William T. Allison
William T. (Bill) Allison has represented disabled workers for over 35 years. After graduation from Tulane University School of Law (Rank 23rd in a class of 135), Bill went to work for a downtown New Orleans firm representing insurance companies. He says he learned a lot about trial work and about how courts functioned in that job, but his heart just wasn’t in it. After a short time he opened his practice representing individuals in their claims against the government, big business, and insurance companies, or as Bill likes to say, “Representing Real People With Real Problems”
Bill quickly gained a reputation as a champion of the rights of disabled workers. He has been lead trial attorney in several landmark cases and is a sought-after speaker at legal seminars. He has taught continuing legal education courses sponsored by bar associations to other lawyers. His topics include litigation of disabled workers claims and legal ethics.
most of his practice, Bill handled cases involving Louisiana workers’
compensation, insurance disputes, and personal injury cases. However,
he now limits his practice to representing deserving clients in ERISA
For over 35 years, I have championed the rights of the disabled. For many years, I handled cases in the area of workers' compensation, Social Security disability, and personal injury. As the law became more complex in these fields I realized that I could not provide the level of competence in each of them that I want for my clients. During the 1990's I began referring the personal injury aspects of my client's cases to the best attorneys in that field so that I could devote my practice to workers' compensation and Social Security cases.
Then, in 2000, I had a client who had a claim against Unum Insurance Company, a large disability insurance carrier. I could not find a competent lawyer to take his case, because it was governed by ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act. So, I ended up with it and promised to do the best I could. I read every ERISA case that had been decided in the last ten years, and in those rare cases that the disabled person won, I called and spoke to the successful attorneys. I kept track of my time, and I literally spent over 400 hours researching ERISA law. Because of a confidentiality agreement, I am not allowed to say anything more about the case, other than to say that it was settled on terms very favorable to my client. I learned a lot about ERISA.
I became convinced that I could help people with ERISA claims. In 2008, I became of counsel to the highly regarded and well recognized workers' compensation law firm, Fischer, Manno & Hathaway, Attorneys and Counselors at Law. They took over my workers' compensation practice and I took no new cases in that area of the law.
That was one piece of the disability law puzzle.
ERISA law is very complex and full of traps for the unwary or unknowledgeable. In 2010, in order to keep up with the ever changing law, I decided that I would limit my practice to ERISA. I began referring Social Security cases to other lawyers. Then, in early 2013, I became of counsel to the Disability Law Center, Inc., who I believe to be the best in the field. So, now the
picture is complete. Through my affiliations with the Disability Law Center, Inc. and Fischer, Manno & Hathaway, I can now offer complete coverage to my disabled clients.
The statistics in ERISA cases are horrible. Very few cases are won in court. That is why so few attorneys handle them and why it is so hard to find a lawyer who will. However, I am convinced that the difficulty of this area of the law and the inability to find competent attorneys to handle ERISA cases combine to produce those horrendous statistics. Because a lot of people can't find competent lawyers experienced in ERISA, many cases are handled by attorneys who lack any expertise in the area. I believe that is why so many ERISA cases are lost. Of course, there are cases that get filed in federal court that lack merit and and that the claimant should lose. But, I believe that the statistics are so skewed in favor of insurance companies because they have better lawyers than a large percentage of disability claimants.
So, to sum up, my philosophy is simple. Each of the attorneys in our affiliated firms are experts in their own fields. I only handle ERISA claims and have been very successful in doing so. Many of my ERISA clients were injured on-the-job so they also have workers' compensation claims. Most, if not all of my clients also have Social Security claims. I am confident that through the affiliated firms, I can offer the best representation in those fields, leaving me to concentrate solely on ERISA cases.
During the decade plus that I have been handling ERISA cases, I have formed relationships with other lawyers around the country, and therefore can now offer ERISA representation in virtually every state of the union.
To learn more about how ERISA cases are different and what make them so difficult, click here. To learn more about how a lawyer can help people with ERiSA claims, click here.
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