ERISA-focused attorney with expertise in employee benefit litigation. Regarded for dedicated client service, creative problem solving and deep knowledge of ERISA Taft-Hartley trusts, specifically MPPAA withdrawal liability.
A litigator focused on ERISA governance, Chris Humes uses his employee benefits expertise to navigate issues with trusts, regulatory compliance, litigation and dispute resolution. Chris helps ensure multiemployer trust funds’ employee benefit plans comply with federal guidance from Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL).Working primarily with Taft-Hartley trusts, Chris frequently drafts summary plan descriptions to be used as employee benefit handbooks. He keeps his clients up to date on federal and state regulations including the Affordable Care Act and the Pension Protection Act. He also has experience pursuing employers that do not pay required employee benefit contributions and has particular expertise in withdrawal liability related to ERISA.
Chris is also skilled in educational labor law issues, including representing the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees (CCASAPE).
During and prior to law school, Chris served as a teacher in the Clark County School District for students with visual impairments.
Obtained summary judgment against Westgate LVH, LLC and a subsidiary company for successor withdrawal liability. Westgate purchased the Las Vegas Hilton after a foreclosure auction. However, the Hilton did not pay its share of unfunded vested liability to a multiemployer pension plan. The Plan then successfully pursued Westgate for successor withdrawal liability and was awarded a judgment for over $2M. Westgate LVH, LLC v. Trustees of Nevada Resort Ass'n-Iatse Local 720 Pension Tr., No. 217CV01731RFBNJK, 2019 WL 4738013 (D. Nev. Sept. 28, 2019).
Obtained summary judgment against Nevada Labor Commissioner that state statute purporting to regulate trusts was preempted by ERISA. Board of Trustees of the Glazing Health and Welfare Trust v. Chambers, 168 F. Supp.3d 1320 (D. Nev. March 10, 2016). After the Nevada legislature modified the statute and a 2-1 Ninth Circuit decision reversing the district court, obtained unanimous en banc opinion from Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals that the issue was moot. 941 F.3d 1195 (9th Cir. 2019) (en banc).
Obtained temporary restraining order against the Clark County School District due to an alleged Open Meeting Law Violation, halting its plan to remove over 170 people from their Dean of Students positions. The restraining order combined with public pressure caused the District to abandon its plan of removing all of the Deans.
Obtained judgment against benefit plan participant who committed fraud by misrepresenting his marriage statuses in an attempt to gain more benefits than he was entitled to receive.
Obtained judgment after trial for full amounts owed including delinquent contributions, liquidated damages, interest, attorney’s fees and audit fees. Trustees of Plumbers and Pipefitters Union Local 525 Health and Welfare Trust and Plan v. Sotelo, 2018 WL 3240959 (D. Nev. July 3, 2018).
Obtained over $1 million judgment against alter ego entity of employer who failed to pay required employee benefit contributions. Board of Trustees of Teamsters Local 631 Security Fund for Southern Nevada v. Lightning Exhibits, LLC, No. 2:16-cv-03032, 2018 WL 4566668 (D. Nev. September 24, 2018).
Successfully obtained a $19.5 million interest arbitration ruling for the Clark County Association of School Administrators and Professional-Technical Employees (CCASA) against the Clark County School District, the fifth largest school district in the nation. After an arbitration hearing, the arbitrator determined that the District had the ability to pay CCASA’s offer and the administrators were historically and comparatively underpaid while work requirements were increasing.
Successfully defended employee benefit fund against a hospital’s $750,000 ERISA benefit claim. We prevailed on a motion for summary judgment by demonstrating that the underlying patient was not eligible for benefits at the time of treatment.
Nevada Labor Commissioner that the state statute purporting to regulate trusts was preempted by ERISA. Board of Trustees of the Glazing Health and Welfare Trust v. Chambers, 168 F. Supp.3d 1320, (D. Nev. March 10, 2016).
Successfully defended labor organization against a former member in a federal action alleging multiple discrimination claims and, simultaneously, in a proceeding in front of the Nevada Local Government Employee-Management Relations Board (“EMRB”). We prevailed in the EMRB Proceeding after participating in an administrative hearing and in the federal action by obtaining summary judgment. The labor organization was awarded attorneys’ fees in the federal proceeding as a prevailing defendant in a civil rights action.
Successfully navigated employer through a decertification campaign by workers who ultimately voted to de-certify the union, ending with no charges filed against employer.
Obtained judgment against a bond company for ERISA employer’s debt to multiemployer benefit trust funds and for attorneys’ fees in excess of bond limit. Trustees of the Plumbers and Pipefitters v Pyles, No. 12A663410, 2013 WL 6222083 (Nev.Dist.Ct. Oct. 18, 2013)
Brownstein Client Alert, Oct. 24, 2022
Brownstein Client Alert, March 12, 2020
Brownstein Client Alert, February 27, 2020
Brownstein Client Alert, April 25, 2019
United States Army National Guard
State Bar of Nevada
Clark County Bar Association
Howard D. Mckibben American Inn of Court
Families for Effective Autism Treatment, Board Member
Best Lawyers in America, 2024
Super Lawyers, Mountain States, Rising Stars, 2022
Vegas Inc Top Lawyers, Labor & Employment, 2021
Army Achievement Medal, two-time recipient
Legal Elite, Nevada Business Magazine, 2017
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