Patrick C. DiCarlo is Counsel at Alston & Bird's Atlanta office. He has more than 18 years of experience litigating employee benefit disputes, and counseling plan sponsors and fiduciaries on regulatory compliance issues and litigation avoidance. Mr. DiCarlo has counseled and represented some of America's largest employers in disputes stemming from service provider fees, investments in employer securities, the prudence of particular investments, executive compensation disputes, disclosure issues and challenges to benefit claim review procedures and decisions. Recently, his practice has focused on counseling clients regarding the new fee disclosure regulations (including drafting participant disclosures and investment policy statements), designing benefit claim procedures and litigating benefit disputes of all types. He also advises plan fiduciaries and service providers on the structuring of financial products and related fiduciary and prohibited transaction concerns. Mr. DiCarlo is currently recognized by Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business as a leading individual in the ERISA Litigation category. He received his J.D. degree, cum laude, from the University of Georgia School of Law and his B.A. from the University of Georgia. He is a member of the Reporting and Disclosure subcommittee of the ABA’s Employee Benefits Committee.
- University of Georgia (J.D., 1994)
- University of Georgia (A.B., 1991)
- Represent clients in multiple IRS and DOL audits.
- Advise multiple alternative investment funds (including plan asset funds, real estate operating companies and venture capital operating companies) regarding fiduciary and prohibited transaction issues.
- Argued before the Eleventh Circuit in a suit challenging the legality of an amendment freezing pension benefits under the anti-cutback rule. Cinotto v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 674 F.3d 1285 (11th Cir. 2012).
- Argued before Eighth Circuit question of whether SPD can resolve ambiguities in plan document and related issues. Prezioso v. Prudential, 748F.3d 797, (8th Cir. 2014).
- Argued before Fourth Circuit question of plan language required for deferential judicial review. Cosey v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 735 F.3d 161 (4th Cir. 2012).
- Lead defense counsel in a case in which the Fifth Circuit reversed summary judgment for the plaintiff and mandated the entry of a judgment for the defendant. Marrs v. Prudential, 444 Fed. Appx. 75 2011 WL 4216226 (C.A. 5 (La.)).
- Lead defense counsel is a case in which the Second Circuit affirmed summary judgment for the defendant Baird v. Prudential, 458 Fed. Appx. 39, 2012 WL 255222 (C.A.2 (N.Y.)).
- Obtained dismissal of a class action challenging the prudence of investments in employer securities. In re Nokia ERISA Litigation.
- Defense counsel in a case alleging huge losses associated with a decline in the value of company stock in a 401(k) plan. Pedraza v. Coca-Cola, 456 F.Supp.2d 1262 (N.D.Ga. 2006).
- Independent counsel to a plan committee for the purposes of a classwide claim challenging the plan’s offset provisions. White v. Coca-Cola,542 F.3d 848, 850-51 (11th Cir. 2008).
- Defense counsel in a stock drop case alleging billions in damages, as well as a related securities fraud suit. Hill v. BellSouth, 313 F.Supp. 2d 1361 (N.D.Ga 2004).
- Argued successfully before the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in a case challenging claim handling procedures. Gayle v. UPS, 401 F.3d 222 (4th Cir. 2005).
- Counsel for a major airline in a five-year dispute over actuarial methods used to calculate defined pension benefits and alleged cut-back. See generally Waeltz v. Delta, 301 F3d 804 (7th Cir. 2002).
- Argued successfully before the Fourth Circuit on the issue of whether individual insurance policies sold through “cafeteria plans” are subject to ERISA preemption. Casselman v. Aflac, 143 Fed. Appx. 507, 2005 WL 1492208, 35 Employee Benefits Cas. 1233 (4th Cir. 2005).
- Lead counsel for a major chemical company in a week-long jury trial in state court on breach of fiduciary duty for failure to disclose a claim. See generally Flexible Products v. Ervast, 284 Ga.App. 178, 643 S.E.2d 560 (2007) (finding in favor of the defendants in a non-disclosure claim brought by a minority shareholder).
- Defeated RICO, ERISA and state law securities claims in an ESOP valuation dispute. Cook v. Campbell, 482 F.Supp.2d 1341 (M.D.Ala. 2007).
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