Charles M. Dyke
Director of LitigationPrinter Friendly (PDF)
Mr. Dyke is an ERISA litigator who has taken bench and jury trials to decision, including a significant pension plan termination case, and handled complex appellate matters. Chuck has 20 years’ experience litigating ERISA and other matters. Chuck has been recognized as a “Northern California Super Lawyer” each year since 2007, and is listed in Best Lawyers in America. He is a past co-chair of the American Bankruptcy Institute’s Employee Benefits Committee.
Before joining Trucker Huss in 2011, Chuck was a litigation partner in an AmLaw 100 firm. For the first two years of his legal career, he worked as a staff attorney at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, where he served on the agency’s Early Warning Program legal team, played a leading role in obtaining the Sixth Circuit’s decision in United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, CLC v. United Engineering, Inc., 52 F.3d 1386 (1995) (holding that 1986 & 1987 ERISA amendments displaced union claims for benefits under LMRA), and drafted ERISA’s “missing participants” statute (29 U.S.C. § 1350).
Chuck has handled or participated in a number of appeals, including in the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the Fourth, Sixth, and Ninth Circuits in ERISA matters. In 2008, he filed an amicus brief in the U.S. Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller on behalf of a group of professors of linguistics addressing the grammar and eighteenth-century usage of the language of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The brief was a focus of Justice Scalia’s majority opinion and Justice Stevens’ dissent. Chuck has filed amicus briefs in other cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, in the Illinois Supreme Court, and in the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Seventh and Ninth Circuits.
Chuck speaks and writes on ERISA litigation and benefits-in-bankruptcy topics.
- LL.M., 1995
Georgetown University Law Center
- J.D., 1992
DePaul University College of Law
Managing Editor, DePaul Law Review
- B.S., 1985
University of Maryland
- 2011 - Present
Director of Litigation
San Francisco, California
- 2008 - 2011
Nixon Peabody LLP
- 1997 - 2008
Partner (Associate prior to 2005)
- 1995 - 1997
Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich
- 1993 - 1995
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Professional Licenses and Affiliations
- Member, The State Bar of California
- Member, Illinois State Bar Association
- Member, District of Columbia Bar Association
- Admitted, U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Courts of Appeals for the First, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, and the U.S. District Courts for the Central, Eastern, and Northern Districts of California, and the Northern District of Illinois
- Member, American Bar Association
- Member, Bar Association of San Francisco
- Member, Federal Bar Association
Representative Benefits Cases
- Golden Gate Restaurant Association v. City and County of San Francisco, 130 S.Ct. 3497. ERISA preemption challenge to San Francisco health care ordinance. Brought in as counsel of record for Golden Gate Restaurant Association during certiorari stage and handled supplemental briefing.
- UNUM Life Ins. Co. v. Ward, 526 U.S. 328. Participated in certiorari and merits briefing.
- Paulsen v. CNF, Inc., 559 F.3d 1061 (9th Cir.). Briefed plan funding and Title IV issues for CNF in litigation over spin-off transaction.
- United Steelworkers of America v. United Engineering, Inc. et al., 52 F.3d 1386 (6th Cir.). Wrote prevailing brief in Sixth Circuit.
- Chao v. Malkani, Case No. 07-1828 (4th Cir.). Obtained dismissal of appeal for lack of appellate jurisdiction.
- Aloha Airlines v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation et al. (Bankr. D. Haw. & D. Haw.) Successfully tried distress termination case in bankruptcy court for airline against PBGC and unions in connection with four underfunded defined benefit pension plans. Prevailed in district court when expedited appeal by PBGC was taken.
- Harris v. GreatBanc, Sierra Aluminum Co., and Sierra Aluminum ESOP, 2013 WL 1136558 (C.D. Cal.). On behalf of plan sponsor, obtained dismissal of DOL’s ERISA § 410 claim challenging indemnification agreement between sponsor and independent fiduciary. Obtained decision that successfully distinguished Johnson v. Couturier, 572 F.3d 1067 (9th Cir. 2009).
- DOL Investigation of Sierra Aluminum ESOP Transaction. Represent valuation firm in defense of DOL investigation. Persuaded DOL to drop claims prior to commencement of lawsuit.
- In re Heller Ehrman LLP (Bankr. N.D. Cal.). Represented law firm’s retirement plan and plan administrator against asserted claims by bankruptcy estate’s creditors that partners’ $12 million contribution to plan 10 months prior to bankruptcy petition constituted recoverable fraudulent conveyance. Persuaded claimants to abandon claims in bankruptcy court.
- Evanson v. Price, 2006 WL 2829789 (E.D. Cal.). Represented trustees of ESOP in substantial breach of fiduciary duty litigation under ERISA against ESOP’s previous trustees.
- California Law Enforcement Association v. Insurance & Benefits Trust of PORAC (California Superior Court, County of Santa Clara). Represent Insurance & Benefits Trust of Peace Officers Research Association of California against 17200 and related claims by alternative organization.
- Lockyer v. PipeVine, Inc. (California Superior Court, County of San Francisco). Successfully represented receiver for defunct San Francisco charitable organization in pension funding matters against former parent entity and in termination liability and excise tax matters against PBGC and IRS.
- Mentz v. Wells Fargo Bank N.A., et al. (District Court of Texas, Harris County, 281st Judicial District). Represented Wells Fargo Bank against state law claims in series of cases over its service as directed trustee of an IRC § 419(f) plan that the IRS disqualified. Achieved highly favorable settlement after deposing plaintiffs.
- Baackes v. Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. et al. (N.D.N.Y.). Represent Kaiser Foundation Health Plan in effort recover nearly $1 million overpayment by plan.
Representative Other Complex Litigation Matterss
- District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570. Pro bono. Filed amicus brief on behalf of professors of linguistics addressing grammar and eighteenth-century usage of language of Second Amendment. Brief was a focus of majority and dissenting opinions.
- In re Reverse Mortgage Cases (California Superior Court, County of San Mateo). Successfully defended financial institution in three consolidated national class actions over former subsidiary’s reverse mortgage loans.
- Pelowski v. Shell Internet Ventures, et al. (California Superior Court, County of San Mateo). Successfully defended venture capital fund in derivative action by disgruntled founders.
- California Dep’t of Insurance v. Credit Lyonnais et al. (C.D. Cal.). Represented California Department of Insurance in multi-billion-dollar fraud action against Credit Lyonnais and other French entities arising out of acquisition of assets of Executive Life Insurance Company through illegal stock-parking arrangements.