Saving Clients’ Long-Term Disability Income


Panel attorney Cassie Springer-Sullivan knew since she was sixteen years old that she wanted to be an attorney and use her skills, knowledge, and empathy to assist people in times of crisis. Years later in 2008, Cassie started her own law firm, Springer-Sullivan & Roberts LLP, with fellow ALRP Panel attorney and board member Michelle Roberts. The bulk of Cassie’s work is dedicated to representing clients with disabilities who have been denied or terminated from long-term disability insurance plans that are governed by the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA). Over the course of her professional career, Cassie has demonstrated an incredible commitment to ALRP clients with disabling HIV/AIDS who suffer the devastation of losing their long-term disability income.

As an attorney who represents clients with disabilities and few financial resources, Cassie is in a unique position to appreciate pro bono work. She says, “One of the things I love most about my job is feeling like my clients count on me… clients whose livelihood depends on my ability to represent them. I feel honored to give people who are in a really desperate situation some reprieve by taking away the extra stress of dealing with their insurance company.”  Although ERISA is an extremely specialized legal area, Cassie sees its nuances as an opportunity to change and refine the law to make it easier for future clients to maintain their disability benefits.  In addition to providing direct assistance to ALRP clients, Cassie has been involved in several landmark ERISA cases resulting in new case law that will benefit tens of thousands of future disability claimants.

Cassie is originally from San Diego, but moved north to attend UC Berkeley as an undergraduate in 1995. She immediately fell in love with the Bay Area and has resided here ever since. She remained at UC Berkeley to attend Boalt Hall School of Law where she served as Editor in Chief of the Berkeley Women’s Law Journal. After graduating from Boalt, Cassie’s desire to assist clients in times of hardship led her to work for a plaintiff-side ERISA firm where she began representing ALRP clients.

Outside of work, Cassie serves her community and spends time with her family. She is currently the East Bay Family Teams Chair for the March of Dimes. She is also blessed with two young daughters. Owning her own firm has enabled her to continue doing the work she loves while maintaining a balance between her legal practice and personal life.

In Cassie’s words, “ALRP is a wonderful resource for clients who deserve access to good legal representation in their hour of need.” In addition to representing many ALRP clients directly, Cassie has served as a mentor and an invaluable resource to ALRP staff attorneys. ALRP is truly honored to have a Panel attorney with Cassie’s passion for service and dedication to those living with HIV/AIDS.

Published July 2011