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Karl A. Rand


San Diego, CA





Mr. Rand’s practice is focused on ERISA tax qualification and fiduciary compliance matters.  Mr. Rand handles ERISA litigation matters and serves as an expert witness in ERISA cases, but his practice primarily involves ERISA transactional work.  Mr. Rand advises employers, accountants and plan fiduciaries on all aspects of employee benefit plans and executive compensation.  He represents employers in IRS audits and DOL investigations of benefit plans such as 401(k) plans, 403(b) plans, ESOPs, Health Plans, Cash Balance Pension Plans and Section 125 Cafeteria Plans.  He prepares and reviews QDROs for divorce cases.  He also advises clients on how the prohibited transaction rules apply to pension plans and Individual Retirement Accounts (IRAs).  Mr.  Rand also advises employers on compliance issues under COBRA, HIPAA and Section 409A of the Code, as well as under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Mr. Rand received his Bachelor of Science degree from Cornell University in 1982.  Mr. Rand attended the University of San Diego School of Law, where he received his J.D. in 1990 and his LL.M. in Taxation Law in 1999.
Mr. Rand is a Certified Specialist in Taxation Law by the State Bar of California, and for several years taught a course in Pension Law at the University of San Diego School of Law.

Mr. Rand is a past-President of the San Diego Chapter of the Western Pension & Benefits Council, and was Chair of the Taxation Section of the San Diego County Bar Association. 

Mr. Rand has previously worked at San Diego law firms that include Merrill, Schultz & Wolds; Branton & Wilson; Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps; McKenna Long & Aldridge; and Higgs Fletcher & Mack.

Mr. Rand has an A-V Rating from Martindale Hubble.  He has been name a “Top Lawyer in San Diego” by San Diego Magazine and a “Top Attorney” by the San Diego Business Journal.
Mr. Rand is licensed to practice in California state and federal courts, and in the US Tax Court and Court of Federal Claims. 

Certified Legal Specialties

  • Certified Specialist in Taxation Law, The State Bar of California Board of Legal Specialization

Bar Admissions

  • California, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Appeals 9th Circuit, 1991
  • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
  • U.S. Tax Court
  • U.S. District Court Southern District of California, 1991
  • U.S. District Court Central District of California, 1991
  • U.S. Federal Courts, 1991


  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
    • L.L.M. - 1999
    • Major: Taxation
  • University of San Diego School of Law, San Diego, California
    • J.D. - 1990
  • Cornell University School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Ithaca, New York
    • B.S. - 1982
    • Major: Industrial and Labor Relations

Published Works

  • US Supreme Court Says 401(k) Plan Participants Can Sue Under ERISA. How Should Companies Respond?, Legal e-Update, February, 2008


  • ERISA for the Non-ERISA Attorney, ACCA Presentation
  • Uncommon Investments for IRAs and Qualified Plans, Western Pension & Benefits Conference
  • Health Reimbursement Accounts, Lorman Seminars, San Diego
  • Healthcare Choices for Employers & Employees, SDCBA Taxation Section
  • Section 125 Cafeteria Plans, Lorman Seminars, San Diego
  • Nuts and Bolts of 401(k) Plans, Lorman Seminars, San Diego

Honors and Awards

  • Army Achievement Medal
  • AV" Rated by Martindale Hubbell

Professional Associations and Memberships

  • Taxation Section of the San Diego County Bar Association, Chairman, 2002 to 2004
  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Diego Chapter, Board Member, 2002
  • Western Pension & Benefits Conference, San Diego Chapter, President, 2007 to 2008
  • University of San Diego School of Law, Adjunct Professor, 2008

Past Employment Positions

  • U.S. Army, Fort Carson, CO., Infantry Sergeant, 1985 to 1987
  • Merrill Schultz & Wolds, Associate, 1990 to 1994