Springer Ayeni, A Professional Law Corporation

Springer Ayeni, A Professional Law Corporation

Reputable, experienced ERISA (employee benefits) disability attorney ranked as one of Northern California's Top 100 attorneys. The firm handles LTD applications (claims), appeals, and litigation with proven results backed by years of data.

Firm Overview

Springer Ayeni, A Professional Law Corporation handles ERISA employee benefits cases, particularly disability and life insurance application, appeals, and litigation. On behalf of the employee/former employee, we fight insurance companies that unfairly deny or terminate disability insurance claims. We provide thorough strategies that are client-specific to provide peace of mind and obtain positive results. We shoulder the burden of worrying about a disability income stream so that our clients can focus on taking care of their health.
Main Office
Main Office
1901 Harrison St.
Suite 1100
Oakland  CA  94612
Phone
  • (510) 926-6768
Fax
  • (510) 926-6768
Websites

Fees

Free Initial Consultation?
Yes
Services Offered For Fixed Fees?
Applications.
Hourly Rates
Contingency-fee, flat-fee, or hourly.

Office Information

Office Hours
8 am to 5 pm Daily Mon-Fri
Emergency After Hours
Yes
Languages Spoken
English and Spanish

Other Offices

San Jose Office
2880 Zanker Road
Suite 203
San Jose,  CA  95134
Long Term Disability
Cassie Springer Ayeni is an expert in long-term disability insurance applications, appeals, and litigation who always makes time for her clients. She is a a frequent speaker on ERISA benefits topic and published author of treatises on the subject.
Springer Ayeni, A Professional Law Corporation handles ERISA employee benefits cases, particularly disability and life insurance application, appeals, and litigation. On behalf of the employee/former employee, we fight insurance companies that unfairly deny or terminate disability insurance claims. We provide thorough strategies that are client-specific to provide peace of mind and obtain positive results. We shoulder the burden of worrying about a disability income stream so that our clients can focus on taking care of their health.

How did your firm decide on the primary area of practice(s)?

When pursuing her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley and while in law school at UC Berkeley's School of Law, Cassie Springer Ayeni knew she wanted to help others with her degrees. She fell in love with the niche area of ERISA law when she realized that she could use her keen advocacy and persuasive writing skills to help people who were unexpectedly unable to continue working due to sickness of injury. She enjoys the process of taking the worry away from her clients, as she handles all communications, appeals, and litigation against the disability insurance carrier so that her clients can focus on the most important thing: their health. Clients tell her that her compassion makes the difference; because she cares so much, they can relax. Cassie also enjoys the opportunity ERISA affords to change the law. Because ERISA is highly technical and poorly understood, there are frequent opportunities to shape the law through innovative legal arguments. This is exactly what Cassie has done in the field of ERISA litigation, where she is nationally regarded as an expert who has helped shaped ERISA law. She is frequently called upon to present her analysis of ERISA jurisprudence and Department of Labor regulations in national conferences, webinars, and publications. And she loves every minute of it.

Why? In Cassie's words:
The only time I called an attorney about a crisis in my own life, I had the opposite experience: the attorney I talked to was dismissive and cold, focused on money rather than on the real-life implications of the crisis. I am so grateful for that negative experience because it showed me exactly whom I would never be in my practice. It is difficult enough to be suffering from a health crisis and a potential loss of income - my job is to make life easier on my clients. I take the worry of a disability or life insurance denial away, so that my clients can focus on getting their lives back on track.

Our track record speaks for itself - see more @ www.benefitslaw.com.

