Thursday, June 26, 2008

MetLife Vs Glenn- "Clear As Mud"

The US Supreme Court has issued its opinion in the MetLife vs Glenn case. Roy Harmon III has done a nice job summarizing the opinions of various ERISA attorneys which are well worth a review

Not being an attorney(thank God!) I can nevertheless offer some observations as a disability professional which can not be considered legal advice but certainly offer insight into a decision which is about as clear as mud upon first reading;

  1. Firestone has certainly been breached
  2. If you doubt conclusion #1 see Brian King's take here, I happen to agree with Brian on where the trial lawyers will go to prove a conflict.
  3. I have already commented here on the poor argument set forth by Metlife's counsel in oral arguments which got Justice Alito to join the majority

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Failure To Communicate

I'm a big movie fan and Cool Hand Luke is a classic. Its amazing to me how frequently communication between vendors and their clients is hindered by a genuine failure to effectively communicate but the results are very predictable--the vendor gets slapped back to reality and reminded who is really in charge of the relationship. In many cases account managers are put in impossible positions by the service models that are setup to support their customer base with discrete levels of face time. Big Mistake.
In an age when many vendors and carriers have most of their interaction with a client via email and phone calls while trapped in service models which often do do not support frequent and regular face to face contact and effective communication as a matter of routine a reckoning eventually comes from a client that has other options. While the vendor may be stunned and feel slapped around when the inevitable termination letter winds up getting faxxed or emailed in it should come as no surprise. I always think about the Strother Martin as The Captain in Cool Hand Luke; "Some Men You Just Can't Reach". Indeed. Some vendors as well Captain.