Member News

Ogletree Deakins Strengthens ERISA Litigation Group, Adds Russ Buhite as Shareholder

Ogletree, Deakins, Nash, Smoak & Stewart, P.C. (Ogletree Deakins), one of the largest labor and employment law firms representing management, is pleased to welcome Russ Buhite as a shareholder in the firm’s Tampa and Seattle offices.

Buhite joins Ogletree Deakins from Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C., where he was managing partner of the firm’s Tampa office. Buhite, whose practice is a unique blend of ERISA litigation and employment law spanning more than 25 years, will be based initially in Tampa and will transition to the Seattle office, which opened in September, in the spring of 2016.

A seasoned ERISA litigator, Buhite focuses his practice on life, health, and disability insurance coverage litigation, which includes litigation of claims for benefits, fiduciary duty breach, and compliance with statutory duties. He also advises employers on compliance issues regarding pension and welfare benefit plans, including correction of plan errors, amendments, and notices.

In addition, Buhite is experienced in defending employers in employment law matters before the EEOC, state agencies, and in state and federal courts, as well as in insurance coverage and bad faith litigation.

“Russ is a successful employee benefits and ERISA litigator with a depth of knowledge of the intricate benefits issues related to life, health, and disability insurance,” said Kim Ebert, Ogletree Deakins’ managing shareholder. “In his transition to Seattle next year, we are confident that Russ will establish a beachhead for benefits litigation in the Pacific Northwest and will add great value for our clients in Washington and throughout the West Coast.”

Active in the legal community, Buhite is a member of the American Bar Association (ABA)’s Health Care Reform Task Force, as well as the ABA Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section Task Force on Federal Involvement in Insurance Regulation and Modernization and Health Care Reform. He is also a former chair of the Health & Disability Insurance Committee of the Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section of the ABA. Buhite is AV Preeminent® rated by Martindale-Hubbell and is listed in The Best Lawyers in America®. Buhite earned his J.D. from Washington University School of Law and earlier received his B.A., cum laude, from Rice University.

Courtesy of Ogletree Deakins – Ogletree Deakins is a member of the EACCNY