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Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sleep Through The Static

Questions recently posed on two different PERS newsgroups suggest that people remain interested in the status of the Arken/Robinson cases (remember them?). It has been so long since Judge Henry Kantor ("I will rule quickly ..." NOT!) announced his final ruling in these cases that most of us have let them fade from memory. These cases remain important in the annals of PERS retiree history, and may eventually reach some sort of ultimate resolution. In any case, nothing new has been posted about these cases and several questions prompted lead plaintiff Michael Arken to share an email he received last September, to a poster over on OPDG. I am quoting from the email here: "I thought you would have heard about Arken/Robinson. The following is from Hartman's office. Received by me on Sept. 29th:In the Arken case, Judge Kantor has signed the judgment and the Multnomah County Circuit Court has issued a notice of entry of judgment. Yesterday, we prepared for filing the Notice of Appeal to the Court of Appeals. We are still researching the possibility of asking the Court of Appeals to certify the appeal to the Supreme Court. As we learn more about this option, we will let you know. (He signed the judgment in the Arken case dismissing all the claims. That judgment has now been appealed to the Court of Appeals.) In the Robinson case, Judge Kantor has asked the parties to decide whether it is necessary to certify a class at this time. Jim Coon,counsel for Robinson petitioners, is reviewing that option. Once a decision is made we will notify you."

Thus, it seems that there is an appeal filed with the Oregon Court of Appeals in Arken. In Robinson, the issue is primarily whether the case is certified as a "class action." Recall that the PERS Coalition lost on all counts in Arken, but won a significant victory in Robinson. There is no doubt in my mind that the defendants in the Robinson case (PERS), will appeal Kantor's verdict, but that is on hold until and whether the Robinson plaintiffs and attorney decide to pursue the verdict as a class action.

In the meantime, the White case, which challenges the entire settlement agreement in the City of Eugene case (Lipscomb), is still occupying space in Judge Kantor's office. He decided in late September that no hearing was necessary and that he would rule on the basis of the substantial factual record before him. If Judge Kantor is true to form, it will be somewhere near the summer solstice before he issues a ruling.

So, please enjoy your holiday season. You can go back to sleep for about four or five months before any new information is likely in these various cases.

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