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Bolt Keenley Kim LLP represents individual people with individual legal needs. We represent workers, insureds, the disabled, and retirees because we believe in using our skills, knowledge and experience to help those who need it most.  When you sign up with us, you're getting three lawyers for the price of one:  we believe that each of us should know the other's clients and understand their needs so that our firm can better serve you.  Read a little about our backgrounds below.

Emily Bolt

Emily Bolt represents workers, disabled persons, and retirees in individual and class action litigation as a partner at Bolt Keenley Kim LLP.  Her work focuses on ERISA, disability, pension, health care, financial elder abuse, insurance, and employment matters.  She is honored to serve as Secretary on the Board of the Sustainable Economies Law Center, and as a volunteer attorney with the Workers’ Rights Clinic at the Legal Aid Society - Employment Law Center. 

Emily received her law degree from the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she served as Articles Editor on the California Law Review and Submissions and Supervising Editor on the Berkeley Journal of International Law.  Emily graduated magna cum laude and with departmental honors from the University of California, San Diego with a BA in Sociology and French and English Literature. 

After law school, Emily served as law clerk to the Honorable John E. Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court, Complex Division and to the Honorable Maxine Chesney of the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 

Emily’s greatest joy and challenge is raising her two young children.  A few of her favorite things include tough workouts, engrossing novels, mindfulness meditation, and big servings of delicious food.

Jim Keenley

Jim is a founding partner of the firm and also a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall), and the University of California, Santa Barbara.  Jim has spent his entire career representing disabled workers, retirees, and senior citizens in individual and class action cases under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act and California's financial elder abuse laws.  He is a frequent speaker and writer on issues pertaining to individual claims for benefits under ERISA, has extensive experience litigating cases under ERISA, and takes a particular interest in fraudulent annuity schemes that are often targetted at our most elderly and vulnerable citizens.

In law school Jim served as the Co-Editor in Chief of the Berkeley Journal of International Law, and he was a member of the California Law Review, in which he published How Many Injuries Does it Take? Article III Standing in the Class Action Context, 95 Cal. Law. Rev. 849 (2007), a scholarly analysis of constitutional standing issues as applied to class action litigation that has been cited faovrably in Witkin's Summary of Constitutional Law, the New York Law University Review, the University of Chicago Law Review, the Missouri Court of Appeals, and in briefs to the United States Supreme Court, among other treatises, law reviews, judicial decisions and briefs.

Jim's work has produced several notable published decisions, including:

Dragu v. Motion Picture Industry Health Plan for Active Participants, 2015 WL 7274202, --- F. Supp. 3d ---- (N.D. Cal. 2015) - Summary judgment in favor of plaintiff seeking reimbursement for denied health insurance benefits.

Dragu v. Motion Picture Industry Health Plan for Active Participants, 2016 WL 454066, --- F. Supp. 3d ---- (N.D. Cal. 2016) - Order granting $114,570 in attorneys fees in a health benefits case in which the Honorable Richard Seeborg, United States District Judge, wrote that "James Keenley helped his client significantly.  He pressed Dragu's claims and achieved enviable success.  As a result of Keenley's efforts, Dragu obtained all the relief she requested--a finding that defendant Motion Picture Industries Health Plan for Active Participants had abused its discretion. . . Keenley achieved more than 'some degree of succes' for his client; he was completely successful."

Ruggeri v. Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 585 F. Supp. 2d 308 (D. Conn. 2008) - Summary judgment in favor of plaintiff employees in unpaid overtime collective action.

Barling v. UEBT Retiree Health Plan, 2015 WL 4623611 (N.D. Cal. 2015) - Summary judgment in favor of plaintiff employee in class action seeking to recover excess deductibles and coinsurance payments paid by retirees of the United Food and Commercial Worker untion.

Alberts v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Bonston, 65 F. Supp. 3d 790 (N.D. Cal. 2014) - Decision denying defendant's motion to dismiss on statute of limitations grounds, establishes important precedent in the area of what limitations period governs a bad faith insurance action in California.

Brown v. California Law Enforcement Association, Long Term Disability Plan, 81 F. Supp. 3d 930 (N.D. Cal. 2015) - Decisision granting our client, the Oakland Police Officers Associaiton's motion to dismiss a third-party complaint filed for alleged breaches of fiduciary duty under ERISA that establishes an important precedent for the necessary factual predicates for such claims. 

McKenna v. Avaya, Inc., 2010 WL 1459821 (N.D. Cal. 2010) - Summary judgment granted in favor of plaintiff on defendant's affirmative defense of ERISA preemption in a breach of severance agreement case.

White v. Athene Life & Annuity Co., et al., Order Denying Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, Case No. CGC-13-534083 (S.F. Sup. Ct.) - Order denying Defendants' motion for summary judgment denying plaintiffs' claims for financial abuse of an elder, professional negligence, and punitive damages in case alleging the sale and marketing of an unsuitable annuity.

Brian Kim

Brian Kim is a founding partner of Bolt Keenley Kim LLP and a graduate of the University of Southern California, Gould School of Law and Harvard University.  Brian concentrates his practice on representing individual insurance policyholders in pre-litigation appeals and litigation under the Employment Retirement Income and Security Act (ERISA). An expert in navigating the complexities of the ERISA law, he works diligently to recover employer-provided disability, health and life insurance benefits wrongfully denied to his clients.

Brian has obtained numerous judgments and settlements in ERISA benefit claims, resulting in the recovery of millions of dollars of benefits owed to his clients.  Some of Brian's notable decisions include:

Moody v. Liberty Life Assur. Co. of Boston, 595 F.Supp.2d 1090 (N.D. Cal. 2008): Decision reinstating long-term disability benefits and finding that the insurer wrongfully abused its discretion by failing to acknowledge the insured’s cognitive impairment and by mischaracterizing the insured’s job duties.

Fontana v. The Guardian Life Ins. Co. of America, 2009 WL 73743 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 12, 2009): Decision awarding all past long-term disability benefits to the insured, and holding that medical records do not have to be contemporaneous with date of disability to establish disability.

Fowler v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 615 F.Supp.2d (N.D. Cal. 2009): Decision denying insurer's summary judgment motion, ordering extensive discovery regarding the extent of the insurer’s conflict of interest and a full evidentiary hearing with witness testimony on the conflict of interest issue.

Martorello v. Sun Life Assur. Co. of Canada, 704 F.Supp.2d 918 (N.D. Cal. 2010): Decision granting plaintiff’s motion for summary judgment and holding that bonuses earned pre-disability were required to be included when calculating disability benefits.

Oster v. Standard Ins. Co., 759 F.Supp.2d 1159 (N.D. Cal. 2011): Decision granting plaintiff’s motion for judgment and holding that insurer’s repeat use of peer reviewers, failure to conduct a full and fair review of the claim and failure to comply with its own claims manual provision established an abuse of discretion.