Federal Judges: ERISA Makes Our Heads Hurt
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit issued an opinion last week, Gilley v. Monsanto Co. Inc., ___ F.3d ___, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 15353 (11th Cir. 2007), dealing with some thorny pension issues involving hours to be credited to an employee. The case doesn’t particularly spark my interest but I laughed at the first paragraph in the decision, written by Judge Julie E. Carnes: “Throughout his judicial career Holmes relished challenging cases. While on Massachusetts’ highest court he confessed to a friend that although none of the cases he had handled that year had been of universal interest, ‘there is always the pleasure of unraveling a difficulty.’ A decade and a half later, while on the Supreme Court, he told the same friend that he had few cases of general interest that term, but ‘[t]here is always the fun of untying a knot and trying to do it in good compact form.’ It is a pity that Holmes did not live to see ERISA cases." UPDATE: My post references the wrong Judge Carnes! The actual Judge Carnes writing this opinion is not Julie Carnes, a district court judge in the Eleventh Circuit, but Edward Earl Carnes, a circuit court judge in the Eleventh Circuit. My apologies. Thanks to Greg for the heads up.