I have practiced ERISA law for over 15 years, beginning my career at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP, a large Seattle-based law firm. Today, my legal practice focuses on ERISA, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and health and welfare benefit plan compliance. I am proud to be a recent addition to the American Bar Association’s Joint Committee of Employee Benefits (JCEB) and a Vice-Chair of the Health Care Section’s Employee Benefits Group.

In my day-to-day practice, I spend a lot of time studying regulations and collaborating with fellow ERISA attorneys from around the U.S. in order to stay on the cutting edge of Health Care Reform laws. In addition to helping my clients simply keep up with these ever-changing laws, I enjoy strategizing with them to come up with creative ways to manage compliant and successful benefit programs in the workplace. I regularly advise about “wrap plan” structure and administration, cafeteria plan funding, full and partial employer self-funding implications, trust and tax-exempt “VEBA” requirements, and appropriate reporting and disclosure for all plan types. I have clients in and out of Montana, some with only a few employees and some with 500+ employees. I work closely with several multiple employer /”MEWA” plans operating in Montana and in nearby states. Periodically, I advise about deferred compensation and Code Section 409A issues, assist health care providers with ERISA plan reimbursement issues, and help work through benefits issues in Merger & Acquisitions. I enjoy providing training and education, particularly in HIPAA, ERISA and ACA matters.

Practice Areas

    • Employee Benefits, ERISA & Executive Compensation
    • Cafeteria Plan Advice
    • Discrimination Issues for Health Plans
    • Discrimination Issues for Retirement Plans
    • ERISA Litigation
    • Executive Pay and Executive Deferred Compensation
    • Fiduciary Duty Issues for Health Plans
    • Fiduciary Duty Issues for Retirement Plans
    • Fixing Benefits Plans with the IRS and DOL
    • Health Plan Design and Compliance
    • HIPAA Compliance for Health Plans
    • Keeping a Qualified Retirement Plan Tax-Qualified
    • Maximizing Tax Deferrals using Retirement Plans

Bar Admission

Washington, 1997
Montana, 2006


1997 – J.D., University of Montana
1993 – B.A. in English, University of Washington with Phi Beta Kappa honors

Prior Experience (Employment)

December, 1997 – June, 2002, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP;
ERISA/Employee Benefits

Honors & Awards

Montana Law Review – Co-Editor in Chief

Professional Affiliations

Washington State Bar Association
State Bar of Montana