What experience or education distinguishes your lawyers from others

Education: U.C. Berkeley School of Law 2002 (Boalt Hall); U.C. Berkeley, B.A. (phi beta kappa)
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TOP LISTS
Top 100: 2016 Northern California Super Lawyers
Top 50: 2016 Women Northern California Super Lawyers
Top 100: 2015 Northern California Super Lawyers
Top 50: 2015 Women Northern California Super Lawyers
Top 50: 2014 Women Northern California Super Lawyers
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Honors and Awards:
-Chosen as a lifetime achievement recipient, Lifetime Achievement, America's Top 100 Attorneys, 2016
-Chosen as a Fellow of the American Bar Foundation in 2014, Fellow, American Bar Foundation, 2014
-Selected as a "Top 40 under 40" attorney for the National Trial Lawyers in 2014, Top 40 under 40, National Trial Lawyers, 2014
-Chosen as one of 25 California attorneys "On the Fast Track" by the Recorder in 2012, 25 on the Fast Track, The Recorder, 2012
-Selected as a "Top 20 under 40" attorney by the Daily Journal in 2012, Top 20 under 40, Daily Journal, 2012
-Selected to be an inaugural member of the ABA Labor and Employment Law Section's Leadership Development Program, 2009
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Scholarly Lectures and Writings:
Publications:Author, "Insurance Benefits" in ERISA Litigation Treatise. Author, "Once an ERISA Plan, Always an ERISA Plan?" in July 2014 Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter. Author, "NFL flying too high with its disability plan?" in September 30, 2013 Daily Journal commentary on the ERISA governed NFL plan. Contributing Author, "Benefit Claims and Individual Rights," Sacher, et al., Employee Benefits Law (BNA). Rewrite Author and Editor, "Benefit Claims and Individual Rights," Sacher, et al., Cumulative Supplement of Employee Benefits Law, 2nd Ed (BNA). Author, "Employee Benefit Plans Governed by ERISA," Dividing Pensions and Other Employee Benefits in California Divorces (CEB Dec. 2006). Co-author, "Employee Benefits," California Domestic Partnerships (CEB 2005) (treatise received the 2006 award for Professional Excellence from the Association for Continuing Legal Education).Speaking Engagements:2016: ERISA's Remedial Scheme, ACI Finding Your Personal Brand in the Face of Stereotypes, CELA Diversity Leadership Summit UC Hastings Medical-Legal Partnership for Seniors 2015: Benefit Claims Update, Midwinter Meeting of the Section of Labor & Employment Law Employee Benefits Committee, sponsored by the ABA Effective PowerPoint Presentations," ABA-LEL Leadership Development Program2014: "Marketing for Successful Women Attorneys" at a July 2014 luncheon sponsored by FindLaw. "Filing Long-Term Disability Administrative Claims" and "Administrative Appeals of Long-Term Disability Claims," at the June 20, 2014 ABA and Joint Committee on Employee Benefits Long-Term Disability Benefits Advanced Seminar. "Defending ERISA Conflict of Interest Discovery Requests" at a Strafford Publications Webinar on March 27, 2014.2013:"Benefit Claims Litigation: From Claims Review to Standard of Review and Discovery and Dispositive Motions"; "Civil Litigation Practice Pointers" at the 2013 ERISA Litigation National Institute conference, sponsored by the ABA and Joint Committee on Employee Benefits. "Benefits Administration" at the Long-Term Disability Benefits Advanced Seminar, sponsored by the ABA and Joint Committee on Employee Benefits. "The Business and Ethics of Hanging Out Your Shingle" at the November 2013 ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law's Annual CLE Conference in New Orleans, Louisiana.2012: "Civil Litigation Practice Pointers," at the 2012 ERISA Litigation Conference, sponsored by the ABA and Joint Committee on Employee Benefits. Moderator, "The Business of You: Marketing Yourself and Developing Your Brand" at the April 2012 California Women Lawyers' Annual Conference. "Deposition of a Plan Administrator," at the 2012 Midwinter Meeting of the Section of Labor & Employment Law Employee Benefits Committee, sponsored by the ABA. Speaker,2011:"What Every Reasonably Insecure Attorney Should Know About ERISA," at the November 2011 ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law's Annual CLE Conference. "Building a Fulfilling Career: Lessons for Success" at the April 2011 California Women Lawyers' Annual Conference. "Conkright and the Ever-Evolving Standard of Review," at the 2011 Midwinter Meeting of the Section of Labor & Employment Law Employee Benefits Committee, sponsored by the ABA.

What distinguishes your law firm from others?

