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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Lawyers, Guns and Money

OK. So I've recycled the title, but the last time I used it was about 3 years ago. In the lawyers department, it is now official that the Robinson case has been certified as a Class Action, meaning that in the appeal to the Oregon Court of Appeals, the Robinson plaintiffs will simply be stand-ins for the entire class of people who were affected by the PERS "invoicing" action. It is not yet known whether the case will be directed to the Oregon Supreme Court and bypass the Oregon Court of Appeals. I know that this issue has been kicked around, but I've heard nothing definitive.

PERS has decided to appeal the ruling in the Kay Bell case. They are contesting the size of the jury-imposed award, something slightly north of $200,000- on the grounds that it exceeds some cap for awards against state agencies - arguably $100,000. PERS is also contesting the ruling that PERS has a "special" obligation to "get it right" for its members and retirees. Jeez. You'd think that PERS thinks that they bear no responsibility at all for accurate record-keeping and for accurate notification of members. The fact that they are arguing they don't have this obligation makes me think that they believe they are just like the banks, hedge funds and everyone else who expects that other people will simply roll over and "excuse" their bad-faith estimates. Gee, sorry that your retirement benefit is only half what we told you it would be. Too bad that you've already given up your job and your former employer has either replaced you or abandoned the position. Gee, golly, willikers we're might sorry, but you know that we don't owe you accuracy. You're pond scum and we really only owe the employers accuracy. P-E-R-S (Public EmployER Retirement System). Hmm, lawyers + money = guns.

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