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Overview

With more than 38 years of experience specializing in employee benefit law and four years of retirement plan administration and actuarial work before law school, Carol is a leading attorney in her field. She provides knowledgeable and creative solutions for challenging compliance, correction and design issues for large and medium-sized companies.

Carol is engaged in the full range of employee benefits law compliance and transaction issues including retirement plans, deferred compensation programs, employee stock ownership plans, stock options, and health and welfare benefits. She specializes in clarifying and correcting difficult operational errors in complex retirement and 401(k) plans. Carol speaks frequently on all aspects of employee benefits matters.

Representative Experience

  • Analysis and structuring correction recommendations for errors in operation of qualified retirement plans including incorrect contribution calculations, late depositing of 401(k) deferrals, participant loan errors, and document wording problems.
  • Ongoing advice and recommendations for operational and document compliance for large manufacturing companies with facilities throughout the nation and other countries that offer multiple retirement and benefit plan structures for different employee groups including separate plans for collective bargaining employees.
  • Design and implementation of combined 401(k) and cash balance plans for small professional practices.
  • Representation of public hospitals and cities in Florida with respect to retirement, nonqualified deferred compensation, and welfare plans for governmental employees.
  • Representation of tax-exempt hospitals in connection with 403(b) programs, retirement plans (qualified and nonqualified), and health and welfare plans.
  • Experience with the special deferred compensation rules that apply to tax-exempt entities affecting operation and design alternatives.
  • Representation of tax-exempt entities needing assistance correcting operational and document problems in nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.
  • Experience in the special 409A tax rules that affect the design, operation, and correction of nonqualified deferred compensation arrangements.
  • Controlled group analysis of complicated business ownership structures involving multiple entities.
  • Representation of sellers and buyers in business acquisition or sale transactions with respect to the impact of the transaction on benefit plan design and operation, including review and recommendations for benefit related wording in transaction agreements and preparation of necessary plan documentation to reflect the transaction.
  • Experience in specialized wording relating to benefit programs that often appear in the documentation of financing and lending arrangements including affirmative representations, covenants, and events of default.
  • Advice to companies regarding design alternatives for, and ongoing document and operational compliance of employee stock ownership plans.
  • Experience in PEO (professional employer organization) benefit plan arrangements for both PEO direct employees and worksite employees.

Professional & Community Involvement

  • American College of Employee Benefits Counsel, Fellow
  • American Bar Association 
    • Tax Section Subcommittee on Multiple Employer Plans, PEOs, Controlled Groups & Affiliated Service Groups, Prior Chair
    • Tax Section Employee Benefits Committee, Member and Frequent Speaker
    • Real Property, Probate and Trust Law, Employee Benefits Committee Member
  • Internal Revenue Service, Tax Exempt/Governmental Entities Advisory Council, Member
  • American Lung Association, Sarasota Manatee, Past Chair of Manatee Annual Gala
  • St Joseph’s Catholic Church (Bradenton)
    • Chorale
    • Chamber Choir
    • Music Cantor
  • Diocese of Venice, Special Events Choir
  • The Florida Voices, Past Member
  • Belle Canto Elite Women's Choir, current member

Recognition

  • Martindale-Hubbell, AV Preeminent 
  • Florida Super Lawyers, 2007-2017 
  • The Best Lawyers In America®, 2006-2018
  • Florida Trend, Florida Legal Elite, 2010-2011

 

Publications & Presentations

Publications, Recent News Updates: Retirement Plan Hurricane Relief for Affected Participants
Stearns Weaver Miller News Update|November 2017

Events: Changes in IRS Retirement Prototype and Volume Submitter Programs
The Group|October 2017

Events: Benefits of Self Auditing Company Retirement Plans
Ascensus Consulting Annual CPA Update|June 2017

Events: Employee Benefits Due Diligence
Ascensus Consulting Annual CPA Update|June 2017

Events: Employee Plans Voluntary Closing Agreements
The Tampa Bay Pension Council|February 2017

Events: Changes in Hardship Substantiation Rules and Modifications to Use of Forfeitures in 401(k) and 403(b) Plans
The Tampa Bay Pension Council|February 2017

Events: Developments in DOL Fiduciary Rule
The Tampa Bay Pension Council|February 2017

Events: Retirement Plan Corrections under IRS EPCRS Program
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Committee|January 2017

Events: Developments in Multiple Employer Retirement Plans
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Controlled Groups, PEOs and Multiple Employer Plans|January 2017

Publications: New Law Widens Insurance Options for Eligible Small Employers
BeLabor The Point Blog |December 2016

Events: Employee Benefit Plans in Acquisitions – Recommended Best Practices
October 2016

Events: Current Controlled Group Issues - ABA Subcommittee on Controlled Groups
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Controlled Groups, PEOs and Multiple Employer Plans |September 2016

Publications: 2013 – A Year of Significant Benefit Changes
January 2014

Publications: Fiduciary Responsibility - Beware of Indemnification Agreements
January 2014

Publications: The Sun Capital Case – How Does it Impact Your Employee Benefit Plans?
January 2014

Publications: 2013 – Relaxation of Flex Plan Use it or Lose it Rule
January 2014

Events: Current Developments on Retirement & Welfare Plans Including Controlled Groups & DOMA
FICPA Gulf Coast Chapter Annual Meeting|January 2014

Events: Ideas for addressing perceived abuses in Multiple Employer Plans
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Controlled Groups, PEOs and Multiple Employer Plans |May 2013

Events: Multiple Employer Plans Status Update
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Committee|January 2013

Events: Impact of Sun Capital Case on Controlled Group Analysis
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Committee|January 2013

Events: Status of Multiple Employer Plans and Viability of 403(b) Multiple Employer Plans
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Controlled Groups, PEOs and Multiple Employer Plans|January 2013

Events: Developments in Multiple Employer Plans
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Committee|September 2012

Events: Multiple Employer Plan Primer, What to Know and Understand about Multiple Employer Plans
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Subcommittee on Controlled Groups, PEOs and Multiple Employer Plans |September 2012

Events: Where do Multiple Employer Plans Stand in Today’s Retirement Plan Arena
ABA Tax Section Employee Benefits Committee|May 2012

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