The Supreme Court Decides LaRue, In Probably Predictable Fashion

As a practicing litigator, I often can’t delve too deeply into a particular issue right when it arises, and instead have to return to it that night to analyze it for further discussion the next day. With a trial set to start in one of my cases and a court appearance this afternoon, this is one of those instances, but I did want to pass along the Supreme Court’s opinion in LaRue, just issued today. I will give it a more in-depth read tonight and may post more on it tomorrow, but in the interim, here is the opinion itself, along with two initial, superficial thoughts. First, as I - and others - expected, the opinion goes in favor of the plan participant, and expands the right of individual plan participants to sue for breach of fiduciary duties. Second, on first glance, the opinion seems animated by the need to account for the particular risks of defined contribution plans such as 401(k)s, and to recognize the need for the law of ERISA to develop in a manner that accounts for the transition to those types of benefit plans. In a weird bit of precognition, that’s something I just talked about in my post earlier this morning, on the Supreme Court accepting cert on still another ERISA case.