May 17, 2021

Pioneer Spirit
 
Julie Selesnick started her career at a big law firm working on document review, internal investigations and insider trading cases before joining a smaller defense firm. “I spent years representing AIG before and after the 2008 crash before quitting to start an internet company. When that wasn’t paying the bills, I joined Cohen Milstein as a temp, and realized I wanted to be a plaintiffs’ lawyer.”
 
Trails Blazed
 
Selesnick was part of a team that successfully represented the NAACP, AFT & UFCW challenging the recission of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (‘DACA’) by the Trump administration. “We won summary judgment in the District Court, and the judge vacated the decision. It was consolidated with other challenges before the U.S. Supreme Court, which affirmed our ruling. It was a hard needle to thread finding the best strategy to help DACA recipients before a conservative panel.” Selesnick currently represents the interests of employees, retirees and plan participants and beneficiaries in cases involving the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. “If you have an ERISA-covered health plan that is funded by the company and administered by a third-party administrator (TPA), they usually take a lot of fees. It’s extremely difficult to get information from these TPAs, but we can help change this.”
 
Future Explorations
 
Selesnick does not expect to see significant changes to the health care system in the near term and sees ERISA litigation as a unique way to address spiraling costs. She also notes that the U.S. Department of Labor is increasingly turning its attention to employers who are not monitoring their TPAs. “Although ERISA was written about pensions, it applies to employer sponsored health care plans, and we are excited to use ERISA to increase transparency and lower costs."

View Julie Selesnick’s profile here.