John D'Amato is named 2012 Best Lawyer of the Year, ERISA and Benefits
With more than 20 years of experience in the area of ERISA and other benefits law, John D'Amato is gratified by his recognition as Lawyer of the Year in Employee Benefits, viewing it as an affirmation of his firm's reputation. "We've tried to build a reputation for doing good work, being resposive to clients, and collegial with peers," says D'Amato, partner and co-founder with Tom Maloney of D'Amato & Maloney. Their firm philosophy emphasizes client service that exceeds expectations and is conducted with courtesy, respect, trust and confidence. Read More Here

Sought and received VCP Compliance Statement for large, undocumented public retirement plan

Achieved a favorable settlement in a tax shelter case involving VEBA and 409A issues

Represented Seller in sales transaction of a super market chain

Represented Seller on benefits issues in sale of major resort property

Represented Seller in sales transaction of a hotel

Represented Seller on benefits issues in purchases of major hotel and machinery company

Won a favorable settlement in a life insurance case involving the use of a profit sharing plan as a tax shelter

Offered counsel and advice on multiple transactions involving multi-employer plans

Provided benefits counsel to bankruptcy trustee in fraud case involving benefit plans

Defended employer in health plan case against insurer and medical providers

Defended TPA in case brought by multiemployer welfare trust

Achieved favorable result for hotel chain with respect to penalty threatened by the U.S. Department of Labor on account of improper administration of profit sharing plan

Obtained numerous compliance statements through IRS's Voluntary Compliance Program

Achieved favorable settlement of claims of improper action brought by employer and employees against custodian of retirement accounts

Obtained settlements for employee on a wrongful termination cases involving the ADEA, ADA, Hawaii Whistleblowers' Protection and COBRA issues

Settled a disability benefit claim denial with an insurance company for approximately $200,000

June 13, 2008 John and the firm have been recognized in Chambers and Partners USA for 2008 as one of the top lawyers and firms in Hawaii for benefits work. Chambers and Partners is a highly regarded ratings service that bases ratings upon client feedback as well as peer reports. The Chambers and Partners website states, “We talk to clients and find out which law firms they use and how they rate them for their legal ability and client service. On the basis of this research, we identify the world's top lawyers." It is an honor to be recognized in Chambers and Partners.  The firm and John have been recognized for 2008 in Chambers and Partners, Super Lawyers of Hawaii, and Best Lawyers in America. See the Chambers and Partners web site. Also see our news release HERE. 

June 1, 2008 John has also been recognized in Super Lawyers of Hawaii for 2008 as a top benefits lawyer.  The goal of Super Lawyers is to identify the top 5% of lawyers in each jurisdiction.  Super Lawyers is based upon peer review but includes panel review of notable achievements—such as success in a case of first impression.

November, 2007 See what our clients are saying about John by clicking HERE.

October, 2007 John was again named as one of the Best Lawyers in America in the field of Employee Benefits Law.

August, 2007 Will was able to successfully appeal an ERISA benefits denial claim with a nationally recognized plan administrator, and obtained for our client $212,000 in life insurance benefits.

July, 2007 John was retained as Buyer’s Benefits Counsel in the asset purchase of a well-recognized Hawaiian food corporation.

July 2007 In the July, 2007 issue of Honolulu Magazine, John was recognized as one of the Best Lawyers in America:

April 17, 2007 John will talk on Benefit Issues in Asset Sales at the next "Ask a Lawyer" educational meeting of SHRM--the Society for Human Resource Management.

April 2, 2007 In a case argued by John, the firm won summary judgment for their clients in a federal ESOP case involving issues of first impression. In this case, the first of its kind in the country, Judge Seabright ruled that plaintiffs' rights under ERISA had been violated by the elimination from their 401(k) plan of their right to sell their company stock back to their employer upon their termination of employment. (Goodin v. ITS, 489 F.Supp.2d 1157 (D. Haw. 2007).)  You can read the full opinion by clicking HERE.

February 15, 2007 T.J. and John were successful in obtaining a liquor license for A`muse Wine Bar and Restaurant in the new Honolulu Design Center, including approval of A`muse's automated wine tasting dispensers. The dispensers operate on a self-service basis through the use of smart cards and dispense high end wines in one ounce tastes. This is the first time that this cutting edge technology has been licensed in Hawaii. Similar systems have been licensed in New York City, San Francisco and Europe.

February 7, 2007 John was retained as Buyer's benefits counsel in the Maui Prince Hotel and Resort deal. The sale of this 1,500 acre property for $575 million dollar is the largest commercial real estate deal of the year and one of the largest in the State's history.

Jan 31, 2007 John and Will are going to be the featured speakers at the Hawaii Association of Health Underwriters (“HAHU”) monthly membership meeting at the Hale Koa Hotel. They are going to speak about various topics under ERISA. Please click on the flyer if you want to register for this event (you do not have to be a member of HAHU).

Oct, 2006 John D'Amato has been recognized as one of the "Best Lawyers in America" for 2006.