Why Benefits Law Matters to Us and You

Law should be used in a way that brings about meaningful change in society.  When our firm began twenty-two years ago, an area that desperately needed change in Metro Detroit, Michigan, and across the nation was the way executives, employees and their families had to navigate the complex world of employee benefits law.  

So much of a family’s well-being is tied to its employee benefits plan – life insurance, healthcare, disability income, and ultimately retirement security. These benefits provide for you at vulnerable times, making them critically important. A good employee benefit plan has three pillars: 

  1. Short-term financial security, such as life insurance and short-term disability
  2. Long-term financial security, like safe retirement investments and long-term disability
  3. Present-day well-being for you and your family through healthcare benefits

But even when your benefit plans look good on paper, that doesn’t necessarily mean your plans will come through for you when you need them to. 

That’s where we come in. 

We are a team of employee benefit lawyers devoted to diligently handling disputes arising under ERISA, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974. 

When we meet a new client, they are often facing major healthcare, disability or retirement crisis. They may have received a health insurance denial, discovered their retirement benefits are lower than anticipated, or may be frustrated by a lack of response from an employer or insurer when it comes to paying disability insurance benefits. Whatever it is, they need help with healthcare claims, retirement claims or disability claims and they want the problem solved ASAP so they can move forward with life, comfortably and without the anxiety that comes from a financial setback.  

We want our clients to focus on their lives, not their legal problems. 

We represent executives, employees and their families as they tackle benefits challenges. One of the more interesting aspects of employee benefits law is that our clients range from newborn babies to teenage children to parents and then retirees in their 70s and 80s. All of these different family members have some connection to an employee benefits plan.


We love this work, and it shows in our results. We have delivered more than $65 million in benefits payouts for employees and their families. Our work has included:

Winning income security for a Chief Financial Officer 

We fought hard to replace the income of a chief financial officer from Macomb County who had been in a serious car accident and suffered greatly when the job’s responsibilities became too much. Her insurer was not going to replace her income and we forced the company, through extensive litigation, to ultimately pay her. The case ended up yielding multiple court opinions that are cited all over the nation today. 

Pushing for retirement to come through

We have helped executives and employees from the automotive, sales, and healthcare industries, as well as other industries, who have found themselves with a major shortfall in their expected pension or retirement plan right as they are getting ready to retire.  By pushing the employers and the plans we proved their entitlement to be greater, resulting in more dignified financial retirement.  

Winning health coverage for a new mother

We worked with a Wayne County family who had a difficult delivery of a new baby owing to the mother’s own serious health issues. The hospital bills were several hundred thousand dollars because there was somehow a “gap” in coverage that quite literally could have bankrupted this young family.   We made sure that her health plan paid up so she could focus on her newborn and her own health. 

Supporting families who face long term issues

Along those same lines, we have worked with families who have children that have specialized medical needs, such as autism or mental healthcare needs that require inpatient or residential treatment.  These treatments are incredibly expensive and insurers are always looking for ways to stop paying for the care of these children.  

These stories could belong to any of us. And as we move through the post-COVID economy, the environment is only getting more complicated to navigate. 


As we emerge from a year and a half that was difficult for so many people, we know that workers in Michigan and across the country want to focus on what matters most in life: family, friendships, and relationships.  Employees worked harder than ever during COVID-19 and now they are demanding more for themselves like flexible, hybrid work and better compensation packages.  As they do, their benefits take on an even greater importance. 

Knowing how critical it is to navigate this new environment successfully, our team at J.J. Conway Law wants to help. 

Starting now, we will be sharing content and knowledge over our blog and social media channels that will help executives, employees and families advocate for themselves during this transformational time in society.

If you are an employee we’ll share knowledge to help you understand benefits law, understand your benefits, and advocate for yourself to get, and keep, the benefits you need.

If you are an employer or executive, we’ll share our knowledge to help you ensure you, your team and your family are taken care of.

We want to help you secure a strong financial future through your employee benefits. Follow us to learn our expertise:  

And of course, call us at 313-961-6525 if you are facing a benefits challenge. Paula Cardwell will answer the phone and connect you with J. J. Conway.  We are happy to listen.