Boston Disability Lawyers / ERISA Benefits Attorneys

Mala M. Rafik

Attorney Mala Rafik Boston, Massachusetts
Tel: 617-723-7470
Fax: 617-227-2843
Email: Email Me

Lawyer Profile:

Mala is a partner at Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, P.C., a law firm in New England representing clients denied access to health care as well as individuals seeking short- and long-term disability, life and long-term care benefits from private insurance carriers.  Mala's clients are typically individuals with debilitating chronic illnesses and disabilities for whom she has achieved several pivotal litigation victories in state and federal court.  She also has represented several nonprofit organizations whose mission is to foster or provide excellent health care for people in Massachusetts.

Mala is a past Chair of the Insurance Law Section of the American Association for Justice, a Vice-Chair of the Health and Disability Law Committee and a Vice-Chair of the Life Insurance General Committee within the Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section of the American Bar Association, a Sub-Committee Co-Chair of the Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section, a co-chair of the Federal Bar Association's Massachusetts Chapter of Employment Law, Social Security & Disability Law Committee, a member of the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers Board of Governors, a Fellow of the American Bar Association, a member of the Juvenile and Child Welfare Section Council of the Massachusetts Bar Association, a former member of the Boston Bar Association Council, a former Chair of the Legal Referral Services section of the Boston Bar Association and a former Chair of the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Section of the Boston Bar Association.  She is also the Chair of the Board of Directors of Health Law Advocates, a member of the Board of Directors of Prisoner's Legal Services and a member of the Board of the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation.

Mala has been both a Massachusetts Rising Star and Super Lawyer in Boston Magazine since 2007, and was named a 2006 Up & Coming Lawyer and 2012 Top Women of Law honoree and a 2015 Circle of Excellence honoree by Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly. From 2013 to 2015, Mala has been named one of the top 50 women lawyers in Massachusetts by Super Lawyers. In 2014, Mala was named one of the top 50 women lawyers in New England and one of the top 100 lawyers in Massachusetts by Super Lawyers. Most recently, in 2015, Mala was honored as one of the top 100 lawyers in New England by Super Lawyers. 

Mala taught Disability Law at New England Law and is a graduate of Colby College and Northeastern University School of Law.

Current Employment Position:
Managing Partner, Rosenfeld Rafik & Sullivan, P.C.

Areas of Practice:
Long & Short-Term Disability Benefits/Disability Insurance
ERISA/Employee Benefits Law
Health Care Access/Health Insurance
Life & Long-Term Care Insurance
Social Security Disability Income Benefits

Bar Admissions:
Massachusetts, 1997


U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts


U.S. Court of Appeals 1st Circuit

Education:
Northeastern University School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts

Colby College


Honors: cum laude

Representative Cases:

Young v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., --- F.Supp.3d ----2015 WL 7194812 (D.Mass. Nov. 16, 2015)
McDonough v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 783 F.3d 374, 382 (1st Cir. 2015)
Al-Abbas v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 52 F.Supp.3d 288 (D.Mass. Sept. 30, 2014)
Al-Abbas v. Metropolitan Life Ins. Co., 2013 WL 5947996 (D.Mass. Nov. 4, 2013)
Doe v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 35 F.Supp.3d 182 (D.Mass. Aug. 8, 2014)
Cannon v. Aetna Life Ins. Co., 2013 WL 5276555 (D.Mass. Sept. 17, 2013)
Colby v. Assurant Employee Benefits, 705 F.3d 58 (1st Cir. 2013)
Colby v. Assurant Employee Benefits, 818 F.Supp.2d 365(D. Mass. 2011)
Colby v. Assurant Employee Benefits, 635 F.Supp.2d 88 (D. Mass. 2009)
Colby v. Assurant Employee Benefits, 603 F.Supp.2d 223 (D.Mass. 2009)
Quinlisk v. Unum Life Ins. Co., 2009 WL 6506884 (D.Mass. Sept. 29, 2009)
Weed v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 2009 WL 2835207 (D.Mass. Aug. 28, 2009)
Sansby v. Prudential Ins. Co. of Am., 2009 WL 799468 (D.Mass., Mar 25, 2009)
Glista v. Unum Life Ins. Co. of Am., 378 F.3d at 126 (1st Cir. 2004)
Ritter v. Massachusetts Casualty Ins. Co., 439 Mass. 214 (Mass. 2003)
Sanderson v. Continental Casualty Co., 2005 WL 2340741 (D.Del. 2005)
Sanderson v. Continental Casualty Co., 279 F.Supp.2d 466 (D.Del. 2003)
Skipper v. Claims Services International, 213 F.Supp.2d 4 (D.Mass. 2002)
Antonio ex. rel. Mother v. Boston Public Schools, 314 F.Supp.2d 95 (D.Mass. 2004)
Doe v. Raytheon Company, 2002 WL 168279 (D.Mass. 2002)

