“Pension law (ERISA) is my first language. I eat, drink, breathe, and sleep pensions. My national reputation as a pension lawyer and success on my pension cases speaks for itself.”

-Attorney Eva Cantarella

Pensions

In the past 20 years, I have recovered over $120 million in pension benefits for my clients. Some claims were brought as a class action; others were brought on behalf of one or a few persons. In all cases, I spare no time, effort, or expense to fight for my clients because I believe everyone deserves to retire with dignity.

My activities in the pension arena and my commentary on pension issues have been widely reported in numerous publications, including the Wall Street Journal, IBL Class Action  Reporter, Lawyers Weekly USA, Tax Analysts, and many others.

I have presented on pension issues in many different venues, including giving testimony to the United States Department of Treasury (see Professional and Community Leadership, below). I have also received numerous awards as a result of my advocacy on behalf of pension plan participants and their beneficiaries (see Honors and Awards below).

Tax Appeals

When I am not handling pension claims or pension issues, I am prosecuting commercial property tax appeals on behalf of the tax payers/owners.

CRE Bio

Tax Appeal Results

Practice Areas

Pensions
Commercial and Industrial Property Tax Appeals

Education

B.G.S., Oakland University, with concentrations in Politics and Economics
Juris Doctorate, Wayne State University

Bar Admissions

State Bar of Michigan
Most United States Courts of Appeals, including the United States Supreme Court

Honors & Awards

Pension Lawyer of the Year USA (Finance Monthly, 2017)

Pension Lawyer of the Year USA (Lawyers Monthly, 2017)

Women in Law Award Pensions (Lawyers Monthly, 2017)

Included in Marquis Who’s Who as an Expert in Pension Law (2019, 2018, 2017)

Global Award in Pension Law (Finance Monthly, 2016)

Pension Lawyer of the Year (Lawyers Monthly, 2016)

Michigan Super Lawyer (2019, 2018, 2017, 2012)

Leading Lawyer (Law Bulletin Publishing, 2015-2018)

Examples of Excellence

  • Lyons v. Georgia-Pacific Corp. Salaried Employees Retirement Plan, No. 97-CV-0980-JOF (N.D. Ga.): recovered $67 million in past-due pension benefits for 20,000+ class members.
  • Underwood v. Carpenters Pension Trust Fund – Detroit and Vicinity Pension Plan, No. 2:13-cv-14464 (E.D. Mich.): recovered over $39 million in past-due and future pension benefits for approximately 325 class members
  • Humphrey v. United Way of the Texas Gulf Coast, No. H-05-758 (S.D. Tex.): recovered over $6.1 million in past-due pension benefits for approximately 630 class members
  • Ramsey v. Amfac, Inc., No. C-95-4317 CAL (N.D. Cal.): recovered $5.4 million in past-due benefits for approximately 2,435 class members
  • Crosby v. Bowater Incorporated Retirement Plan for Salaried Employees of Great Northern Paper Inc., No. 1:05-CV-3478 (N.D. Ill.): recovered $3.2 million in past-due pension benefits for approximately 350 class members
  • Zimmer v. Henry House, Inc., No. 1:95-CV-318 (W.D. Mich.): recovered $1 million in past due benefits for approximately 93 class members

Professional Affiliations & Credentials

  • Advisory Committee Member for Detroit Chapter of American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (“ASPPA-Detroit”)
  • Presented on pension issues to ASPPA-Detroit; ASPPA-Cleveland; United States Department of Treasury; ABA, Labor and Employment, Employee Benefits Subcommittee
  • Comcast Cable Television, Practical Law; Deloitte Touche; Employee Benefit Security Administration; International Foundation of Employee Benefit Specialists; Investment Management Institute, Corporate Funds Forum; national Pension Rights Center in Washington DC; Michigan Pension Rights Center; and many other groups
  • Publicly testified on pension issues before the United States Department of Treasury
  • Featured pension lawyer in April 2019 issue of 401(k) Advisor, a national pension publication
  • Avid blogger on pension and retirement issues (over 300 blogs to date)
  • Authored A Class Act: ERISA Pension Claims and the Class Action Mechanism (2002,  published in National Lawyers Weekly and Michigan Lawyers weekly)
  • In 2008, I founded Group for Equitable ERISA Remedies (GEER) to advocate for more equitable remedies for participants and beneficiaries who have been short-changed as to their ERISA pension benefits and other employer-provided ERISA benefits.  GEER has since disbanded because evolving case law has enhanced the equitable remedies available to ERISA claimants.
  • Pro bono: With the support of my firm, I have provided hundreds of hours of pro bono work for pension plan participants and their beneficiaries.

Testimonials

Eva I want to take this opportunity to publicly say THANK YOU! It has been nearly 4 years since I received notice that my disability [pension] was being reduced so much that I couldn’t possibly make ends meet financially. The only choice I had was to agree to conditions that would rob me of the retirement benefits that I had worked so many years to build. It HURT, not only financially, but I felt cheated and abandoned and NO BODY CARED. After talking to you, I felt relieved that at least someone was willing to go to bat for me and my family. I knew going in to it that you couldn’t promise anything but at least I had someone TRYING on my behalf. All during the process you kept us informed and told us what was happening. The final settlement is a tremendous relief. My wife and I can finally count on those benefits that I had worked all those many hours to obtain. I am forever grateful to you and your team for going in and fighting for the benefits I had taken from me. THANK YOU to you and your team!

Steve Browning

Eva, you will never know to what extent you have helped so many families. Your tireless efforts on our behalf is appreciated from the bottom of my heart. Although emotions and uncertainty was understandably high, you knew this and kept us all informed the best you could. I for one became excited and relieved whenever I would see “Eva Cantarella” in my inbox. You truly are a remarkable person and a great lawyer. But more than that, you were always willing to listen and explain things in layman’s terms for those of us law jargon challenged. I just want to thank you for all you have done and for all you have yet to do. God bless you and your firm.

 

Bill Batkins (aka Merle Batkins)

Couldn’t be happier with the results of all your hard work and expertise, it brings some hope in these tense times.

Jim Link

Awards and Accolades