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Richard N. Bien

Mr. Bien’s litigation practice involves defense of class action claims and other claims for financial services companies; employee benefit plans; life, health and disability insurance defense; ERISA; ESOP; trust company and financial litigation; insurance professional liability litigation and insurance coverage litigation. Mr. Bien has served the firm as Chair of the Litigation Division and as co-chair of the Business Litigation Team; he currently leads the ERISA, Life, Health and Disability Insurance practice group.

Mr. Bien has defended dozens of class action matters involving benefit plans, ERISA, employment and wage and hour classification, financial services, consumer protection claims, Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (FDCPA), privacy and warranty claims, and merchandising practices, insurance sales practices and lending practices. Representative reported cases in this area are: O’Shaughnessy v. Cypress Media, Tussey v. ABB, Inc. (representing fidelity defendants), S.G. Metals v. New England Life and Doll v. Chicago Title Insurance.

Mr. Bien has been in the forefront of ERISA and employee benefit litigation. He was lead counsel in the leading case concerning preemption of state “penalty” statutes. Additionally, he has handled hundreds of matters defending claims handling activities by insurers, plan administrators and other ERISA and non-ERISA regulated fiduciaries. Representative reported appellate victories in this area include Green v. Union Security Insurance Company (8th Cir. 2011) and Allen v. Life Insurance Company of North America (6th Cir. 2012).

Court Memberships

  • Missouri
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado
  • U.S. District Court for the District of Kansas
  • U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri

Honors

  • Selected among The Best Lawyers in America®, 2007-2020
  • Named as Super Lawyer, Super Lawyers Corporate Counsel Edition, (2018 and multiple years)
  • Selected by peers, Best of the Bar, Kansas City Business Journal (2018 and multiple years)
  • Selected The Best Lawyers in America®, Lawyer of the Year, 2016
  • Selected for Missouri/Kansas Super Lawyers, 2005-2018
  • Who’s Who in American Law
  • American Jurisprudence Award in Torts
  • Thomas E. Deacy Award in Trial Advocacy
  • University of Missouri School of Law - Distinguished Recent Graduate
  • Martindale-Hubbell® “AV Preeminent ” and "AV Preeminent - Judicial Edition" Rating

Professional Affiliations

  • American Bar Association
    • Governing Council, Center for Innovation, 2018 - present
    • Commission on Issues Affecting Women in the Profession, 2014-present
    • House of Delegates, 2006-2014, 2016-present
    • Judicial Division, Chair, 2003-2004; Lawyers’ Conference, Chair, 2000-2001
    • Young Lawyers Division, Assembly Speaker
  • Missouri Supreme Court Commission on Racial and Ethnic Fairness, Practice of Law Committee – 2015-present
  • Missouri Interest on Lawyers Trust Account Foundation Board (IOLTA) – Board, 2005; President, 2008
  • Make A Wish of Missouri Foundation, State Foundation Board, 2012-present; Kansas City Regional Board, 2010-present; President, 2012-2015
  • DRI, Life, Health and Disability/ERISA Committee Member
  • Missouri Bar Board of Governors, 1996-2004; Executive Committee, Finance Committee
  • Blue Valley Recreation Commission, Chairman, 1999-2000; Commissioner, 1996-2004
  • Lawyers Association of Kansas City, Director, 1993-1997, 2008-2012; past president, Young Lawyers' Section

Presentations

  • Speaker, ACI’s National Forum on ERISA Litigation – Equitable Remedies under (a)(3) – September 2016, March 2017
  • Speaker, ACI’s Employee Benefit Plans Claims Against Fiduciaries Excessive Fee Claims, November 2015, March 2016
  • Speaker, ACI’s National Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, FCEs and IMES, January 2013, January 2014
  • Speaker, DRI’s Life, Health and Disability/ERISA Conference, Investigation, IMEs and FCEs, April 2014
  • Moderator, Procedure Matters: The New AAA Arbitration Rules and Proposed Changes to the FRCP, Lathrop Gage’s State of Litigation, June 2014
  • Moderator, Lathrop Gage’s State of Litigation, June 2013
  • Speaker, ACI’s Life Insurance and AD&D Claims Litigation, July 2013, July 2012
  • Speaker, Strafford teleconference/webinar, “ERISA Benefits Claims After Metlife v. Glenn,” December 3, 2009
  • Webcast: DRI - Extra-Record Discovery Requests Post-Glenn

Press releases