Classes/Seminars/Testimony/Articles:

Introduction to ERISA: An Overview, ABA Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, 2016

Mental Health Parity, Massachusetts Bar Association Annual Health Law Symposium, 2016

Solo & Small Firm Strategies for Success, Boston Bar Association, 2016

External Review Pros and Cons: Perspectives of the Plan and Claimant, American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law's Employee Benefits Committee Midwinter Meeting, 2016

Access to Care: The Patient Legal Advocate's Perspective, The National Association for Proton Therapy, National Proton Conference, 2016 (invited)

Death of a Salesman? The Regulatory and Litigation Risk Facing Life Insurance Companies, 42nd Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (American Bar Association), 2016

Introduction to ERISA: An Overview, American Bar Association, Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, 2015

Making Sure Your Insurance Coverage Case has Legs, American Association for Justice Annual Convention, 2015

Handling Long-Term Disability Claims, Workers Compensation Alphabet Soup, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2015

The Value of Peer Review Medical Reports For Evaluating Subjective Symptoms Claims, 41st Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (American Bar Association), 2015

Benefit and Fiduciary Claims, The Impact of Procedural Issues on Drafting 
Litigation and Plan Documents, American Bar Association, EBC Midwinter Meeting, (2015)

Proving Fibromyalgia Claims, American Association for Justice Annual Convention, 2014

Benefits Administration, Long-Term Disability Benefits Advanced Seminar, American Bar Association, 2014

Litigation of Long Term Disability Claims, Long-Term Disability Benefits Advanced Seminar, American Bar Association, 2014

SSDI/Disability, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers Annual Convention, Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers, 2014

Strategies for Winning at the Claims Level, 2014 American Association for Justice Winter Convention, 2014

How to Handle a Health Care Case Under the Affordable Care Act, 40th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (American Bar Association), 2014

Working with Insurance Companies to Obtain Disability Coverage for Individuals Suffering from Lyme Disease, The International Lyme and Associates Diseases Annual Conference, 2013

Malpractice Tips for Lawyers Considering Long Term Disability Claims, American Association for Justice Annual Convention, July 2013

Risk of Relapse as a Disability and the Mental Health Parity Implications, Massachusetts Bar Association, Health Law Section, Legal Chat, 2013

Litigation of Long Term Disability Claims, Long-Term Disability Benefits Advanced Seminar, American Bar Association, 2013

Applications for Disability Benefits, Long-Term Disability Benefits Advanced Seminar, American Bar Association, 2013

Subjective Disorders: Objective Proof for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Chronic Pain, Chronic Lyme Disease and Mental Illness, American Conference Institute, 2013

Testimony, Hearing on Managing Disability Risks in an Environment of Individual Responsibility, ERISA Advisory Council, United States Department of Labor, 2012

Working with Insurance Companies to Obtain Disability Coverage for Individuals Suffering from Lyme Disease, The International Lyme and Associates Diseases Annual Conference, 2012

