Sara E. Hauptfuehrer
Of Counsel
(304) 230-2334
Office: Wheeling
J.D. George Mason University
B.A. Bethany College
Licensure: OH | WV
See Education


With an emphasis on litigation, Sara Hauptfuehrer's practice focuses on Title I of the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 (ERISA). She also handles employment discrimination litigation and counsels on a number of employee benefits-related issues.  She is also a member of the firm's appellate and class actions/mass torts practice teams.

Work Experience

2001 Steptoe & Johnson PLLC
1989 Steptoe & Johnson LLP

Speaking Engagements

Guest Lecturer on ERISA Basics, West Virginia University School of Law

Numerous articles on employee benefits topics for M. Lee Smith, West Virginia Employment Law Letter

"A Primer on ERISA's Civil Enforcement Scheme for the Non-ERISA Lawyer," 12 Inside Litigation No. 4, at 7 (Apr. 1998)

"Removal Jurisdiction in ERISA Cases: The Doctrine of Complete Preemption," 4 ERISA Litigation Reporter No. 5, at 4 (Dec. 1995) (with Paul J. Ondrasik, Jr.)

Key Experience

Defended acquiring company in litigation alleging various violations of ERISA in connection with a multi-million dollar business combination
Sought summary judgment involving multi-employer pension trust in litigation seeking additional pension benefits
Opposed class certification in employment discrimination litigation and successfully defended the denial of class certification before the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals

Memberships & Awards

Peer Review Rated AV by Martindale-Hubbell
The Best Lawyers in America®
Super Lawyers® 2007-2009, 2011-2013
American Bar Association
International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans
Defense Research Institute
Associate Editor, George Mason University Law Review