Hernsberger QDRO Law - November 2019

How to Get RichWithout Hurting the Planet As awareness about the global impact of climate change rises, consumers have started to vote with

In 2009, Interface created and sold over 83 million square yards of carpet without negatively impacting the planet or losing revenue. Anderson chronicles his journey from point A to point B in his book, “Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist.” According to Inc. magazine, Anderson, who passed away in 2011, was considered “the greenest CEO in America.” His company mastered sustainable innovation, and its patents, products, and processes are revealed in his book, which is as much a guide for entrepreneurs of the future as it is for those of the present. One reader on Amazon reviewed the book as “Inspiring,” writing, “If only the world had more Ray Andersons. The fact that he turned a company reliant on the use of petrochemicals for the production of its core product into [a company] with sustainability as its core ideology and was able to improve his profits is outstanding. Any and every company can learn something from this book.” If you’re trying to lessen your business’s impact on the planet and tap into a market of environmentally conscious consumers, “Business Lessons from a Radical Industrialist” is the place to start.

their dollars for companies that offer greener, more sustainable products and practices. Slowly, that groundswell has caused businesses to shift their priorities and take steps to track and reduce their environmental impact. But long before the green movement began in earnest, there was Ray Anderson — one man who decided to flip the script. company Interface, Inc., and no more environmentally aware than his contemporaries. But when his customers started asking about the environmental impact of his carpets, he dropped into the rabbit hole of environmental research and emerged a changed man. He had a new goal for his $1 billion company: It would take nothing from the earth that the planet couldn’t replace. In 1994, Anderson was 60 years old, the CEO of the modular carpet

QDRO Case Studies: G ary Briscoe is an executive for a large oil company in Houston. He has several large retirement plans. Among the plans are a pension, 401(k), stock options, tax-deferred savings, and a few others. Gary and his then-wife, Doris, divorced in 2011. Doris was awarded 50% of the community property of each of the retirement plans. Unfortunately, no QDROs were prepared. Three years later, in 2014, Doris hired another lawyer to collect her retirement benefits. Doris’ new lawyer drafted QDROs for the pension and the 401(k) and promptly submitted both QDROs to the court for signature. Without batting an eye, the judge signed both QDROs. Doris immediately filed each of them and mailed the plan administrator to request Doris’ money. Gary was not aware of any activity until the plan administrator notified him that they were going to distribute the funds to Doris in 30 days unless Gary filed a formal protest. Gary reviewed the QDROs and was shocked to discover that they did not limit the award to the community property. The QDROs overpaid Doris by millions of dollars. When a QDRO Is a Void Judgment

The Goal

Our goal was two-fold: Suspend the distribution of funds, and have the QDROs vacated.

The Approach

Judge Hernsberger promptly filed an objection with the plan administrator and a motion to vacate with the trial court based on section 9.102 of the Texas Family Code. The court has no authority to issue a QDRO after its plenary power has expired. The court cannot regain the authority to enter a QDRO unless the procedures described in the Texas Family Code, section 9.102, are strictly followed.

In this case, they were not.

The Results

The trial court held that the QDROs were void for failure to comply with Texas Family Code §9.102. Judge Hernsberger sent the order to vacate the QDROs to the plan administrator, and the excess funds were never distributed to Doris.

Gary called his divorce lawyer, who referred him to Judge Hernsberger.

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