The Psychology of Mediating Insurance Disputes and Bad Faith Cases, American Association for Justice Annual Convention, July 2012

Is Every Case “The Rainmaker?” Practical Approaches to Conflict Discovery in ERISA Cases: A View from Both Sides of the Aisle, 38th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (American Bar Association), 2012

Careers in Health Law, Health Systems In Reform, Health Law Conference, Northeastern School of Law, 2012

Finding a Way: Public Interest Lawyering in a Solo or Small Firm Practice,
Northeastern School of Law, 2012

Innovative Pre-Trial Strategies for Disability Insurance Claims: Settlement,
Mediation, Attorney's Fees and More, 14th National Advanced Forum on Litigating Disability Insurance Claims, American Conference Institute, 2012

The Psychology of Mediation, DRI Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Conference 2011

Cigna Corp. v. Amara—The Supreme Court Greenlights an Opportunity To Obtain Make Whole Relief Previously Barred Under ERISA, Teleseminar, American Association for Justice, 2011

Managing Your Firm to Handle Both SSDI and ERISA Claims, American Association for Justice, 2011

A Baker's Dozen: Claims Review Steps from Start to Finish, National Institute on ERISA Basics, American Bar Association, 2011

Benefits Claims: Litigation, National Institute on ERISA Basics, American Bar Association, 2011

Legal Disabilities and the Risk of Relapse: Covered Disabilities under Disability Insurance Plans, 37th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (American Bar Association), 2011

Practical Tips for Handling Health Care Insurance Claims, American Association for Justice, 2010

Discovery in ERISA Cases Post MetLife v. Glenn: Is It Really Wide-Open? American Conference Institute, 2010

Supreme Court Update on ERISA Issues, Joint Committee on Employee Benefits, American Bar Association, 2010

Benefit Claims: Litigation, National Institute on ERISA Basics, American Bar Association, 2010

Subrogation and Reimbursement, National Institute on ERISA Basics, American Bar Association, 2010

Current Challenges In Disability Discrimination Cases And The Interrelationship Between Disability Benefits And Discrimination Claims, Boston Bar Association, Employment Law Section, 2010.

Top 10 Current Issues in ERISA Litigation of Life, Health and Disability Insurance Claims, 36th Annual TIPS Mid-Winter Symposium on Insurance and Employee Benefits (American Bar Association), 2010

Disability Claims in a Down Economy, ALI-ABA Live Video Webcast, 2009

What Employment Lawyers Need To Know About ERISA, Massachusetts Bar Association, 2009

Glenn v. Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, Circuit Round-up, American Association for Justice, 2009

Mediating and Settling and Mediating Disability Claims: Achieving an Appropriate and Cost-Effective Resolution for Your Client, American Conference Institute, 2009

ERISA Litigation, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2008

Disability Insurance Litigation, American Conference Institute, 2008

Alternative Dispute Resolution, DRI Life, Health, Disability and ERISA Conference 2007

What's on the Disability Insurance Radar?, American Conference Institute, 2007

ERISA Updates – The Year in Review, American Association for Justice, 2007

CLE: Beacon for New Lawyers, Boston Bar Association, June 23, 2006

Elder Law Answers, Tips on Negotiating with an Insurer for Medical Coverage, Boston Bar Association, 2006

Elder and Disability Law Conference, Massachusetts Continuing Legal Education, 2005

What Employment Lawyers Need To Know About ERISA, Boston Bar Association, November 1, 2005

ERISA Long Term Disability Claims, Brown Bag Lunch, Boston Bar Association, 2005

Winning Strategies for Litigating ERISA Cases, American Conference Institute, 2005

ERISA Primer, Health Law Advocates, 2005

Long Term Disability Seminar, Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association, 2004

Practical Strategies for Managing and Litigating ERISA Cases, American Conference Institute, 2004

Strategies for Winning at the Claims Level and for Developing the Possible Record, American Trial Lawyers Association, 2004

Litigating ERISA Disability Cases: Practical Considerations, American Board of Vocational Examiners, 2003

