Stephanie A. Smithey


Ms. Smithey devotes her practice to all aspects of employee benefits law. She represents clients with respect to qualified retirement plans and health and welfare plans, assisting them with a variety of plan design, compliance, and administration issues for all types of pension, health and welfare benefit plans.

Ms. Smithey advises her clients as to ERISA, MPPAA, HIPAA, COBRA, PPACA, the Internal Revenue Code, as well as other federal and state laws applicable to employee benefit plans and plan sponsors. She assists clients with IRS and DOL audits, as well as internal compliance audits and plan corrections.  She regularly counsels clients as to the scope of their fiduciary duties and how they may seek to limit fiduciary exposure. Ms. Smithey frequently assists health plans in complying with the health care reform laws as well as the HIPAA privacy security rules and provides in-house training for employers and other plan personnel.

In addition to counseling clients as to how to comply with the many laws that apply to their employee benefit plans, Ms. Smithey advises them how to handle benefit plan-related disputes in an effort to avoid litigation. In this context, she has counseled employers, insurers, third party administrators, trustees, and other plan fiduciaries.

Best Lawyers



Ms. Smithey’s clients include retailers, manufacturers, banking and financial services firms, healthcare companies, insurance companies, and trust funds. In addition, as counsel to multiemployer funds, Ms. Smithey works closely with both employer and employee trustees as to the design, administration, and operations of Taft Hartley pension and health funds.

Education and Honors


J.D., Loyola University School of Law, 1991
B.A., cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1988

Honors and Awards: 
  • Best Lawyers - Employee Benefits (ERISA) Law (2013 & 2014)

Professional Activities

Professional Activities: 
  • Indiana Benefits Conference (Past Chair, 2012-2013; Chair, 2011-2012, Vice Chair, 2010-2011; Director, 2008-present)
  • American Bar Association (Taxation and Labor & Employment Law Sections)
  • Indiana Bar Association
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Indiana State Bar Association and the IndyBar Taxation Section - "Impact of U.S. v. Windsor on Employers and Individuals" - Indianapolis - November 12, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Corporate Labor and Employment Counsel Exclusive - "The Affordable Care Act - Now What? What's Next? When?" - Charleston - November 7, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Managing a Workforce 2014 - "The Affordable Care Act and DOMA Updates" - Indianapolis - October 10, 2013
  • Indiana Chamber Employee Benefits Seminar - "Health Care Reform - Are You Ready?" - Indianapolis - September 12, 2013
  • Indiana Chamber Employee Benefits Seminar - "How Does Health Care Reform Change Wellness Plans? New Rules for Health-Based Incentives" - Indianapolis - September 12, 2013
  • Indiana Chamber Employee Benefits Seminar - "Preparing for the Unexpected: Managing Plan Beneficiary Designations" - Indianapolis - September 12, 2013
  • Indiana Chamber Employee Benefits Seminar - "How Do Your Plans Define Spouse? Employee Benefits Consequences of the Supreme Court Decision on DOMA" - Indianapolis - September 12, 2013
  • Ogletree Deakins Workplace Strategies - "Health Care Reform: Cost Containment Strategies for Employers" - New Orleans - May 9, 2013
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce 49th Annual Human Resources Conference - "Fiduciary Tune Up" - Indianapolis - May 7, 2013
  • Inaugural Northwest Indiana Workplace Wellness Symposium - "The Legal Side of Wellness" - Merrillville - March 22, 2013
  • Indiana Construction Association Membership Meeting - "Taft-Hartley Pension Funds: Understanding Your Roles as Employer and Trustee" - Indianapolis - November 8, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins 12th Annual Seminar: Managing A Modern Workforce - "Eye on Employee Benefits: Preparing for the ACA" - Indianapolis - October 3, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins and AAIM Employers’ Association: Managing Your Workforce in 2013 - "Wellness Programs That Work" - St. Louis - September 20, 2012
  • Ogletree Deakins and AAIM Employers’ Association: Managing Your Workforce in 2013 - "The Affordable Care Act: Where Do We Go From Here" - St. Louis - September 20, 2012
  • Indiana Chamber of Commerce (ICC) & Ogletree Deakins Annual Employee Benefits Seminar - "Health Care Reform – Where Do We Go From Here?" - Indianapolis - September 13, 2012

In The News

Media Quotes:
  • November 9, 2011 - November 22, 2011 - Indiana Lawyer - "New ISBA Committee Promotes Healthy Living For Lawyers"
  • May 20, 2011 - - "Federal Law, Some State Laws Differ in Coverage of Adult Children of Domestic Partners"
  • April 5, 2011 - The Wall Street Journal - "2011 Benefits Trends – Greater Choice, Increased Focus On Health, More Innovative Perks"
  • May 19, 2010 - - "Payment of Coverage for Eligible Adult Child Permitted on Pretax Basis"
  • April 16, 2010 - - "Coordinate Compliance Among Health Care Reform and Other Laws"
  • December 2009 - Health-e Headlines - "Have You Met GINA Yet?"
Published Works: