Practice Areas

Employee Benefits

Paley Rothman’s employee benefits attorneys tailor innovative employee benefit plans to suit each client’s unique needs. We take pride in our client-specific plan designs; we do not rely on “canned plans” or external consultants to perform our services.

The employee benefits group designs and drafts various types of non-qualified deferred compensation plans for key employees of nonprofit and for profit organizations, including 457(b) plans, 457(f) plans, Rabbi trusts, stock appreciation rights plans, secular trusts, top-hat plans, incentive stock option plans, non-qualified stock option plans and phantom stock plans. As part of our comprehensive planning in executive compensation, we analyze and assist in the implementation of innovative insurance products that yield mutual benefits for our institutional clients and their key employees.

Paley Rothman’s employee benefits attorneys work closely with clients and third-party administrators to design and implement optimized cafeteria plans while enhancing employee understanding through targeted communications. We often reshape the standard turn-key operations offered by third parties to ensure that the benefits meet the goals of the employer and that the materials distributed to employees are clear and comply with the laws and regulations. Several of our attorneys are currently working to change the Internal Revenue Code so that cafeteria plans will be more beneficial to privately held businesses.

We provide ongoing legal advice on qualified retirement plans for companies of all sizes, including nonprofit and trade associations. Our attorneys have decades of experience with all types of qualified retirement plan designs, including sophisticated cross-tested plans, cash balance plans and defined benefit plans. The attorneys in Paley Rothman’s employee benefits group have written hundreds of 401(k) plans, including “safe harbor” 401(k) plans. Our retirement plans are written to give employers the freedom to select whatever investment platforms they desire. Therefore, our clients are not restricted to any particular brokerage house, as they would be if they adopted a brokerage house’s canned plan. This also gives our clients the freedom to change investment houses without having to change the plan document. Upon implementation of these plans, we continue to provide advice and prepare the documents necessary to ensure that they remain in compliance with IRS and DOL regulations.

Attorneys in the employee benefits group frequently lecture to national, regional and local associations as well as to continuing legal education groups, including the American Bar Association, ALI CLE and the Practising Law Institute. These programs augment our technical knowledge and keep us apprised of any developments in this fast-moving field so that we can better serve our clients.

Paley Rothman’s employee benefits attorneys closely follow the latest committee and legislative actions pending in Congress. Our attorneys are currently working on a major legislative initiative that would change the rules applicable to cafeteria plans so that the owners of small and privately held businesses can use these plans. Because legislation in the employee benefit area often takes effect immediately, we believe proper representation of our clients requires keeping a close eye on Congress. The chair of this group, Paula Calimafde, has testified on employee benefit issues before the House Committee on Ways and Means, the Senate Committee on Finance, and the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee.

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May 2, 2022

Jim Hammerschmidt Talks to National Law Journal About Appeal of Suburban Law Firms

Paley Rothman Co-President, Jim Hammerschmidt commented in the article "Downtown DC Firms Become an Increasingly Attractive Option for Suburban Lawyers" published on April 28, 2022.

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Philip Vera Cruz & Modesto “Larry” Dulay Itliong - Filipino American Labor Leaders and Civil Rights Activists

Although a decade apart, both Philip Vera Cruz and Modesto “Larry” Duly Itliong were born in the Philippines and then came to the United States when they were young men.

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Paley Rothman is proud to announce that three of our distinguished attorneys were named 2022 Washingtonian Top Financial Advisers for the 3rd consecutive time amongst approximately 50 Top Estate Attorneys in the DC Metropolitan area. We are honored to have Jeffrey Kolender, Paula Calimafde, and Michelle Chapin in our sophisticated and caring estate planning and estate administration groups. Both groups are known for their familiarity with cutting edge techniques while providing exceptional service to our clients.

Paley Rothman is pleased to announce that 10 of the firm’s attorneys have been named Maryland Super Lawyers for 2022 and two have been selected as Rising Stars. Glenn Cooper has been ranked as a Maryland Super Lawyer Top 10 for the eighth consecutive year and has been on the Super Lawyers list for the past 15 years. Trish Weaver was also honored as one of Maryland's Top 50 Women Super Lawyers, a spot she has held four times in the last six years.

For the 10th year in a row, Paley Rothman earned national and local honors in U.S. News - Best Lawyers® 2022 “Best Law Firms” rankings.

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