John E. Schembari: Lawyer with Kutak Rock LLP

John E. Schembari

Omaha,  NE  U.S.A.
Phone(402) 231-8886

Peer Rating
AV® Preeminent

Client Rating

Featured AV Peer Review Rated Lawyer IconFeatured AV Peer Review Rated Lawyer Icon
Printer Friendly VersionEmail this PageDownload to My Outlook ContactsAdd lawyer to My FavoritesCompare this lawyer to other lawyers in your favorites

Experience & Credentials Ratings & Reviews

Practice Areas

  • Employment Law
  • ERISA and Benefits Litigation
  • Business and Corporate
  • Employee Benefits and Executive Compensation
  • Benefits Issues With Corporate Transactions
  • Qualified Tuition Plans
  • Equity Plans
  • ESOPs
  • Executive Compensation and Nonqualified Plans
  • Fiduciary Issues and Plan Governance
  • Government Plans
  • Governmental Agency Defense
  • International Benefits
  • Plan Restructuring and Funding
  • Policy and Legislation
  • Qualified Retirement Plans
  • Taft-Hartley Plans
  • Compliance Audits and Training
  • Health and Welfare Plans
  • Corporate and Securities
  • Privacy and Data Security
  • Employee Benefit Programs for Financial Institutions
University Marquette University, B.S., magna cum laude, 1989
Law SchoolBoston University, J.D., magna cum laude, 1992
Admitted1998, Nebraska; Massachusetts; Wisconsin

Memberships and Affiliations

ESOP Association; International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans; Midlands Pension Council; Instructor, CEBS Program - International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans & Wharton School of Business; Nebraska and Omaha Bar Associations

Special AgenciesDirector of Child Care Associates, Inc. (2001-Present), Director Habitat for Humanity of Omaha (2001-Present) and Chair-Elect for 2006-2007.
BornQuincy, Massachusetts, August 12, 1967

Mr. Schembari is Chair of the Corporate Finance Department. He concentrates his practice primarily in employee benefits, executive compensation, tax, corporate and privacy law.

Mr. Schembari works with private, public and governmental employers on their qualified and nonqualified retirement plans, employee stock ownership plans, insured and self-funded health plans, executive and incentive compensation programs, and other equity-based compensation arrangements. He advises compensation committees, ERISA fiduciaries, in-house counsel, and finance and human resources executives from companies of all sizes, including several of the largest employers in the United States. He assists clients in managing their growth and expansion through designing employee benefit programs that recruit and retain high-quality personnel. Mr. Schembari is widely known for providing practical and straightforward advice in complex areas of the law.

Mr. Schembari is a nationally recognized speaker on employee benefits, executive compensation, tax and privacy matters. He speaks several times per year across the country to thousands of participants. He has also authored numerous articles in his areas of specialty for law journals, magazines and other publications.

Since 2007 Mr. Schembari has been selected by his peers forTheBest Lawyers In America listings for Employee Benefits Law. He also is one of only two lawyers identified byChambers and Partnersas a leading ERISA attorney in the state of Nebraska. He has a peer review rating of AV by Martindale-Hubbell. In 2012 he was recognized byBest Lawyers as the 2012 Omaha Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year.

His recent experience includes:
•Serving as ERISA and benefits counsel for Fortune 500 companies with hundreds of thousands of employees around the world.
•Providing guidance to employers and federal agencies on the Affordable Care Act.
•Serving as company counsel in more than $200 million of leveraged ESOP transactions involving Code section 1042 rollovers, proxy votes and subchapter S elections.
•Representing Taft-Hartley (multiemployer) funds, including pension, self-funded health and welfare and 401(k) plans.
•Serving as lead counsel to state-sponsored college savings and prepaid tuition programs under Code section 529. Designing, drafting and implementing a variety of nonqualified deferred compensation plans and equity incentive plans for key management employees of private and publicly traded companies.
•Serving as counsel to governmental entities in connection with the maintenance and operation of defined benefit, defined contribution and health and welfare plans.
•Conducting dozens of fiduciary and tax compliance reviews for employee benefit plans with over $10 billion in assets.
•Serving as an independent fiduciary to ERISA-governed employee benefit plans.


•Living Through IRS and DOL Audits and Investigations,Benefit Magazine, 2011.
•New Retirement Plan and IRA Limits Provide Opportunities for Employers and Employees,Nebraska Lawyer, 2001.
•1042 Rollover Transactions: Don't Forget to Cross Your T's and Dot Your I's,Journal of Compensation and Benefits, 1998.
•Missing - QDRO Guidance,Journal of Pension Benefits, 1996.
•Protecting Deferred Compensation With Bankruptcy Insurance,Journal of Pension Benefits, 1994.


