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P. Brian Bartels


Brian works with clients on employee benefit plan issues and advises on group health plans, wellness programs, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, HIPAA, ERISA, cafeteria plans, health savings accounts, and other health and welfare plans. He regularly drafts and negotiates service agreements and business associate agreements for employee benefit plans. Brian also prepares plan-related documents and employee communications and counsels clients on benefit plan design and administration issues. Additionally, Brian advises clients on employee benefit issues in the context of mergers, acquisitions, and divestitures.  

  • P. Brian Bartels (co-author), "Fiduciary Duties in the Public Sector," Benefits Magazine, April 2015.
  • P. Brian Bartels, "All (Not) Aboard: The Eighth Circuit Creates a Split in Authority By Determining a Single-Participant "Plan" is not an ERISA Plan in Dakota, Minnesota & Eastern R.R. Corp. v. Schieffer," 47 CREIGHTON L. REV. 539 (September 2014).
  • P. Brian Bartels and Daniel J. Wintz, "Considerations for Employee Benefit Plans and Human Resource Practices Following United States v. Windsor," The Nebraska Lawyer, Sept./Oct. 2013, at 9.
  • P. Brian Bartels, "Preventing Coffee Cooperation From Grinding to a Halt: An Institutional Analysis of the International Coffee Agreements’ Enforcement Mechanisms and Recommendations for Achieving Long-Term Cooperation in the International Coffee Trade," 42 CREIGHTON L. REV. 279 (April 2009).
Speaking Engagements
  • "Elect to Have a Winning Benefit Plan," Kutak Rock LLP Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2018, Omaha, NE.
  • "How 'Well' is Your Wellness Program? Preparing for a 'Check-Up' From the Regulators," Employers Council on Flexible Compensation’s 31st Annual Symposium, August 2018, San Diego, CA.
  • "Employee Benefits Update, Protecting Corporate Interests from Inside, "Client Seminar Hosted by Kutak Rock LLP, June 2017, Kansas City, MO.
  • "It's Not a Trivial Pursuit: Keeping Current on Changes in Employee Benefits Law," Kutak Rock LLP Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2016, Omaha, NE.
  • "Being Prepared for a HIPAA Audit," Client Webinar Hosted by Kutak Rock LLP, May 2016.
  • "The Affordable Care Act Beat: Issues and Considerations for 2015 and Beyond," Kutak Rock LLP Annual Employment Law Seminar, November 2015, Omaha, NE.
  • "Health Care Reform & Same-Sex Spouse Benefits, Protecting Corporate Interests from Inside," Client Seminar Hosted by Kutak Rock LLP, June 2014, Kansas City, MO.
  • Panelist for the 2014 Creighton Law Review Symposium "The Future of Employee Benefits in America: Emerging Issues Surrounding ERISA and Employee Benefits." Creighton University School of Law, Omaha, Nebraska, March 27, 2014.
  • Invited Testifier, Judiciary Committee of the Nebraska Legislature, November 2013 (selected legal consequences of the United States v. Windsor decision).

  • Regularly advise employers on Affordable Care Act implementation issues, including Form 1095-C and 1095-C reporting, responding to Internal Revenue Service proposed assessments of employer shared responsibility payments, and coverage requirements. 
  • Preparing a variety of benefit plan documents, including wellness programs, wrap plans, cafeteria plans, health flexible spending arrangements, health reimbursement arrangements, dependent care assistance plans, transportation fringe benefit plans, and self-insured group health plans.
  • Reviewing and negotiating business associate agreements and administrative services agreements for self-insured group health plans, cafeteria plans, health flexible spending arrangements, dependent care assistance programs, transportation plans, employee assistance programs, disability plans, and COBRA administration.
  • Drafting fiduciary handbooks for a variety of employee benefit plans, including 403(b) plans, 401(a) plans (defined benefit and defined contribution), a 457 plan, and a voluntary employees’ beneficiary association ("VEBA").
  • Conducting compliance reviews and mock audits for health and welfare plan documents and operations.
  • Preparing HIPAA policies and procedures for health plans.
  • Providing HIPAA training.
  • Conducting due diligence and advising buyers and sellers on health and welfare benefit plan matters in merger and acquisition transactions 
  • Assisting clients with the San Francisco Health Care Security Ordinance and responding to compliance audits.

  • National LGBT Bar Association, Top LGBT Legal Professional under 40 Award, 2018
  • Best Lawyers® 2017-2018 - Litigation: ERISA
  • Super Lawyers® Rising Stars 2013-2017 - Employment Benefits/ERISA
  • American Bankruptcy Institute - American Bankruptcy Medal of Excellence (2008)
  • Nebraska State Bar Association, Silver Quill Award (2007)
  • Board of Editors, Creighton Law Review
  • Moot Court Board, Creighton University School of Law