Woman owned, American Bar Association Speaker. Notable publications in national magazines around the topic of ERISA Law.
............................... Multiple Federal 9th Circuit wins!!
Verdicts and Settlements:
Barboza v. Ca. Ass'n of Professional Firefighters, 2014 WL 6766687, 594 Fed.Appx 903 (9th Cir. 2014) (concerning the question of offsets to disability benefits an ordering an award of prejudgment interest in an amount to be determined on remand to the district court), 2014
Ms. Springer's notable decisions include Nolan v. Heald College, 551 F.3d 1148 (9th Cir. Jan. 13, 2009) (holding that traditional summary judgment rules apply in evaluating an administrator's conflict of interest and permitting bench trials with live testimony on the issue); Saffon v. Wells Fargo & Co. Long Term Disability Plan, 511 F.3d 1206 (9th Cir. 2008) (holding that insurers must engage in a clear communications process in administering ERISA benefit claims); Abatie v. Alta Health & Life Ins. Co., 458 F.3d 955 (9th Cir. 2006) (en banc) (overruling previous Ninth Circuit precedent to determine that where a plan administrator operates under a financial conflict of interest, courts must review the administrator's benefits decisions with "skepticism"); Carstens v. U.S. Shoe Corporation's Long-Term Benefits Disability Plan, 520 F. Supp. 2d 1165 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (holding that the administrator could not offset the participant's disability benefits by the amount of her son's Social Security benefit); Caplan v. CNA Short Term Disability Plan, 479 F. Supp. 2d 1108 (N.D. Cal. 2007) (holding that Plaintiff could simultaneously proceed with claims for breach of fiduciary duty and benefits where each claim sought different relief); Patel v. Sugen, Inc., 354 F. Supp. 2d 1098 (N.D. Cal. 2005) (holding employees' claims for severance benefits not preempted by ERISA); Fleming v. Kemper Nat. Services, Inc., 373 F. Supp. 2d 1000 (N.D. Cal. 2005) (awarding attorneys' fees, costs, and prejudgment interest); Fleming v. Kemper Natl. Services, Inc., 320 F. Supp. 2d 951 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (granting Plaintiff's motion for summary adjudication as to the standard of review because defendants did not comply with the applicable Department of Labor Regulations in administering Plaintiff's claim); and Cherene v. First American Financial Corp. Long-Term Disability Plan, 303 F. Supp. 2d 1030 (N.D. Cal. 2004) (holding material and substantial evidence of defendants' conflict of interest existed; dismissing defendants' reimbursement counter-claim).

Is your firm willing to review documents prepared by clients?

Yes we are.

How frequently does your firm use mediation, arbitration, or collaborative law to resolve cases?

Very frequent - case by case dependent.

What are your firm's strengths and style?

Compassion and listening first. Winning strategy specific and thorough.

Cassie Springer Ayeni

I represent people with disability and life insurance claims. I have dedicated my entire career to serving clients in need of employee benefit advocacy, particularly those with disabilities. My ERISA expertise, has afforded me the distinct accolade of expert, such that I am a frequent speaker and author on the topic. I take pride in building a record that often convinces insurance companies to reverse their own denials before a case even has to go to court.

Distinctions

-Selected as a "Top 100" attorney in Northern California in 2016 and 2015 by Super Lawyers Magazine
-Selected as a "Top 50 Women" attorney in Northern California by the same publication in 2016, 2015, and 2014. -Chosen as a "Top 40 under 40" attorney by the National Trial Lawyers in March 2014
-Chosen as a "Top 20 under 40" attorney in the state of California by the Daily Journal in January 2012, as well as one of 50 California attorneys "On the Fast Track" by the Recorder in June 2012.

I am an active leader in the American Bar Association Labor & Employment Law Section and Employee Benefits Committee, where I repeatedly speak at conferences, have served as a track coordinator, and co-chaired committees including the Leadership Development Program Committee, the National Programs Committee, and the Benefit Claims and Individual Rights Subcommittee. From 2013-2014, I served as Governor-at-Large for the California Women Lawyers Board of Governors.

Recent Publications

Author, "Reforming Disability Claim Procedures Under ERISA" (Law 360,Dec. 2016)
Author, "How To Apply For Long Term Disability Benefits," (Vestibular Disorders Association, Nov. 2016)
Author, "Can you get benefits when Lyme disease forces you out of your job?" (lymedisease.org; July 2016)
Author, Ch. 27 "Insurance Benefits," ERISA Litigation, 5th Ed. (BNA, 2014);
Author of "Once an ERISA Plan, Always an ERISA Plan?" published in the July 2014 Employee Benefits Committee Newsletter;
Author of "NFL flying too high with its disability plan?" published in the Daily Journal on September 30, 2013;
Contributing Author to Sacher, et al., EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (BNA), Chapter 13, "Benefit Claims and Individual Rights," and to EMPLOYEE BENEFITS LAW (BNA).

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