The Affordable Care Act's Impact on Employee Benefit Plans, Omaha, NE, May 15, 2014.
The Most Common Mistakes Made by Qualified Plan Sponsors and How to Fix Them, Omaha, NE, November 21, 2013.
Compliance Check-Up for Training Funds,Las Vegas, NV, October 22, 2013.
Acting as a Fiduciary for Your Training Fund,Las Vegas, NV, October 21, 2013.
Final Resolution and Getting your Money, Boston, MA, September 19, 2013.
Collection Nightmares, IFEBP, Boston, MA, September 18, 2013.
Preparing Your Employee Benefit Programs for 2014, Kansas City, MO, June 21, 2013.
Health Care Reform: Preparing for 2014, Omaha, Nebraska, January 23, 2013.
Communication Compliance in Pension Plans, San Diego, California, November 2012.
U.S. Legalese: Effective Employee Benefit Communication, 2012, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
Fiduciary Best Practices, 2012, Kansas City, Missouri.
HIPAA & HITECH, 2012, Omaha, Nebraska.
2011 Employee Benefits Update - The Quiet Before the Storm, National Webinar.
Issues in Securing Managers, 2011, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Selecting and Monitoring Plan Professionals, Orlando, 2011.
Implementing a Successful Request for Proposal, Orlando, 2011.
Living Through IRS and DOL Audits and Investigations, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii.
PPA Disclosure Requirements, 2010, Honolulu, Hawaii.
•National Association of Budgeting and Finance Management Conference,Public Pension Plans: Out of Control, 2010, Omaha, Nebraska.
Fee Disclosure Regulations, 2010, Omaha, Nebraska.
Heightened Regulation of Employer Provided Benefits: A Primer for Non-ERISA Transactional and Litigation Attorneys, 2010, Little Rock, Arkansas.
Health Care Reform, 2010, Multiple Locations.
ARRA's Impact on Business Associates, 2009, Omaha, Nebraska.
Pension Protection Act, 2009, Omaha, Nebraska.
Employment Tips & Trends: What Employers Need to Know for 2009, Omaha, Nebraska.
ESOPs as an Exit Strategy, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
•Legal Fiduciary Update, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
Selection and Evaluation of Professional Advisors, IFEBP 54th Annual Employee Benefits Conference, 2008, San Antonio, Texas.
Surviving a DOL Audit, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
The Difference Between Investment Education and Investment Advice, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska.
409A Implications for CPAs and Tax Professionals, 2008, Omaha, Nebraska
Employee Welfare Plans, 2007, Chicago, Illinois.
Fiduciary Responsibility, 2007, Anaheim, California.
Employee Stock Ownership Plans, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nonqualified Deferred Compensation: What Every HR Department Must Do Under Code Section 409A's Final Regulations Before Year End, 2007, Omaha, Nebraska.
•Legislative and Regulatory Update for Employee Benefit Plans, 2007, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Paid Time Off in Nebraska and Other States, 2006, Omaha, Nebraska.
Employer Withdrawal Liability, 2006, Hollywood, Florida.
Today's Fiduciary Standards, 2006, Omaha, Nebraska.
Preserving Plan Assets by Pursuing Fraudulent Claims, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Qualified Nonqualified Plans, 2006, Omaha, Nebraska .
A Primer: Trustees' Fundamental Duties, Liabilities and Immunities, 2006, Arizona.
Trustee's Duty Upon Discovery of Possible Fraud, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada.
Fiduciary Liability and ERISA 404(c),2006, Omaha, Nebraska.
Surviving a Department of Labor Audit, 2006, Las Vegas, Nevada .
Fiduciary Duties for Trustees of Health and Welfare Funds, 2005, Honolulu, Hawaii.
How to Avoid a Breach of Fiduciary Duties, 2005, Arizona.
Employment Law Overview, 2005, Omaha, Nebraska.
Employee Benefit Plans Fiduciary Responsibilities, 2005, Denver, Colorado.
Executive Nonqualified Deferred Compensation Plans, 2005, Honolulu, Hawaii.
•Legal Update, 2004, New Orleans, Louisiana.
Subrogation and Other Plan Recoveries: How Can You Establish and Operate a Successful Policy?,2003, San Diego, California.
How Does the Collective Bargaining Process Interact With the Role of the Trustee/Trust Fund?,2003, Lake Tahoe, Nevada.
•Legislative Update, 2002, Omaha, Nebraska.
USERRA, COBRA and HIPAA, 2002, Lake Tahoe, Nevada and Orlando, Florida .
HIPAA Privacy and Security Training, 2001-2006, Multiple Locations.
Recent Retirement Plan and IRA Legislation, 2001, Arkansas Federal Tax Institute, Little Rock, Arkansas.


May 23, 2014Kutak Rock Recognized by Chambers USA

Kutak Rock is pleased to announce its Arkansas, Kansas and Nebraska offices and attorneys are honored in the 2014Chambers USAguide to the best law firms and lawyers.

May 22, 2014John Schembari Speaks to 150 People on the Affordable Care Act

John Schembari, chair of Kutak Rock's employee benefits practice group, recently spoke to 150 owners of small- to medium-size businesses on the state of the Affordable Care Act at an Omaha Suburban Rotary meeting on May 15, 2014.

October 29, 2013Schembari Says Liquidation Not the Answer for Omaha's Civilian Pension Fund

Kutak Rock attorney John Schembari says liquidation is not an answer for Omaha, Nebraska's cash-strapped civilian pension fund.

