Defended Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System in multiple constitutional and statutory challenges to the funding of retirement systems and calculations of member benefits.
Dismissed on summary judgment a class action suit brought by school bus drivers against the Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System (LSERS). The lead plaintiff claimed that the manner in which retirement contributions are calculated for all bus drivers violated state law, and sought class certification of the issue. We argued that retirement contributions were properly calculated and the court agreed, dismissing the case.
Dismissed on summary judgment a suit brought by 48 school districts against LSERS, alleging LSERS should not have to pay for the rising costs of their employees’ retirement benefits because the Louisiana Constitution provides that the State is responsible for funding these costs. At issue was whether the State must pay additional hundreds of millions of dollars in current and past retirement costs to school districts. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of LSERS on all issues and held that school districts are responsible for the payment of all costs of retirement to LSERS. The trial court’s decision was affirmed by the First Circuit, and the Louisiana Supreme Court denied writs. East Baton Rouge Parish School Board, et al v. Louisiana School Employees’ System, 2013-1300 (La. App. 1 Cir. 5/1/14), writ denied, 2014-1152 (La. 9/19/14) 149 So.3d 244.
Obtained defense verdict in a suit brought by several school districts against LSERS alleging LSERS should not have to pay the retirement costs associated with privatized positions. Following a full trial on the merits, the trial court entered a defense verdict in favor of LSERS, holding that the school districts were not only responsible for paying these expenses, but also that LSERS could obtain sums due directly from the State from funds payable to the school districts if they refused to pay. The First Circuit affirmed and the Supreme Court denied writs. Pointe Coupee Parish School Bd. v. Louisiana School Employees’ Retirement System, 2013-1100 (La. App. 1 Cir. 2/14/14), 140 So.3d 38, writ denied, 2014-0548 (La. 4/25/14), 138 So.3d 648.