Traps for the Unwary Plaintiff's Lawyer, American Conference Institute, 2003

ERISA Health Insurance Claims, Health Law Advocates, 2003

The ERISA Internal Appeals Process, Boston Bar Association, 2002

Illusive Civil Rights Protection in Employment: Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act, MRA Annual Conference & Business Meeting, November 17, 2000

Understanding Legal Issues Impacting Caregiving, ALS Association of Massachusetts, November 2, 2000

Practical Considerations for Obtaining Long-Term Disability for People with RSI, Repetitive Strain Injury Action

Articles/Papers:

Employee Benefits Law, Bloomberg BNA, Third Edition, Contributing Author, 2015

New Day Dawning in American Health Care, ABA TortSource, Summer 2010, Volume 12, Issue 4

Objective Evidence In Disability Claims, The Practical Litigator, ALI-ABA, 2009

Professional Associations and Memberships:

American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts
, Board of Directors, 2000-2011

American Association for Justice, Health Care and Disability Litigation Group
 Past President, Insurance Law Section

American Association for Justice, Health Care and Disability Litigation Group
Member

American Bar Association, Trial and Insurance Practice Committee
Past Chair, Health and Disability Committee 2011-2012
Vice-Chair, Health and Disability Committee 2008-
Diversity Chair, Health and Disability Committee 2013-
Vice-Chair, Life Insurance Committee 2015-
Employee Benefits Committee of the American Bar Association Labor and Employment Section
Subcommittee Co-Chair, 2014-

American Bar Association
Member

Boston Bar Association 
Council Member, 2008-2011

Co-Chair, Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Section, 2006-2008

Mentor, 2010-2015

Chair, Legal Referral Services Committee 2013 –2015

Member, Legal Referral Services Committee 2011-

Boston Bar Association
Member

Federal Bar Association
Chair, Massachusetts Chapter of the Employment Law, Social Security & Disability Law Committee, 2014 -

Federal Bar Association
Member

Health Law Advocates
Chair, Board of Directors, 2012 -
Member, 2009-

Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation
Board of Directors, 2015 –

Massachusetts Advocates for Children
Board of Directors, 2004 - 2012

Massachusetts Bar Association
Member, General Practice, Solo, and Small Firm Section Council, 2011-2012

Massachusetts Bar Association
Member

Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
ERISA Subcommittee

Massachusetts Employment Lawyers Association
Member

Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers
Board of Governors, 2016 -

Massachusetts Academy of Trial Lawyers
Member

Patient Advocate Foundation

Prisoner's Legal Services
Board of Directors, 2006 -

 


 

 

Practice Areas

  • ERISA Coverage Disputes
  • Short-Term Disability Claims
  • Healthcare Benefits Law
  • Social Security Disability Claims
  • Long-Term Care Benefits
  • Denied Premium Waiver
  • Consumer Rights and Protections
  • Health Insurance Denials
  • Representation of Non-Profits

Illnesses Represented

  • Agent Orange
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Alzheimer's Disease
  • ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease)
  • Arthritis
  • Autoimmune Disorders
  • Back and Neck Injuries
  • Cancer
  • Cardiac Diseases
  • Chemical Dependency
  • Chrohns' Disease
  • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
  • Eating Disorders
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
  • Heart Conditions
  • Home Health Denial
  • Infertility
  • Lupus
  • MELAS Syndrome
  • Mental Illness
  • Multiple Chemical Sensitivity
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • PLS, Post Polio Syndrome
  • Pre-existing Condition Exclusion
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Retinal Detachment
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Schizophrenia
  • Traumatic Brain Injury

Rosenfeld Rafik and Sullivan, P.C. is a law firm in Boston, Massachusetts, helping chronically ill and disabled people access the healthcare insurance system. We represent clients in cities that include Boston, Worcester, Springfield, Lowell, Hartford, Providence, Bridgeport, and New Haven. We also represent clients throughout Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island.

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