- Labor and Employment
|University ||Hobart College, B.A., 2003|
|Law School||Suffolk University Law School, J.D., cum laude, 2008|
|Admitted||2008, Rhode Island and Massachusetts; 2009, U.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island|
|Born||Providence, Rhode Island, July 29, 1980|
Jonathan Shank is an associate in the Litigation Management Department where he focuses much of his practice on Employee Retirement Income Security Act ("ERISA") litigation. Jonathan defends clients against claims by participants, beneficiaries and employees alleging breaches of fiduciary duty, interference, retaliation and wrongful denial of benefits under various medical, severance, pension, life-insurance, prescription-drug, disability and other employee benefit plans. He also assists clients on ERISA compliance issues, including fiduciary counseling, benefit plan design and administration modification.
Jonathan's practice also involves defending a Fortune 20 client and two major financial institutions in a wide range of employment law matters, including claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, wrongful discharge, as well as breach of contract, defamation and stock-option claims in federal and state courts throughout the country.
· Jonathan co-authored the winning brief before the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals which affirmed a grant of summary judgment to an employee welfare benefit plan in a participant's action for long-term disability benefits under ERISA § 502(a)(1)(B).
· Jonathan helped obtain a victory on behalf of an employee welfare benefit plan and its claims administrator when the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals rejected the former employee's alleged wrongful denial of benefits and breach of fiduciary duty claims, including her claim to equitable relief under CIGNA Corp. v. Amara, 131 S. Ct. 1866 (2011).
· He was part of the successful team representing a client in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan in a multiple-plaintiff action for severance benefits under ERISA following a corporation's change in control.
· Jonathan helped secure dismissal of claims for wrongful denial of benefits, intentional interference and failure to provide plan documents under ERISA, as well as a common law breach of contract claim in federal court involving an employer's severance plan.
· He successfully defended against claims of intentional interference with advantageous business relations and intentional infliction of emotional distress in Massachusetts state court.
· Jonathan recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of a client in an action pending in Alabama state court that involved claims of retaliatory discharge, reckless conduct and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
· He secured the dismissal of a claim of public accommodation discrimination pending against a client in South Carolina state court.
Before Edwards Wildman
Before joining the firm, Jonathan completed a judicial clerkship with the Honorable Francis X. Flaherty, Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Supreme Court. While in law school, Jonathan served as Note Editor of the Suffolk University Law Review and competed on the Constitutional Law Moot Court Team. He won the Suffolk Law Jurisprudence Award in Labor Law and interned for the Honorable Mary M. Lisi, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Prior to attending law school, Jonathan worked as a public policy analyst for an international trade association in Boston.
Besides Edwards Wildman
Jonathan is a proud mentor through Rhode Islanders Sponsoring Education ("RISE") and volunteers at the Reservoir Avenue Elementary School in Providence through the Power Lunch Program. He enjoys skiing, tennis, and golf, and is an avid fan of all of the New England professional sports teams.
Rhode Island Bar Association
Massachusetts Bar Association
American Bar Association - Labor & Employment Law Section
Documents by this lawyer on Martindale.com
Supreme Court Upholds ERISA Plan's Limitations Period
Jonathan R. Shank,Gina D. Wodarski, December 20, 2013
On December 16, 2013, the United States Supreme Court upheld a limitations period in a long-term disability plan governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (“ERISA”). In Heimeshoff v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., the Court resolved a split among the...
Rhode Island Becomes The Third State To Provide Paid Family Leave For Employees
Jon M. Anderson,Jonathan R. Shank, July 18, 2013
On July 11, 2013, Governor Lincoln Chafee signed into law a bill that provides employees with up to four weeks of paid leave per year to care for a new child or a sick family member. The law’s stated purpose is to establish “a temporary caregiver insurance program to provide wage...
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