Attorney Bios

Attorneys: Jeffery Mandell & Jeffrey Johns
Legal Assistant: Ruby Perren

Jeffery Mandell -

Jeffery Mandell is the Founder of The ERISA Law Group.

“I think that my undivided commitment to my clients, my creativity, resolute tenacity and resourcefulness to achieve their objectives (and provide peace of mind) probably best describes what I do. I find solutions. I find results. I want success for my clients.”

Jeff is one of a rigorously selected group of lawyers who are Fellows of the American College of Employee Benefits Counsel. The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel is the highest and most prestigious honor an ERISA attorney can receive in the United States. The Fellowship recognizes a career of legal excellence and consistent, positive contributions to advance and improve ERISA on a national scale.

With clients coast-to-coast, Jeff is a recognized practitioner, speaker, and prolific author on ERISA topics. He has been voted each year by his peers to be listed in the Best Lawyers in America since 1995.

He was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Idaho College of Law and the University of Wisconsin Law School. His textbook regarding ERISA plan administrative and legal matters was published in 1998 by Panel Publishers.

Jeff has been the long-time appointed representative of Idaho to serve before the Internal Revenue Service Pacific Coast TE/GE Council and the U.S. Department of Labor.

He also serves on the Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs’ Legal Advisory Board.

Jeff is the founder of Employee Benefit Publications and Seminars.

Jeff is the editor and architect of the 401(k) Advisor, The Insider's Guide to Plan Design, Administration, Funding & Compliance, a widely-used monthly journal published by Wolters Kluwer Legal & Regulatory, U.S. (see the publication here: 401(k) Advisor)

Jeff complements his technical expertise with a practical approach based on decades of a practice devoted exclusively to ERISA. Since 1982, he has concentrated his practice solely in retirement plans, welfare plans, and all other ERISA, deferred compensation and employee benefit matters. Jeff's practice extends to 401(k), profit sharing, nonqualified deferred compensation, health plans and trusts, 457, pension, severance plans, 403(b), cross-tested, defined benefit and cash balance, VEBA, key aspects of employment agreements, cafeteria/flex, ESOP, governmental, health, welfare, and all types and forms of employee benefit plans (subject and not subject to ERISA).

Jeff also provides training, seminars, and written materials for the employee benefit and plan sponsor communities.

He represents for-profit employers, tax-exempts, governmental entities, associations, and individuals (mostly the owners and key players of companies). He also represents pension professionals and organizations that offer plan services, such as financial institutions, third-party administrators, accountants, attorneys, and plan consultants.

Jeff was a partner and head of the Employee Benefits practice group at several law firms (including Hawley Troxell Ennis & Hawley in Boise, Idaho and Boardman, Suhr, Curry & Field in Madison, Wisconsin).

Born and raised in Chicago; very lucky Idahoan since 1997; married with three daughters; loves family, friends, the outdoors, sports, music, Idaho, reading, writing, and helping teenage refugees.

Education & Associations

Law School:

  • University of Texas, J.D., 1982


  • University of Virginia, B.A., 1977, with high distinction
  • La Universidad de los Andes, Bogotá
  • University of Pennsylvania


  • Idaho Representative to the IRS on Employee Benefit Matters (TE/GE Pacific Coast)
  • Fellow of The American College of Employee Benefits Counsel
  • Bloomberg Bureau of National Affairs’ ERISA/Employee Benefits Advisory Board
  • Member and on Board of Directors of The Group, Inc. (a selective nationwide group of industry experts)
  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference, Boise Chapter, Founding Board Member
  • American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries
  • Employee Benefits Publications and Seminars, Founder
  • Madison (WI) Pension Council, Former President and Board member

Admitted to Bars:

  • Texas
  • Illinois
  • Wisconsin
  • Idaho

See Mr. Mandell's full bio

Jeffrey Johns -

Jeffrey Johns is a Principal with The ERISA Law Group.

"I believe it is critically important to understand a client’s objectives in approaching any legal issue. I seek first to understand the client’s needs and then strive to deliver advice in a way that is easily understood and gives the client peace of mind. My primary objective is to craft strategies and solutions that are practical to implement and make the client’s life easier.""

Jeff is an experienced ERISA and benefits attorney with over 15 years of practice at large law firms, as in-house employee benefits counsel for a large publicly-traded employer, and for employers and plan sponsors of all sizes.

Jeff’s primary focus is to assist clients in achieving employee benefit objectives and solving employee benefit problems in a practical and efficient manner. He helps clients maintain their benefit plans and programs in compliance with the numerous, ever-changing, and complex legal requirements related to employee benefits. JJ (as we sometimes call him) compliments his technical expertise with a practical, dedicated, and efficient approach. He draws on his experience as a business owner as a reminder that clients value efficient and effective solutions that work within the context of their existing business processes.

Jeff advises clients on a broad range of employee benefits issues, including issues related to tax-qualified retirement plans (such as 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, and profit sharing plans), 403(b) plans, employee stock ownership plans (“ESOPs”) non-qualified retirement plans for management and key employees, equity and incentive compensation, health and welfare benefits, and cafeteria and flex plans.

Jeff regularly advises clients on fiduciary processes and issues, plan and corporate governance, Internal Revenue Service and Department of Labor correction procedures and audits. He also provides advice to clients regarding employee benefits issues in the context of corporate mergers and acquisitions, as well relating to individual employment agreements and executive compensation.

JJ represents and provides advice to private companies, boards of directors, plan committees, tax-exempt entities, governmental entities, associations, and individuals. He also advises benefits industry professionals and organizations such as financial institutions, third-party administrators, accountants, actuaries and plan consultants.

Born and raised in Kansas City, but left part of his heart in Chicago; married with a son in elementary school; loves visiting with family and friends, football (both kinds) and baseball, and listening to all types of music.

Education & Associations

Law School:

  • Georgetown University Law Center, J.D., 1999


  • Rockhurst University, BS B.A., 1994

Admitted to Bars:

  • Kanas
  • Missouri
  • Illinois

Idaho: 208.342.5522 or 866.ERISA.LAW
Kansas: 913.647.7552