mountain Mechanical, LLC, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38885 (N.D.N.Y. 2009); Onondaga County Laborers’ Health, Welfare, Pension, Annuity and Training Funds v. Sal Masonry Contractors, Inc., 1992 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4715 (N.D.N.Y. 1992).
  • Appeal of case that resulted in Appellate Division’s pronouncement that ERISA does not preempt the New York Lien Law or claims arising under labor and material payment bonds; decision established employee benefit plans’ right to recover contributions and interest under State Finance Law and Lien Law. Alibrandi Building Systems, Inc. v. Wm. C. Pahl Construction Co., Inc., 187 A.D.2d 954 (4th Dept. 1992).
  • Summary judgment finding company liable for contributions for all employees performing bargaining unit work, including non-union individuals. Plumbers Local Union No. 112 Pension, Health and Education and Apprenticeship Plans v. Mauro’s Plumbing, Heating & Fire Suspension, Inc., 84 F.Supp.2d 344 (N.D.N.Y. 2000); Central Pension Fund of the International Union of Operating Engineers and Participating Employers v. Murphy’s Tire, Inc., 1998 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19369 (N.D.N.Y. 1998).
  • Summary judgment granting employee benefit plans an accounting under the New York Lien Law and finding that an action under ERISA to collect contributions does not preclude plans from pursuing Lien Law remedies. International Association of Heat and Frost Insulators and Asbestos Workers Local No. 26 Welfare Fund v. Hebert Industrial Insulation, Inc., 234 A.D.2d 930 (4th Dept. 1996).
  • Summary judgment upholding pension plan’s denial of benefits and finding participant’s action barred by the statute of limitations since it was not filed within six (6) years from participant’s receipt of benefit statement. Vail v. Plumbers, Pipefitters & Apprentices Local No. 112 Pension Fund, 121 F.Supp.2d 176 (N.D.N.Y. 2001).
  • Arbitration award dismissing employer’s challenge to pension fund’s assessment of withdrawal liability since arbitration was not timely initiated by the employer. L.B. Smith and Engineers Joint Pension Fund, Case No. 156210110005 (2006).
  • Submitted amicus curiae briefs to the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in the following published opinions: Burgio and Campofelice, Inc. v. NYS Dep’t of Labor, 107 F. 3d 1000 (2d Cir. 1997); Plumbing Industry Board, Plumbing Local Union No. 1 v. E.W. Howell Co., Inc., 126 F. 3d 61 (2d Cir. 1997).

Speaking Engagements
  • “Legal Fiduciary Update” and “Subrogation” – International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans Advanced Trustees and Administrators Institute, Orlando, Florida and Lake Tahoe, Nevada (2002)
  • “Benefits, Health Care and the Work Place” – Committee on Employee Benefits of the Labor and Employment Law Section and the Committee on Continuing Legal Education of the New York State Bar Association, Albany, New York (April 2001)
  • Collections Procedures Institute – International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Bal Harbour, Florida (March 2001)
  • “Worker Rights and Corporate Responsibility: Negotiating Effective & Expanded Arbitration Procedures” – AFL-CIO Lawyers Conference, New Orleans, Louisiana (May 1999)
  • “The Meaning of Employee for Employee Benefit Plans and Programs – Are Non-Traditional Workers Entitled to Benefits” – Committee on Employee Benefits of the Labor and Employment Law Section and Committee on Continuing Legal Education of the New York State Bar Association, Rochester, New York (May 1999)
  • “Workshop: Pension Plan Withdrawal Liability” – 43rd Annual Employee Benefits Conference of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada (October 1997)
  • Compliance Review – 42nd Annual Employee Benefits Conference of the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, San Diego, California (November 1996)
  • “Overview of Statutory Framework and Recent Developments Governing Multiemployer Pension Plan Employer Withdrawals” – Labor and Employment Law Section of the New York State Bar Association, Captiva Island, Florida (October 1995)
  • “Presenting and Defending Employee Benefit Claims” – Labor and Employment Law Section and Committee on Continuing Legal Education of the New York State Bar Association, Rochester, New York (May 1994)

Affiliations
  • American Bar Association Member, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • New York State Bar Association; Member, Labor and Employment Law Section
  • Member, Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section (1993-1996; 1997-2003)
  • Chair, Membership and Finance Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section (1993-1996)
  • Chair, Employee Benefits Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section (1997-2001)
  • Co-Chair, Employee Benefits Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section (2002-2003); Member, Trial Lawyers Section
  • New York State Trial Lawyers Association; International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans