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Hanson Bridgett LLP

Judith W. Boyette

Judith W. Boyette



  • Employee Benefits
  • Health Care
  • Tax

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WSG Leadership

WSG Coronavirus Task Force Group

Hanson Bridgett LLP
California, U.S.A.


Judy has advised employers and employee benefit plans on all aspects of compensation and benefits including tax, regulatory, fiduciary responsibility, financing, and organizational integrity issues for more than 25 years.

Judy has unique experience as both a lawyer and an administrator with hands-on experience running large, complex employee benefit programs. In her former role as associate vice president of human resources for the entire University of California system, she was directly responsible for all human resources issues, including collective bargaining for UC's campuses and medical centers, as well as managing a $40 billion pension system covering 100,000 members, three large defined contribution plans, and the third largest health plan in California.

Before joining Hanson Bridgett, Judy was a partner in a national law firm where she advised clients on complex business and employee benefits issues. She also served as deputy general counsel at one of the largest telecommunications corporations in America, where she was responsible for corporate legal matters including executive compensation and employee benefits.

Judy has substantial experience in labor negotiations, mergers, divestitures, executive compensation, and retirement programs, including pension plans, 401(a), 401(k), 403(b), 457, and other non-qualified arrangements. She has worked with legislative and regulatory agencies, with many appearances before California legislative committees. She is a national leader in the area of human resources organizational evaluation and certifications.

Most recently, Judy was appointed by the Secretary of Treasury for a 3-year term on the IRS Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities (ACT) as a representative in the employee plans area. The ACT advises IRS leadership on operational policy and procedural improvements in the areas of employee plans, tax exempt organizations, tax-exempt bonds, and federal, state, local and Indian tribal governments.

Bar Admissions

  • California
  • U.S. Tax Court


J.D., Order of the Coif, University of California, Hastings College of the Law (1981)
B.S., with honors, Texas Woman's University (1972)
Areas of Practice

Employee Benefits | Health Care | Tax

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments

Provided advice on new investment disclosure rules, administrative fees and other emerging fiduciary issues for retirement plan sponsors and administrators.

Advised clients on numerous tax reporting and withholding issues, including representation of several large clients in successful resolution of employment tax audits.

Led team that prepared and filed numerous determination letter applications and related voluntary correction program filings with the IRS, using web-based project management to facilitate the complicated filing process. 

Developed tax compliance manual and training for large retirement systems to self-evaluate tax compliance of the system operations on a cost effective basis.

Represented client in IRS voluntary compliance filing dealing with leased employee/temporary worker issues with 401(k) plan and re-design of plan to meet business needs.

Professional Associations

  • Internal Revenue Service Advisory Committee on Tax Exempt and Government Entities, Member
  • American Bar Association, Tax Section, Committee on Employee Benefits
  • Western Pension & Benefits Council
  • College and University Professional Association for Human Resources
  • Alliance for Work-Life Progress
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
  • Society for Human Resource Management

Professional Activities and Experience

  • Best Lawyers in America® (2017)


Employee Benefits Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19
Hanson Bridgett LLP, March 2020

As a growing number of the workforce is being affected by the COVID-19 virus, employers are being asked to respond to benefit-related questions from employees. In the coming days, the Employee Benefits Group at Hanson Bridgett will be providing updated information on possible issues arising in the benefits area through Benefits Alerts and postings on Hanson Bridgett's Online COVID-19 Resource Center...

Additional Articles

"Employee Benefits Questions and Answers Related to COVID-19," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (March 2020)
"Ignorance Is Bliss (If You Are an ERISA Plaintiff)," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (February 2020)
"Retirement Plan Changes and 'Cadillac Tax' Repeal Included in Domestic Appropriations Package," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (December 2019)
"'Text Me?' Proposed Electronic Disclosure Rule Would Allow Greater Flexibility for Retirement Plans," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (November 2019)
"IRS Issues 2020 Limits for Retirement Plans," Employee Benefits Law Alert (November 2019)
"Employers May Offer Two New Types of Health Reimbursement Arrangements in 2020," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (July 2019)
"New IRS Rules Allow Retirement Plan Sponsors to Self-Correct Broader Range of Plan Failures," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (May 2019)
"Health & Welfare Benefits, Checklist - Association Health Plan Compliance for Employers," Bloomberg Law (September 2018)
"ACA: 4 Things Employers Should Focus on This Fall," BenefitsPRO (August 2018)
"Lessons for Defined Contribution Plan Fiduciaries from Current Litigation," Employee Benefits Alert (July 2018)
"Three Things about the Affordable Care Act Employers Need to Focus on Now," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (July 2018)
"DOL Finalizes Rules to Expand Access to Health Plans for Small Businesses," Employee Benefits Alert (June 2018)
"Courts Split On Pension Vested Rights Analysis," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (March 2018)
"New Rules Would Expand Access to Association Health Plans for Small Businesses," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (January 2018)
"IRS Releases Updated Employment Tax Examination and Appeals Rights Publication," co-author, Employee Benefits Alert (May 2017)
"Hanson Bridgett Announces IRS Determination Letter Replacement Program," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (March 2017)
"IRS Issues 2017 Limits for Retirement Plans," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (October 2016)
"2016 IRS Limits for Retirement Plans Generally Remain Unchanged," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (October 2015)
"The End of an Era? IRS Considers Eliminating Periodic Determination Letter Process," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (April 2015)
"Are you in compliance with the healthcare reform law? What seniors housing employers need to know about the ACA’s new rules in 2015," Seniors Business Housing (January 2015)
"IRS to Issue New Rules for Determining Status of Governmental Entities and Benefit Plans—Potential Significant Effect on Health Care Entities," Employee Benefits Law Alert (January 2015)
"IRS Releases New Guidance on Application of Windsor to Qualified Retirement Plans," co-author, Employee Benefits Law Alert (April 2014)
"Healthcare reform compliance rules are complex—Here's what steps employers should be taking now," Seniors Housing Business (August–September 2013)

"Senior Care Employers Should Start Today to Prepare for Health Care Reform," California Assisted Living Association Legal Update (February 2013)

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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