September 4, 2013Schembari To Speak On Avoiding Mistakes in Qualified Retirement Plans

August 31, 2013Employees Buy Team Software

August 15, 2013Record Number of Kutak Rock Attorneys Named Best Lawyers

Forty-seven Kutak Rock attorneys reprenting 10 of the firm's 16 offices have been listed inThe Best Lawyers in America 2014.

July 9, 2012Arrangement Protects Bonus From 20% Penalty Tax

April 25, 2013DOL Guidance on Target Date Funds

April 2, 2013New DOL Guidance Impacting Defined Benefit Plans

March 28, 2013HIPAA Breach Allegation Successfully Resolved

Several attorneys from Kutak Rock's Omaha office helped an insurance agency resolve allegations involving personal health information and Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) security standards.


July 1, 2014Supreme Court Limits Reach of Contraceptive Mandate

On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, closely-held for-profit corporations are not required to pay for contraceptives if doing so would violate the corporation's sincerely held religious beliefs. For more information on the major parts of the decision and its impact on employers, please read our client alert. Client Alert

June 26, 2014Supreme Court Holds There Is No Presumption of Prudence

On June 25, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its long-awaited ruling inFifth Third Bancorp v. Dudenhoeffer, a case involving an ESOP fiduciary's duties in deciding to sell or hold employer stock in an ESOP. For additional information, please read our client alert. Client Alert

June 20, 2014Reports to Congress Highlight Importance of Proactive HIPAA Compliance

Client Alert

April 21, 2014Bay Area Commuter Benefits Program


April 10, 2014Windsor Amendments Required Before Year End For Some Retirement Plans

Client Alert

March 25, 2014Supreme Court Holds Severance Payments Are Generally Subject to FICA; SUB Payments Are Not

Client Alert

February 28, 2014Tax Reform Proposal Has Significant Impact on Employee Benefit Plans

Client Alert

February 20, 2014Health Care Reform: Final Regulations on Employer Shared Responsibility Provisions?Transitional Relief

Last week the Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department issued Final Regulations relating to the Employer Shared Responsibility provisions of the Affordable Care Act. The Employer Shared Responsibility provisions require applicable large employers to provide health care benefits to full-time employees or risk paying substantial penalties. Client Alert

January 7, 2014Employee Benefits Newsletter - Winter 2013


November 5, 2013Health and Welfare Plans: Open Enrollment Reminders

Autumn means open enrollment season for most employers. Employers should confirm they are providing certain required notices to the proper parties. Some of these notices must be provided annually while others must be provided when an employee first enrolls in the plan. This Client Alert summarizes which notices should be provided and when. Client Alert


June 21, 2013CLE for In-House Counsel on Current Issues, June 21st in Kansas City, Missouri

January 23, 2013Health Care Reform Seminar - Preparing for 2014

June 22, 2012Corporate Counsel CLE


Other Distinctions

Since 2007 Mr. Schembari has been selected by his peers for TheBest Lawyers In America listings for Employee Benefits Law. He also was recognized byBest Lawyers as the 2012 Omaha Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law Lawyer of the Year. He also is one of only two lawyers identified byChambers and Partnersas a leading ERISA attorney in the state of Nebraska and has a peer review rating of AV by Martindale-Hubbell.


Documents by this lawyer on

Subscribe to this feed

Defined Benefit Plan Sponsors Must Take Immediate Action
Alfred B. Fowler,Shira B. McKinlay,Juliana Reno,John E. Schembari,Michelle M. Ueding, August 25, 2014
Last Friday, the President signed the Highway and Transportation Funding Act of 2014 (“HATFA”) into law. HATFA extends the interest rate smoothing provisions applicable to defined benefit pension plans that were originally found in the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act...

IRS Provides Additional Information on 409A Audit Initiative; Other 409A Matters
Alfred B. Fowler,Peter C. Langdon,Juliana Reno,John E. Schembari,Michelle M. Ueding, August 2, 2014
In May, the IRS announced that it had launched an audit initiative (the Initiative) to gauge compliance with the rules for nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements under Internal Revenue Code (Code) Section 409A. Yesterday, we participated in a national conference with the IRS where IRS...

Supreme Court Limits Reach of Contraceptive Mandate
Alfred B. Fowler,Peter C. Langdon,Juliana Reno,John E. Schembari,Michelle M. Ueding, July 11, 2014
On June 30, 2014, the Supreme Court ruled that under the Religious Freedom Restoration Act, closely-held for-profit corporations are not required to pay for contraceptives if doing so would violate the corporation’s sincerely held religious beliefs. Below, we discuss the major parts of the...

View Ratings & Reviews
Profile Visibility
#286 in weekly profile views out of 3,341 lawyers in Omaha, Nebraska
#140,963 in weekly profile views out of 1,537,162 total lawyers Overall

Office Information

John E. Schembari

1650 Farnam Street
OmahaNE 68102-2186


Professional Networking for Legal Professionals Only

Quickly and easily expand your professional
network - join the premier global network for legal professionals only. It's powered by the
Martindale-Hubbell database - over 1,000,000 lawyers strong.
Join Now