Then I'll keep on dancing. I spent a near wasted two hours this morning in Judge Kantor's courtroom listening to "arguments" in the White case. I heard overpriced Joe Malkin dismiss every single Coalition claim as fundamentally unsound, unsupported, and basically irrelevant. Bill Gary piled on for the employers. Greg Hartman distilled the case down to the central issue: what does "fiduciary duty" mean in the context of an agency like PERS. It seemed that Judge Kantor agreed with this summary and seemed to be uncomfortable with the concept of having to divine the meaning of ORS 238.601 where we first meet "fiduciary responsibility." Hartman argued that the Judge defer to the case PGE v B.O.L.I. for inspiration, while Judge Kantor seems to think that the Uniform Law of Trusts for Oregon.
In any case, much of the argument seems to have taken place in email back and forths between the Judge and the attorneys. I can honestly say that I learned nothing new from this hearing. I still don't understand why Judge Kantor decided he needed to have all parties in the room at the same time.
In any event, I don't sense any urgency in Judge Kantor. He did promise that he would issue a ruling (when?). He then adjourned and we all (about a half dozen PERS retirees also attended) scattered to the wind, puzzled.
One oddity did surface after the hearing. I learned that the lobbying firm working for OPRI now employs none other than the anti-public employee favorite, David Reinhard. Talk about politics making strange bedfellows.