Don Sullivan has a national practice counseling and defending clients in litigation, arbitration and compliance matters arising from group and individual life, health, disability and long-term care insurance policies, as well as from self-funded ERISA pension and welfare benefit plans.
Don has a track record of success in securing summary judgment for his clients, which include insurance carriers, employers, managed health care organizations, benefit plan sponsors and third-party administrators. He has appeared in the courts of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Montana, Illinois, Michigan, New York, New Jersey and Alabama. He also has arbitrated nearly 100 disputes to decision.
Issues Don has addressed on behalf of his clients include breach of fiduciary duty, bad faith, and miscalculation of benefits and provider reimbursement rates. He has extensive experience handling single-plaintiff and class action claims brought under ERISA and regularly defends individual insurance policies in bad faith and breach of contract cases seeking punitive damages.
A significant and growing portion of Don's practice focuses on the representation of health care insurers in arbitrations and litigation involving medical necessity issues and state regulatory compliance under statutes such as the California Knox-Keene Health Care Service Plan Act and the Texas Prompt Payment Act.
Don advises employers and plan sponsors on benefit plan administration and compliance with ERISA's fiduciary provisions. He also provides compliance counseling to health care insurers regarding various state and federal regulations, including the HIPAA privacy rules.
Don began his legal career as a law clerk for the Honorable Everett A. Martin, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Virginia.
Pro Bono Activities
For the past several years, Don has provided pro bono employment counseling to the Center for Justice and Accountability, which prosecutes dictators for Foreign Corrupt Practices Act violations and human rights abuses.
Memberships & Affiliations
American Bar Association, Labor & Employment Section, Employee Benefits Committee: co-chair, ERISA Welfare Benefit Plan Subcommittee, 2007-present; co-chair, ERISA Preemption Subcommittee, 2007-2010; member, Civil Practice and Procedure Subcommittee, 2000-2007
San Francisco Bar Association
Western Pension Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter, member, Programs Committee, 2007-2009
Awards & Distinctions
Co-Chair, ERISA Welfare Benefit Plan Subcommittee, Employee Benefits Committee, American Bar Association Labor & Employment Section
Co-Chair, ERISA Preemption Subcommittee, Employee Benefits Committee, American Bar Association Labor & Employment Section (2007-2010)
Member, Civil Practice and Procedure Subcommittee, Employee Benefits Committee, American Bar Association Labor & Employment Section (2000-2007)
Member, Programs Committee, Western Pension Benefits Conference, San Francisco Chapter (2007-2009)
Case Reporter, California Labor & Employee Bulletin (2007-present)
The Honorable Everett A. Martin, Fourth Judicial Circuit of Virginia, 1996-1997